Sapper Robert Ashby, 102813

  • Batt -
  • Unit - Royal Engineers
  • Section - 178th Company
  • Date of Birth - 1879
  • Died - 12/12/1915
  • Age - 36

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Source: Michael Doyle Their Name Liveth For Evermore: The Great War Roll of Honour for Leicestershire and Rutland.
He was the son of George Ashby a Groom, born 1853 in Wyle Wiltshire and his wife Catherine, born 1855 in Tur Langton, Leicester. Robert was born in 1879 in Child Okeford, Dorset. his siblings were Florence, born 1875 and Mary E., born 1877, both sisters were born in Burton Overy, Leicestershiire. In 1881 the family home was at Iwerne Minster, Blandford, Dorset. In April 1891 Robert was residing with his uncle, John Blower and his aunt Mary in the family home at Bagworth Road, Hugglescote and Donington, White Hill, Leicestershire. In March 1901 Robert was employed as a Coal Miner and resided with his uncle and aunt John and Mary Blower at the family home in Battram Lane, Ibstock, Leicestershire. In April 1911 Robert was employed as a Coal Miner Hewer, and had married Mary J., born 1882 in Barton, Leicestershire, they had two children, Mary J, born 1906 and Hector, born 1907, both children were born in Ellistown, Leicestershire, the family home was at Battram Road, Ellistown, Leicestershire.

Source: Leicestershire War Memorials Project.
Coalville Times article - Friday January 7th, 1916



News has been received of the death in action of Sapper R. Ashby, of Battram, who formerly belonged to the Nailstone Colliery Party and was attached to the Royal Engineers. Writing to Mrs Ashby, of Battram, Sapper W. Barrs, of Ibstock, in the same company, says: “I am sorry to inform you that your husband, Robert Ashby, was killed in action in the early hours of December 21st, and was buried on that date. I and some of the others who were left attended the funeral. I would have written sooner, but I am only just getting over it, as I had a marvellous escape from death myself. I and all the company sympathise with you and the family in your sad bereavement. Your husband died the death of a hero, as he was trying to save others at the time. He was well liked by all the officers and men. I will tell you more about it when I come home. He suffered no pain at all.”

Another letter to the wife from 2nd Lieut. R. B. Ireland, conveys the heartfelt sympathy of the officers, sergeants and fellow comrades of No. 1 section and states: “He was killed whilst doing his duty for his country. It may give you a little satisfaction to know that he had my utmost confidence. He had done his duty well and his loss will be greatly felt by us.”

Research undertaken and submitted (including photograph from Coalville Times) by Andy Murby 11/10/2017

Leicestershire Project Findings
  • Conflict - World War I
  • Burial Place - I C 22, Norfolk Cemetery, Becordel-becourt
  • Other Memorials - Ellistown WW1 Centenary Memorial
Research from Michael Doyle's Their Name Liveth For Evermore
  • Unit - Royal Engineers
  • Cause of death - KILLED IN ACTION
  • Burial Commemoration - Norfolk Cem, Becordel-Becourt, France
  • Born - Child Okeford, Dorset
  • Enlisted - London
  • Place of Residence - Battram Road, Ellistown, Leicestershire, England

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