Regiment : 3rd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment
Service number : 19913
Conflict : WW1
Date of death : Killed in action on 7th June 1917
Buried : Wulverghem-Lindenhoek Road Military Cemetery, Belgium Grave III. F. 15.
Birthplace : Born Chaddesley Corbett, Worcestershire, resident Stourbridge, enlisted Worcester
Memorial : Stourbridge War Memorial
Also appears on : Chaddesley Corbett St Cassian's Church . Chaddesley Corbett St Cassian's Church 1916 WW1 Roll of Honour with the additional information: Worcestershire Regiment. Stourbridge St Thomas's Church.
Credits : Family information courtesy of Joan Thornburgh, great niece to Frederick and Mary Aston. Memorial and military information transcribed and researched by The Black Country Society.
Frederick Aston was born in 1888, the son of George and Grace Aston of Bone House Farm, Chaddesley Corbett, Worcestershire. He married Mary Ann Attwell on 25th September 1910. Mary was born in 1889 in Tipton, Staffordshire, the daughter of John and Hannah Attwell. Frederick and Mary Ann had two sons: Frederick James Aston born in 1911, died in 1940 and Leslie Aston born in 1915, died in 1921. Frederick was killed in France on 7th June 1917 and Mary remarried in 1920 to Reginald Millman. They had two children, Albert born in 1920 and Evelyn born in 1923. Albert became a Sergeant Pilot in the Royal Air Force in World War Two; he died on a mission over France in September 1942 and he is also commemorated on Stourbridge War Memorial.
Frederick Aston volunteered for the Worcesters, probably in 1914, and joined the 3rd Battalion. The Worcesters were deeply involved in the 1916 Battle of the Somme at Aveluy Wood, Ovillers and the Ancre Heights. They spent the early months of 1917 in the trenches south of Ypres preparing for an attack on the Messines Ridge, where the German position overlooked much of the British front line in Artois. On the evening of 6th June the Worcesters moved through Neuve Eglise to reach the front line by 9.30 p.m., ready to lead the attack of the 7th Brigade. There was steady shelling during the night and at 3.10 a.m. 19 great mines were set off. The troops were briefly paralysed by the noise and the dust, but then rushed off under a barrage of British shells to seize the German line. B and C Companies led the way and within seven minutes the objective had been won, the demoralised Germans either surrendering or in flight. As dawn came, the troops began to see the view of the plain below them, stretching along the ridge to Messines and into the distance as far as Menin. As they began to dig in, it was clear that this was an entirely successful attack and the Germans had been driven off the ridge. However, the Worcesters losses were high, the great majority caused by enemy shelling. Of these 27 were killed, including Sergeant Frederick Aston.