Date of birth: 15th March 1887
Parents: Christopher and Augusta Ashbourne
Wife: Rosetta Ashbourne
Address: 2 Watts Terrace, Parkes Street
Occupation: Worked at the Great Western Railway Depot, Warwick
John Henry Ashbourne’s parents were Christopher Henry and Sophia Augusta Ashbourne.
John was the eldest of six children and the only son of the family. His sisters were Florence Sophia (b.1888), Eva Mary (b.1891), Olive Cherry Ann (b.1893), Hilda Nora (b. 1896) and Edith Lillian (b. 1898).
John’s father, Christopher, died in 1899, and the 1911 census shows his mother, Sophia, living at 24 Albert Street with Edith, who was then 13. At some point Sophia also lived at 26 Albert Street and she remained living in the street until her death in 1945.
John married Rosetta Dorricott of Chadsmore, Cannock in Staffordshire on 29th November 1909. They had four children:
- Christopher William – b. 10th November 1910
- Florence Ellen – b. 18th April 1912
- Hilda – b. 23rd January 1914 but died 10th May 1914
- Frederick John – b. 1st April 1915
John cuts a solitary figure on the 1911 census, where he is shown as a ‘farm waggoner’ and living at Brownley Green, nr Hatton. This is because John’s wife and only son (at that time) were away visiting relatives and so included on a separate census.
Before the war, John was a cross country runner and a member of Leamington Athletic Club.
John and his sister, Edith, obtained a certificate from the Church of England Temperance Society for passing an examination of Church Temperance History – an announcement appearing in the Leamington Courier on 5th May 1911
John sent a letter to his son Christopher on the occasion of his seventh birthday, dated 5th November 1917, just five months before his death:
Following John’s death, these notices were posted in the Warwick Advertiser
In 1921, John’s wife, Rosetta, completed the application for inclusion of John’s name on what was then known as the Warwick Shrine.
John was being remembered by his family in 1941:
Additional details and photographs kindly supplied by John Ashbourne, grandson of John Henry and son of Christopher
Rank & Number: 2nd Corporal, 92810
Regiment/Service: 213th Army Troops Company, Royal Engineers
Date of death: Saturday, March 30, 1918
Cause of death/Battle: Killed in action
Commemorated/Buried: Pozieres Memorial, Somme
Awards: British War Medal, Victory Medal
Commemorated locally at: St Pauls Church
Extract from ‘Warwick in the Great War’ by Graham Sutherland, by kind permission of the author.
He (John) quickly answered the call to arms in 1914 and became a member of the 213th Army Corps. John was involved in laying the network of miniature railway tracks for carrying ammunition to the trenches. During the German offensive in 1918, he was killed at Amiens. Sadly he has no known grave but is remembered on the Pozieres Somme Memorial, Warwick War Memorial and the GWR Roll of Honour on platform 2 at Leamington Railway Station.’
- John Ashbourne, grandson
- Unlocking Warwick Research Group
- Graham Sutherland
- Warwick Advertiser excerpts courtesy of Warwickshire County Record Office