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Private Warren Addison Ash



Date of birth: 1885-02-08
Place of birth: Stockport Manchester England
Next of kin: Son of Addison (died 1897) and Annie Elizabeth Ash. 1546 Yew St., Kits.Vancouver. B.C.
Marital status: single
Occupation (attested): Electrician
Occupation (normalized): Electrician, General
Date of death: 1914-11-21
Cause of death: Died of illness


Regimental number: 17094
Highest Rank: Private (7th Battalion)
Rank detail

Private, 7th Battalion, Infantry (Army).

Survived war: no
Commemoration location: Denstone College / Ellesmere College / Cae Glas Park Memorial Gates, Oswestry


CVWM ID: No CVWM ID in our database, but try this.
CWGC ID: 393619
LAC ID: 14839
Attestation record(s): image 1, image 2
Service file: B0260-S049
Uploader's Notes:

previous service-6th Regiment

Warren Addison Ash, the eldest of three sons of Addison, a commission agent, and his wife, Annie, was born on 8th February 1885 in Stockport. The brothers had an elder sister, Gladys Maud, who was born in 1883. Misfortune struck the family in 1897 when their father died and again in 1900 when their brother Lionel died aged fourteen.

Warren was one of twenty-seven new boys admitted to Ellesmere College on 24th September 1897, having spent the previous two terms as a student at Stockport Grammar School. He was allocated to the ‘Edward’ dormitory and took up his place in Form Lower I under the instruction of Mr. F. W. Evans. He only remained at the college for two terms and so it is not surprising that there is hardly a mention of him in the records of the time. However, he must have been an intelligent young man as in May 1898 he moved onto Denstone College as a Humphries Scholar.

Rugby was the main sport in the winter term and, even at the young age of twelve and a half years, Warren found himself playing ‘forward’ for his dormitory in the 1897 inter-dormitory competition. He only participated in the one, first round game against the ‘Heywood’ dormitory on 29th November. Whilst the match report in The Ellesmerian does not mention his performance during the match, the game was held on “a beautifully fine day with a strong wind blowing”.

After two terms at Ellesmere, Warren transferred to Denstone College, Uttoxeter where he remained until the end of the Easter term 1903. Here he was appointed Prefect in 1902 and he also played in the 1st XV Rugby team that season. From there he returned to North Shropshire to commence an apprenticeship at the Cambrian Railway Works, Oswestry*. Home was with his mother at 1, Edward Street, Oswestry. In 1908, having become a qualified electrician, he obtained a position with the British Columbia Engineering Company in Vancouver and sailed for a new life in Canada.

He lived in Chilliwack, some fifty miles west of Vancouver city and became fully immersed in the local community. He was very active in St. Thomas Anglican Church, played football and was also Secretary of Chilliwack Tennis Club. His mother followed his lead, moved to Canada and lived in Yew Street, Kitsilano, Vancouver alongside the Prince of Wales Park.

Despite being the other side of the world, Warren was able to maintain some ‘Ellesmere’ contacts. Many Ellesmerians decided to make a new life for themselves the other side of the Atlantic. In The Ellesmerian (December 1913) there is a lengthy letter from Vancouver, sent by Alexander Hume-Smith, an Old Ellesmerian who arrived at Ellesmere in 1896. He mentions that Warren was in Chilliwack “the centre of a farming and chicken raising district”. Vancouver was, at that time, in the infancy of its development and despite the simplicity of communications at that time he managed to make contact with A.L.E. Meredith, Jack Meredith, Harry Davis and Warren.

Following the outbreak of war, Warren was quick to enlist. He signed his Attestation Papers on 23rd September 1914 and became Private Ash, Service No: 17094 in ‘H’ Company, the 7th Canadian Infantry, the British Columbia Regiment. His previous military experience with the British Army Territorials (he served for two years) stood him in good stead and he would have avoided any extensive basic training.

Exactly when he embarked for the voyage to England is not known but his service records show that he was admitted to Salisbury Military Hospital on 1st November. He was described as being ‘dangerously ill’ on 15th and died of spinal meningitis on 21st. He was the first Chilliwack casualty of the war and the first Old Ellesmerian to die during the conflict.

Warren was not the only young man from Chilliwack on that voyage to England. A fellow resident, Malcolm MacLeod, who would die on active service in April 1915, wrote to The Chilliwack Progress:

“That young fellow Ash, I was telling you about being sick, from our company, is not expected to live now. He has spinal meningitis. I feel it pretty hard as I liked him fine. He joined at Chilliwack and slept beside me in camp here until he took sick. I met his mother in Vancouver before we left. He is in a hospital fourteen miles away”.

Warren was buried with full military honours in Oswestry General Cemetery. His sacrifice is commemorated on the memorial gates at the entrance to Cae Glas Park, Oswestry and on memorials at both Denstone College and Ellesmere College.

Uploader's Research notes:

Father Addison (1846 – 1897) Commission Agent

Mother Annie Elizabeth (1859 – 1921) nee Saunders

Siblings Gladys Maud (1883 - )

Lionel Ward (1886 – 1900)

Frederick Gordon (1891 – 1979)

Wife Did not marry


Headstone Courtesy of Paul Russell


Ellesmere College Headmaster’s Register

Ellesmerian Magazine:

Nov 1897, p. 75 Dec 1897, p. 88 Mar 1898, p.10

Dec 1913, p. 214 1901 Census

BMD Index 1837 – 1915

Death Index 1837 – 1915 Ref: 59983632 Oswestry General Cemetery, Plot ECE 366

Canadian Archives RG 150, Accession 1992-93/166, Box 260-49

Denstonian Magazine December 1914, No. 231, p. 96

March 1915, p. 11

The Denstone Register p. 136


*Denstone Register 1873-1930 p. 136 states apprenticeship at Stoke on Trentominal Roll

[Private Army Canadian Infantry 7th Battalion ]


Date added: 2004-09-04
Last modified: 2018-12-29