Ash, Sidney James


War Service:
Corporal L/7882 SIDNEY JAMES ASH of 1st battalion Queen's Own (Royal West Kent Regiment) he died on 22 July 1916. He went to France 22/4/15 as a Lance Corporal

At 10pm on 22 July the 1/RWK launched an attack to seize a key trench some four hundred yards from the British lines as a preliminary to the main assault by the whole Division which would go in at 1am next morning. At first the advance was made almost without loss but as soon as they topped the skyline they came under heavy enfilade fire from German positions in High Wood. Only a small number succeeded in reaching their objective and were forced to fall back after holding it for a few hours. The battalion’s casualties amounted to almost four hundred.

The 1st R.W.Kent’s Battalion History 'INVICTA' states that whilst in the Arras Sector between March & June 1916:
'No.7882 Cpl Sidney James Ash was noted for continuous good work in the trenches, both on patrol and sniping. He inflicted many casualties on the enemy by his skill and daring when sniping.'

He was awarded an early Military Medal , which was posthumously gazetted in the London Gazette of 28/6/17 (page 7771):
‘His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to approve of the award of the Military Medal for bravery in the Field to the under mentioned Non-Commissioned Officers and Men, since deceased, who has been killed in action or died of wounds or disease subsequent to the date of the award of the Military Medal to them by the Commander-in-Chief in the Field: 7882 Cpl. S. J. Ash, R.W.Kent R.’

Location of Memorial:
He is remembered on the memorial at the church of St Catharine, Hatcham.

He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme.

He was born in Peckham and lived in Brockley.

Contributed By: Andy Pepper and Steve Law

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