Topic: Robert Ash

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Robert Ash (Service no. 26979) was a First World War soldier with links to Sumner.

Robert Ash was born on 27 February 1889 at Cashmere, Christchurch, the son of Martha and William. He had two sisters Sarah Jane Margaret (Maggie) and Martha. 

In his military service records he is described as being 5 ft, 6 in. with a fair complexion, hazel eyes and brown hair.

He had been employed as a farmhand (groom) for F. Truscott, Saddler, and his last recorded address was listed as being Monckspur, Redcliffs.

Robert enlisted on the 31 May 1916 and was posted to 1st Battalion, Canterbury Regiment, 17th Reinforcements.  He’d previously tried enlisting for the 9th Reinforcements but had been rejected on account of a bad foot.

After training at the Trentham Camp he embarked for overseas duty aboard the Pakeha on 23 September 1916, and was recorded as being at Sling camp in November 1916.

On the 9 December 1916 he left for active service in France. His service records show he was wounded in action 17 June 1917 but later re-joined his unit.

Robert was Killed in Action on 25 August 1918 at Bapaume, France.  He is buried Beaulencourt British Cemetery, Ligny-Thilloy, Pas-de-Calais, France.

His next of kin was recorded as being his sister Maggie (Mrs James E. Rule) 116 Tancred Street, Ashburton.  In September 1919 she signed a declaration for payments due to deceased soldiers as the beneficiary of her brother’s will but must have passed away later that year. (NZBDM – 1919/8440)

Robert's military medals were then issued to his father William, who was recorded as being Curator, Oamaru Golf Links.

Robert is remembered on the Sumner War Memorial Plaque.


Related resources

  • Military personnel file for Robert Ash. Archives New Zealand (Archway)
  • Online Cenotaph record for Robert Ash. Auckland War Memorial Museum
  • New Zealand Birth, Deaths and Marriages - NZ BDM - 1888/3539




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Robert Ash

First Names:Robert
Last Name:Ash
Place of Birth:Cashmere, Christchurch