The Fallen of Aston and Weston – 1915 – 16
Private William Smith of the 9th Battalion Sherwood Foresters was killed in action on the 9th August 1915 at the age of 22. He was the second son of Richard and Hannah Smith of Derby Road, Aston. Born in Aston in 1893 he worked as a gardener before enlistment. Private William Howard of the Derbyshire Yeomanry died at Gallipoli on the 5th September 1915. He was born in Breaston, Derbyshire in 1897 and lived with widower George Orton of Aston as an adopted son. Before enlisting in the army William Howard was a gardening apprentice. He died when only 18 years of age.
Private Walter Whittaker of the 9th Battalion Sherwood Foresters was killed in action on the 4th October 1915. He was 19 years of age and was the third soldier from Aston to die at Gallipoli. He worked as an agricultural labourer and was the son of widower John Whittaker of Moor Side, Aston on Trent. Private James Shreeve of Weston and the 1st Battalion Sherwood Foresters was killed in action on the 13th March 1915 whilst serving on the France/Flanders front. He is commemorated on the Le Touret Memorial, France. He was 27 at the time of his death and was the son of quarryman Tom Shreeve and his wife Harriet. James Shreeve had married Gertrude Lambert in 1912 and worked as a carter’s labourer before enlisting.
Stoker 1st Class Jarvis Stone was 36 years of age at the time of his death and had served in the Royal Navy for 19 years. He was aboard the cruiser H.M.S. Black Prince which went down with the loss of all hands. A month after his death a service was held in the parish church of Weston when a wreath, draped with a Union Jack, was laid in tribute to his memory. He is also remembered with honour on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial.
Stoker 1st Class Frederick Hinds served on the battle cruiser H.M.S Queen Mary and lost his life at the age of 23 when his ship was sunk with the loss of 1275 crew members. Only 20 men survived. Prior to joining the Royal Navy he was employed as a gardener on the Aston Hall Estate and had also been a member of the parish church choir. He was the son of Samuel and Mary Ann Hinds of Aston on Trent. He was remembered at a church service in the month following his death and he is honoured on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial.
Private George Smith of Aston and the 11th Battalion, Notts and Derby Regiment who is recorded by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission as having died on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. Initially, little was known of his fate and even in August his parents were still appealing for news of his whereabouts. It was not until December that confirmation of his death was received by his parents Henry and Alice Smith. Born in Aston in 1899 George Smith was employed by Dickinson and Henshall of Shardlow before enlisting, and was only 16 years of age when he joined the Notts and Derby Regiment.
Private John Yates of the Leicestershire Regiment lost his life on the 4th July 1916. He was born in Aston in 1882 and for some time before the war was an assurance agent in Wales before finally relocating to Kegworth. In November 1915 he suffered a head wound but recovered to serve in the British advance at the Somme. It was during that advance that he was killed by a sniper’s bullet. He left a widow, three children and an elderly widowed mother Fanny Yates who lived on The Green, Aston.
Private Arthur Shreeve of the Notts and Derby Regiment (Sherwood Foresters) was killed in action on the 3rd June. He was 20 years of age and the son of Mr. and Mrs Richard Shreeve of Far Moor Side, Aston. His parents received a letter from his commanding officer which concluded with the words “He set an example to his fellow soldiers which will live forever. He lived and died like a soldier and I am quite sure he will receive his just rewards in the next world”.
Gunner Edward Shreeve of Weston served with the Royal Garrison Artillery until his death in action on the 23rd July – he was 19 years of age. His father and mother, Richard Hanson and Elizabeth Shreeve received much sympathy from a large congregation assembled at the parish church on a Sunday evening in August on the occasion of a memorial service in honour of Gunner Shreeve. The late soldier was described as having had a most courteous and genial disposition. He was a member of the Sons of Temperance Friendly Society and prior to enlistment had assisted his brother Mr. W.H. Shreeve, a butcher of London Road, Derby.