Arthur Aston lived with his wife Beatrice at New Street, Stourbridge, where he had a successful butcher's business. He enlisted in the Worcesters in May 1917 and went to the 14th Battalion, the Pioneer battalion of the 63rd Division. He joined them in July and went with them in October to Flanders for the last stage of the Third Battle of Ypres. Poelcapelle had been taken on 9th October but the first attempt on the Passchendaele Ridge on 12 October did not succeed. Haig decided to bring up the 63rd Division. In the treacherous conditions of the Flanders battlefield the Pioneers' task was to keep the trenches intact, repair the duckboard routes, and allow the flow of men, stores and ammunition to reach the front line. Theirs was a near impossible task under the almost continuous shelling and bombing by German aircraft of railways and ammunition dumps in the rear. The attack of 24th October was eventually successful and the Ridge was taken. However, Private Arthur Aston was among those seriously wounded and he was taken to a Casualty Clearing Station at Poperingue. He died of wounds on the 26th October and is buried at the nearby Nine Elms British Cemetery (7 A 8 44). He was 39 years of age and is commemorated on the Stourbridge and St. Thomas's church Memorials.
Mary Stevens Park, Stourbridge, West Midlands, United Kingdom
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