15179 11th East Lancashire Regiment
Killed in Action 1st July 1916,
Somme France, aged 21
Lived on Albert Terrace
Buried at Queens
Cemetery Puisieux France
Burnley Express 7/7/1917
was employed at Ashworth Brothers, Cotton Manufacturers of Hapton and
was the son of
Mr. Richard Ashworth who was well known in the town for the position he
held at Peel Mill. He
enlisted in 1914 and spent his 21st birthday in Egypt, he had a brother
who served in the Navy
during the war
11th Battalion East Lancashire Regiment were one of the famous "Pals"
battalions and are universally referred to as the Accrington Pals. During
the first month of the war it was suggested that men may be more willing
to enlist if they could be certain of remaining in the same units as their
workmates and friends. In response to this the mayor of Accrington offered
to raise a "Pals" battalion and within two weeks over a thousand
officers and men had been recruited from an area encompassing Accrington,
Blackburn, Burnley, Chorley and several other outlying districts.
Fred enlisted in September 1914, which makes him an original Accrington
Pal (as distinct from men who joined the battalion later in the war).
Original pals have (with a few exceptions ) a regimental number falling
between 15000 and 15999. After initial training, he was posted to Egypt,
arriving on New Years day 1916. In March of the same year he arrived in
France where he was to take part in the battle of the Somme which commenced
at 7.30am on the 1st of July, when 100,000 British troops left their trenches
and advanced across no mans land in an attempt to capture the German lines
facing them. By 12 am the British Army had incurred casualties of over
57,000 men, of whom over 19,000 were killed or subsequently died of wounds,
and the attack had failed. The Accrington Pals had 235 officers and men
killed, (of whom 135 have no known grave), with hundreds more wounded.
MANUFACTURER WOUNDED (Burnley Express 19th July 1916)
has been received that Pte. Fred Ashworth, son of Mr. Richard Ashworth
of Albert-terrace Manchester-road and of the firm of Ashworth Bros. Ltd.
Cotton manufacturers, Hapton, has been wounded.
Pte. Ashworth was in the machine gun section of the Burnley ‘Pals’
which battalion he joined on its formation. He was then only 19 and became
of age while with the battalion in Egypt. Intimation has been received
that he was wounded at the outset of the British offensive in France on
July 1st and he is also said to be missing. Pte. Ashworth has another
brother in the Navy. Every sympathy will be felt with Mr. Richard Ashworth
in his anxiety. Mr. Ashworth senior, is well known in cotton circles for
the responsible position he holds at Peel Mill (Mr. George Walmsley)
YOUNG BURNLEY SOLDIERS FATE (Burnley News 28th April 1917)
Mr. R. Ashworth, Albert-terrace,
Manchester-road, Burnley, has received official intimation of the presumed
death of his son, Private Fred Ashworth, in France, on the 1st July last,
on which date Private Ashworth was posted as missing.
He was in the machine gun section of the Burnley “Pals” which
battalion he joined on its formation. He was the only 19, and became of
age while with the battalion in Egypt. Intimation was received that he
was wounded and missing at the outset of the British offensive in France
on July 1st last year. Pte. Ashworth was a member of the firm of Ashworth
Bros. Ltd., cotton manufacturers. Hapton. His brother, Harold Ashworth,
is in the Navy.