William Steven Seymour Ashley

Thank you to Bruce Kettles for providing the service file


Aug 9, 1895

Born at Madoc Junction Ontario to Hiram Seymour and Mary Elizabeth (nee Tufts) Ashley 

He attested below with the name William Steven Seymour Ashley, however his birth was registered as Stephen Seymour Ashley


Dec 2, 1916

Attested into the 254th Battalion at Stirling Ontario 

Ø      Number 1093077

Ø      Next of kin given as Hiram Seymour Ashley, father, of Holloway Ontario

Ø      Previous occupation given as Farmer

Ø      No previous military experience given

Ø      Religion given as Methodist


Apr 1, 1917

The April pay list for the Battalion shows him with the rank of Sergeant, with no specified date for the promotion.  The Embarkation Roll shows him with the rank of Private, and there is no date in the file for that change either


Jun 2, 1917

Embarked the SS Olympic at Halifax Nova Scotia


Jun 9, 1917

Disembarked at Liverpool England and proceeded to Seaford


Jun 10, 1917

On arrival at Seaford, the Battalion was absorbed into the 6th Reserve Battalion


Sep 2, 1917

Transferred to the 21st Battalion and arrived at the 2nd CIBD (Canadian Infantry Base Depot) at Etaples France as part of a draft of 83 Other Ranks from England 

TOS (Taken On Strength) the 21st Battalion


Sep 14, 1917

Left the 2nd CIBD to join the 2nd Entrenching Battalion


Sep 16, 1917

Joined the 2nd Entrenching Battalion at Hersin as part of a group of 199 reinforcements destined for the front lines


Oct 1, 1917

Left the 2nd Entrenching Battalion to join the Battalion


Oct 2. 1917

Joined the 21st Battalion who had just moved into Divisional Reserve, east of Vimy Ridge


Nov 3, 1917

Early on the morning of the 3rd the Battalion moved into the Passchendaele front and that night and early on the morning of the 4th, they came under attack from the enemy north east of Crest Farm.  Pte Ashley received shrapnel wounds to his right leg during this attack and was moved first to a Field Ambulance for first aid and then moved to the No 17 CCS (Casualty Clearing Station) for surgery


Nov 4, 1917

Reported by the Officer Commanding No 17 CCS that Pte Ashley was dangerously ill


Nov 7, 1917

Pte Ashley died of his wounds at the No 17 CCS


Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery
Poperinghe, Belgium

Following the war the British War Medal, Victory Medal, and Memorial Cross were sent to his mother, Mrs ME Ashley, at RR #2 Halloway Ontario

he Plaque (Dead Man’s Penny) and Scroll were sent to his father, Hiram Ashley, at the same address


During the Remembrance Day ceremonies in 2008, Veteran's Affairs Canada conducted a vigil each night for the week leading up to November 11.  This vigil consisted of projecting the names of every Canadian soldier who is listed with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission on various buildings and monuments across Canada, and in London England.  The photo below shows Pte William Ashley's name being projected on the outside wall of Canada House in London England.

Return to Tribute list