Walter Ashby - Cliffe History

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Walter Ashby
1898 – 10th February 1918
Walter was born in early 1898, and baptised in St Helen’s Church on February 13th the same year, to Ambrose and Maria Ashby.
Ambrose Ashby
He was the youngest of eight children having two elder bothers: Ambrose and Frederick and five sisters: Ethel, Alice, Flora, Ada and Lily.
The Ashby family lived in St. George’s Terrace along what was then called Station Road in Cliffe and the family ran a general grocer’s shop – next door was Crane’s the butchers. The shop and St. George’s Terrace no longer survive and now the Cliffe Surgery stands where it once stood.
His father, Ambrose, helped Maria run the shop and also worked on the railways as a platelayer.

Not much is known about Walter’s early life but he seems to have lived his life in Cliffe and would have known many of those that left the village to take part in hostilities: some, like Walter, never to return.
Walter left his home village to go to Gravesend and enlisted in the South Staffordshire Regiment, 7th Battalion. The actions of his battalion during the conflict are listed below and one can see that Walter’s Battalion were engaged in some of the major battles of WWI.
Engagements of the South Staffordshire Regiment, 7th Battalion
July 1915 Mobilised for war and embarked for Gallipoli from Liverpool.
07.08.1915 Landed at Gallipoli and engaged the Turkish forces in various actions.
Dec 1915 Evacuated to Imbros due to heavy losses from combat, disease and severe weather.
Feb 1916 Moved to Egypt to defend the Suez Canal.
July 1916 Moved to France and the Division engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
During 1916
The capture of the Wundt-Werk (Wonder Work), The Battle of Flers-Courcelette, The Battle of Thiepval.
During 1917
Operations on the Ancre, The Battle of Messines, The Battle of the Langemarck, The Battle of Polygon Wood, The Battle of Broodseinde, The Battle of Poelcapelle.
During 1918
The Battle of the Scarpe, The Battle of the Drocourt-Quant Line, The Battle of the Canal du Nord, The Battle of Cambrai 1918, The pursuit to the Selle, The Battle of the Sambre including the passage of the Grand Honelle.
11.11.1918 Ended the war in Belgium, south of Mons.

Along with others his body was moved to Philosophe British Military Cemetery and is remembered with honour.

Along with others his body was moved to Philosophe British Military Cemetery and is remembered with honour.
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