Officers, N.C.O.s and Men of the 1st Battalion, Buried in Gorre British and Indian Cemetery

This cemetery contains a total of 929 Commonwealth burials (830 from the UK, 1 Australian, 2 South African and 96 from India) + 8 from Germany and 1 from France.

Of the Commonwealth burials 28 are “Known Unto God“.

The Cemetery contains 2 named soldiers of the Cheshire Regiment who both died of wounds received whilst trying to take La Bassée on 19th October 1914. The cemetery is in the south-east corner of the grounds of Gorre Chateau, and was begun in the Autumn of 1914 and used until April 1918.

…. use this link to get a full list of all Soldiers buried in this Cemetery

Use the links below to read a little more about each man and see where he is buried.

Sergeant 7943 Richard ASHLEY (A.R.) – ‘D’ Coy

Grave:  1.E.2.  Died of Wounds: 19 October 1914     Age: 27

Personal: Richard was born in the September quarter 1887 at Warmingham, Cheshire. In 1891 (Census RG  12/2848) shows the family living at at Mostyn Hall, Mostyn, Cheshire, where his father was working as an ‘Agricultural Labourer‘. He was the second son of William (Railway Platelayer‘ in 1901 – Census RG 13/3352) and Hannah (née Latham) Ashley.

He had an elder brother Joseph and seven younger siblings, George William, Edith Alice, Elizabeth Ann, Sarah Hannah, Jonathan Thomas, Charles Latham and James. (1901 Census RG 13/3352 and 1911 Census RG 14/21751) By 1911 (Census RG 14/34980), however, Richard was a serving Corporal in the 2nd Battalion, Cheshire Regiment, stationed at The Ridge, Jubbulpore, India.

Richard’s ‘Register of Soldiers Effects’ shows that a sum of £13 12s 5d (£13.62 – equivalent to about £1800 today – 2023) was paid to his father, William, in January 1915. A War Gratuity of £8 (about £530 today) followed in June 1919.

Military Service: Richard enlisted in the Cheshire Regiment at Sandbach, Cheshire, on 18 July 1905. He enlisted for 12 years, 7 years of ‘Active’ followed by 5 years on Reserve.

The list of the original 1st Battalion who sailed for France on 14 August 1914 identifies Richard as “A.R.” – i.e. a Reservist.

As a Reservist he was recalled to the 1st Battalion at the outbreak of War and his Medal Card shows he landed in France on 16 August. He fought under Captain Jones on the right flank of the Battalion’s action at Audregnies on 24th August.

about how some of ‘D’ Company extracted themselves from the Battle, under either Capt. Rich or Capt. Jones.

Richard was one of the 9 men killed during the action to take La Bassée on 19th October. The War Diary states:
10.0 a.m. Attempted to occupy LA BASSEE, and came under heavy fire of each arm. Finally entrenched 450 yds in front of former positions.”

His ‘Register of Soldiers Effects’ states that Richard died in the “15th Field Ambulance, Nr. Violaines“. He was presumably taken there suffering from wounds and died shortly afterwards as Field Ambulance were to found close to the front line.

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Private 10064 John EVANS

Grave:  1.E.1.  Died of Wounds: 20 October 1914     Age: 18

Personal: John Evans was born in St Mary’s Parish, Nantwich, Cheshire, in the March quarter 1896, the oldest child of John, deceased in 1907, (Farm Labourer) and Annie (possibly Sarah Ann, née Pates) Evans of 4 Wall Lane, Nantwich. He had a younger sister, Florence. (1901 Census: RG 13/3362) In 1911 (Census RG 14/21810) he was living at 6 Second Wood Street, Nantwich, with his widowed mother, both employed as ‘General Domestic Servants‘.

At the time of his enlistment he was employed as a ‘Casual Labourer‘. When he joined the Cheshires he was 5’ 4″ tall (1.63 m.), weighed 112 lbs. (8 st. 0lbs.) had a ‘fresh’ complexion, grey eyes and light brown hair. His religion was Church of England.

According to his Service papers John did not marry, nor did he have any children. At the time of his death his mother is listed as next-of-kin who by then had moved to 16 Second Wood Street, Nantwich.

John’s ‘Register of Soldiers Effects’ shows that a sum of £6 9s 2d (£6.46 – equivalent to about £850 today – 2023) was paid to his mother, Annie, in February 1915. A War Gratuity of £5 (about £330 today) followed in June 1919. She was also awarded a Pension of 10s. per week (50p – about £35 today) effective from 24th October 1918.

Military Service: George enlisted at Nantwich, Cheshire on 5 February 1913, aged 18 years 2 months, having previously been in the 7th (Special Reserve) Battalion (Private 9183), which he joined on 1 January 1912.

His terms of service were 7 + 5 (i.e. 7 years active service + 5 years reserve). He was posted to the 1st Battalion in Londonderry on 12th February 1913, from where he sailed to France at the outbreak of War.

His Medal Card shows he entered France 16th August and he would have seen action at Audregnies on 24th August.

However, his name does appear on the published members of the Original 1st Battalion. He died on the 20th October 1914, one of the 24 men wounded on that day. In total he served 1 year 257 days with the Regiment.

His Casualty Report Form, dated 21st October, states that he died:
In 15th Field Ambulance of wounds received in action near Violaines
(Gunshot wound head).

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