Photo of 85 John Ashton property of Joyce Anderson – Article published by Noosa Today – see link to original article below.
85 John “Jack” Gilbert Ashton
85 John Gilbert Ashton was 29 year old bricklayer a native of Lincolnshire England. His mother was Sarah Ashton (nee Hutton), his father, Benjamin was a building contractor, and John was his apprentice. There were opportunities for skilled builders and bricklayers in Australia in the 1900’s, the lure for John may have been good pay for his skill and a new life in Australia.
John was with the other sappers as ‘dawn landers’ at Gallipoli and lost his best friend “nugget” and a few good mates on that day. John was active at Gallipoli up to and including the Battle of Lone Pine and the assault on the German officers trench.
From the 6th to the 10th August, John spent a few long days and nights with fellow sappers during the ‘Battle of Lone Pine’ and may have been too close to the constant shelling for long periods, or was even a victim of a close call from an exploding shell. This often left survivors shocked and suffering deafness for extended periods of time.
John Ashton was suffering from deafness in both ears and his condition never quite improved and while not one hundred percent fit to return to active service in the field, he remained for two years attached to the permanent staff company at Perham Downs England and was promoted to temp. Sargeant.
John’s deafness continued and like many before him suffering a similar debility, he eventually returned home to Australia on the “Runic” in Feb. 1918 and was later medically discharged on 16.4.18
After the war John “Jack” married Edith and returned to his trade as a bricklayer and they had two children, Joyce and Frederick.
John was a member of the 1st FCE Re-union Association which was established in 1925 by the originals. He was an active and esteemed member and no doubt maintained his friendships with many of the surviving “originals”. Sadly John died in 1954 in his home at Birrong, NSW and Edith his loving wife died just four weeks later.
The following notices were published in the Sydney Morning Herald 19th and 20th May 1954.
ASHTON John Gilbert -May l8 1954 at his residence 23 Stephenson Street Birrong dearly beloved husband of Edith Ashton and loved father of Joyce and of Frederick (Eric) and loved brother of Mary and Hubert aged 68 years
ASHTON – 1st Field Coy. Engineers A I F 1914- 18 Reunion Assn – The Members of the above Assn are invited to attend the Funeral of their late esteemed Member JOHN GILBERT ASHTON For further particulars see family notice Wednesday’s Herald
H A MURRAY Près NORMAN H JARVIS Hon Secy
85 John Jack Gilbert Ashton was honoured and remembered this ANZAC centenary year by his daughter Joyce Anderson and a tribute in the ‘NoosaToday’ , the story by Katie De Verteuil.
The article is available to view and download, please follow the link below and enjoy the story of her brave father.
The identity of “nugget” ????