Ethelbert Sumner ASHTON
Rank: Sapper
Number: 74295
Unit: E Corps HQ Signal Company ROYAL ENGINEERS
Date of Death: 6 August 1918
Age: 37
Cemetery: Glageon Communal Cemetery, Nord, France

Ethelbert was the youngest child of Ralph and Rose Ashton. Ralph was a successful merchant and the family lived at Holly House, 4 Mauldeth Road, Heaton Mersey. In 1901, when a national census was taken, Ethelbert was 19 and was working as a merchant's clerk - perhaps in the family firm. Five of his siblings also lived at home ranging from 26 year old Muriel to 40 year Arthur.

In 1910, he married Hilda Christina Kelley at St Martin's Church. It would seem that the couple moved to Midlands shortly after this. This was, no doubt, in connection with Ethelbert's work and they took up residence in Walsall. He enlisted into the army at Birmingham and was assigned to the Engineers. His medal entitlement records at the National Archives show him to have been a driver, perhaps delivering mail to front line units from the Army Corps Headquarters.

The village of Glageon was in German hands for almost the whole duration of the War and the Cemetery contains the bodies of British prisoners. It is not known when Ethelbert was captured but it will, no doubt, have been during the German offensives during the spring of 1918. He died of natural causes.

In the early 1920s, when the War Graves Commission collated its casualty information, Hilda had moved to Blackpool.

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