ASHWELL, Sidney Herbert
(Service number 21762)

First Rank Rifleman Last Rank Sergeant


Date Unknown Place of Birth

Enlistment Information

Date Age
Address at Enlistment
Occupation Stock agent
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status
Next of Kin Mrs C. Ashwell (mother), Temuka
Religion Church of England
Medical Information

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation NZ Rifle Brigade
Unit, Squadron, or Ship 7th Reinforcements 3rd Battalion, G Company
Date 21 August 1916
Transport Mokoia
Embarked From Wellington Destination Plymouth, England
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With NZ Machine Gun Corps

Military Awards

Service Medals
Military Awards

Award Circumstances and Date

No information

Prisoner of War Information

Date of Capture
Where Captured and by Whom
Actions Prior to Capture
PoW Serial Number
PoW Camps
Days Interned
Liberation Date


Date Reason

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

Post-war Occupations


Date 2 September 1918 Age 28
Place of Death France
Cause Died of wounds
Memorial or Cemetery Begneux British Cemetery, Gezaincourt, Somme, France
Memorial Reference V F 2
New Zealand Memorials On Memorial wall, Timaru; Milford War Memorial; Temuka RSA Roll of Honour; Temuka War Memorial; Timaru Boys High School War Memorial (Library)

Biographical Notes

Sidney Ashwell was the son of Joseph and Cordelia Ashwell (nee Green) of Temuka.

Before serving in the World War One, Sidney was working as a stock agent. Leaving with the 7th Reinforcements in August 1916, he soon found himself in Sling Camp in England for more training before heading to the front. Trained to serve with the Machine Gun Battalion, Sidney headed to France in February 1917. Later that year he was promoted to Lance Corporal in October 1917, then Corporal in January 1918. Soon after, he took leave in the United Kingdom in February 1918.

While on leave in the United Kingdom it seems Sidney visited relatives still living there including his first cousin, Irene Beckett who was probably living in the area of Lewsiham in London. Her son recounts that he made a great impression Irene and she remembered him all her life even though she was only approaching seven years of age. It was only sometime later that Irene overheard a conversation between adults and learnt that he was killed later that year, only weeks before the Armistice was declared. Irene’s son also recalled that her mother wrote to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission to find out where Sidney was buried. She arranged flowers to be placed on his grave and wanted to visit his grave and pay her respects.

After his leave Sidney had returned to his unit, and to front-line service, in late February. In August Sidney was again promoted, this time to Sergeant. Unfortunately only a little after a week later Sidney was wounded in action. Evacuated to a casualty clearing station with a gunshot wound to his lower extremities, Sidney died the following day. A little over a month later the war was over.

Two of Sidney’s brothers Leslie and Roland also served in World War One.


Temuka through the years: an informal history (Temuka History Book Committee, 2009); Cenotaph Sep 2013; SCroll web submission by S Sinclair 4 January 2019

External Links

Related Documents

Researched and Written by

Carol Bell, SC branch NZSG & Timaru Herald; Tony Rippin, South Canterbury Museum

Currently Assigned to

Not assigned.

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 Logo. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License unless otherwise stated.

Tell us more

Do you have information that could be added to this story? Or related images that you are happy to share? Submit them here!

Your Details
Veteran Details
- you may attach an image or document up to 10MB