Arthur Herzon Ashmead
Serial No. 31664
10th Field Artillery Brigade & 7th Field Artillery Brigade
Arthur Herzon Ashmead - Information
The Ashmead family moved to Clovelly in Minto in the late 1890s. Arthur's father, Reverend Jabez, came from Cirencester in England and migrated to Australia with his family in 1857. Jabez married fellow English migrant Margaret Richardson in 1870 in Mt Kiera. Jabez was a Congregational Minister and his work moved him and his growing family about. Consequently, Arthur was born in Macleay River in 1875. The Ashmeads then relocated to the Campbelltown area, where Jabez was made Minister of Religion for the Congregational Church. Arthur had become part of the Mounted Infantry, and served during the Boer War for 15 months. Shortly after he returned, he married Susan Fowler in Victoria in 1902. Sadly, Arthur lost his father in 1911 and then Susan passed away in 1913. Arthur then relocated to Western Australia, where he got re-married to Lillian Ann Birch on the 9th of December 1913 at the Trinity Church in Perth. Arthur and Lillian settled in Subriaco at 13 Finlayson St, where he found stable employment as a civil servant. At the age of 40, Arthur enlisted in the AIF in Perth on the 3rd of July 1916. He said goodbye to his lovely wife and commenced his training. He was posted to various units, including the 43rd and 51st Battalions and a Light Horse Regiment. He was then made a Driver with the 9th Reinforcements, 10th Field Artillery Brigade in late November. Leaving for war, he departed Melbourne onboard the RMS Orontes on the 23rd of December 1916.
Arthur set down in Plymouth, England in mid February 1917. Rushed off the ship, he was marched into No. 3 Camp at Parkhouse for further instruction. He was then shipped from Southampton to the Western Front in France on the 12th of October. He left the Australian General Base Depot in Rouelles to join the 7th Field Artillery Brigade. On the 3rd of November, he was made a Gunner at his own request. After surviving a bitter winter, Arthur and his unit experienced the fierce fighting that followed the German Spring Offensive in March 1918. He was then wounded on the 25th of April when he was caught in a mustard gas attack at Villers-Bretonneux. He was writhing in agony as the gas blistered his skin, eyes and lungs. He was rushed to the 4th Casualty Clearing Station, then by Ambulance Train to the 9th General Hospital in Rouen. He was then invalided to England at the beginning of May, admitted to the 5th Southern General Hospital in Portsmouth, with severe gas poisoning. On the 14th of May, he was moved to the 3rd Auxiliary Hospital in Dartford. He was granted leave, however, the effects of the gas continued to take its toll. Taken ill, he arrived at the Bristol Red Cross Hospital with laryngitis on the 4th of June. The same day, he was taken to Chippenham for treatment for debility. As a result, he was sent back to Australia on the 6th of November for a medical discharge. He returned to his anxious wife in Western Australia. Arthur later passed away in Auburn in 1948.