HERBERT WILLIAM ASTILL
Herbert was born in Hillmorton, Rugby in 1894. He was the son of Richard Astill (born 1842, Wolvey, Warwickshire) and Jane Benn (born 1852 Higham on the Hill, Leicestershire) Richard and Jane were married 27th Sept 1870 at St Peters Church, Higham on the Hill, Leicestershire.
In the 1911 census Herbert lived with his parents in School Street, Hillmorton, Rugby and worked locally as a general labourer.
Herbert enlisted in Rugby in 1915 into the 5th Battalion Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry. Herbert was a private and his number was 10744.
He died of wounds on 29th June 1915 (not 23rd as listed by the CWGC) and was buried in Bailleul Communal Cemetery Extension, Nord, France. Grave I.D. 63
Herbert was awarded the Victory Medal L/106B
An officer of the regiment sent a letter to Herbert’s parents which was published in the Rugby Advertiser on 17th July 1915:
“As a stretcher-bearer he was excelled by no one in the regiment, and he earned high praise from his senior officers, for in the action of the 22nd of June he went out under heavy rifle fire over a barricade before the German lines, not once, but many times, and brought in wounded men on his shoulders. It was two days after this, on June 24th, that he was hit in several places by a high explosive shell, which burst near him as he was running out to search for wounded men who had been hit by another shell that fell just before. He had a wound in the stomach, which finally proved fatal after eight days in the hospital. We were all very sorry to lose this brave lad, who had distinguished himself by his very plucky work under fire, and who, I believe, is to be recommended for the D.C.M. His name was sent in to headquarters for gallantry in action.”
Lines inscribed on his gravestone by his family read: NOT LOST, BUT GONE BEFORE
He is also remembered on the Hillmorton War Memorial.
RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM