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Remembered Today:

Sub-Lt E. S. Ashby RNVR, Howe Bn.


roymed64

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I am researching the service of Sub-Lt Edgar Swain Ashby, RNVR, Howe Battalion. He was drafted to the Battalion from Blandford on 7 July 1916 and was wounded on the 17th, the day that the RND officially took over the line for the first time.

I have come across references to a trench? raid made in the early hours of the 17th. The Howe Battalion War Diary refers to a raid taking place at 01.30 hrs but does not give details. Also, Pte. Horace Bruckshaw, RMLI [The Bruckshaw Diaries - Middlebrook] refers to his sleep being disturbed by our batteries opening up at 01.50 for 40 minutes etc, but ...'the results of the raid we have not heard as yet'.

If any of you knowledgable WW1 buffs can throw any light on the events of the 17th, or any information on Sub-Lt Ashby, it will be greatly appreciated.

Cheers - Roy

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Welcome to the forum Roy,

Do you already have his service record?

ADM 337/119 Page: 390. Edgar Swain Ashby. Service record as RNVR Officer.

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I am researching the service of Sub-Lt Edgar Swain Ashby, RNVR, Howe Battalion. He was drafted to the Battalion from Blandford on 7 July 1916 and was wounded on the 17th, the day that the RND officially took over the line for the first time.

I have come across references to a trench? raid made in the early hours of the 17th. The Howe Battalion War Diary refers to a raid taking place at 01.30 hrs but does not give details. Also, Pte. Horace Bruckshaw, RMLI [The Bruckshaw Diaries - Middlebrook] refers to his sleep being disturbed by our batteries opening up at 01.50 for 40 minutes etc, but ...'the results of the raid we have not heard as yet'.

If any of you knowledgable WW1 buffs can throw any light on the events of the 17th, or any information on Sub-Lt Ashby, it will be greatly appreciated.

Cheers - Roy

Hello Major-General,

Thanks for your interest. Yes I have downloaded his ADM 339 SERVICE CARD from TNA, but I have not attempted to obtain copies of his original RND SERVICE PAPERS from the Fleet Air Arm Museum, as from past experience I don't believe they will add much information. He was very briefly with the Howe Battalion until Being shot in the arm and didn't return to France until April 1918 when he joined the DRAKE Bn., probably as Lewis Gun Officer. He was then posted to MGC at the end of July [under protest]. The War Diary pages for both periods of service in France don't help because they dont mention officers movements or named junior officers.

Many thanks. Please forgive me if I'm not doing this properly as I haven't nearned the ropes yet.

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W.r.t. the 17 July 1916 trench raid, this probably did not involve Howe Battalion. The Divisional Historian, Douglas Jerrold, in his "Hawke Battalion" noted: "The 189th Brigade ... held the right of the line (Souchez I and Souchez II), the 188th Brigade [which included Howe Bn.] ... held the Angres sectors ..."

The trench attack from Souchez II did not, therefore, involve Howe personnel. Furthermore, 189 Bde did not move into the front line until late evening 19 July when Hawke Bn relieved 1/20 London Regt (and other battalions of 189 Bde RND took over from 141 Bde at the same time). The trench raid was probably carried out by 1/20 Londons from Souchez II.

The only extra information available on RNVR/RND officers at the FAAM is contained in their series of Pay & Appointing Ledgers, which sometimes turn up interesting nuggets of info.

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W.r.t. the 17 July 1916 trench raid, this probably did not involve Howe Battalion. The Divisional Historian, Douglas Jerrold, in his "Hawke Battalion" noted: "The 189th Brigade ... held the right of the line (Souchez I and Souchez II), the 188th Brigade [which included Howe Bn.] ... held the Angres sectors ..."

The trench attack from Souchez II did not, therefore, involve Howe personnel. Furthermore, 189 Bde did not move into the front line until late evening 19 July when Hawke Bn relieved 1/20 London Regt (and other battalions of 189 Bde RND took over from 141 Bde at the same time). The trench raid was probably carried out by 1/20 Londons from Souchez II.

The only extra information available on RNVR/RND officers at the FAAM is contained in their series of Pay & Appointing Ledgers, which sometimes turn up interesting nuggets of info.

Thanks for your time and effort on my behalf. It looks as though the wounding of Ashby on the 17th will remain a mystery. I am now satisfied he didn't take part in a raid on that day.

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