Pte Crowder Robert Ashley

  • Date of birth: 24/04/1896
  • Place of birth: Thimbleby, Horncastle, England, United Kingdom
  • Date of death: 30/10/1917
  • Place of death: Varlet Farm - Source Trench, Belgium
  • Cause of death: Killed in action (K.I.A.)
  • Age: 21
  • Profession: seedsman
  • Religion: Unknown
  • Country: England, United Kingdom
  • Rank: Private
  • Service number: 764756
  • Enlistment date: 21/01/1917
  • Enlistment place: Duke's Road, Camden, County of London, England, United Kingdom
  • Last known unit: London Regiment, 1/28th Bn. (Artists' Rifles)
  • Force: British Expeditionary Force

Memorial

Distinctions and medals 2

British War Medal 02/06/1922 Medal
Victory Medal Medal

Additional information

Robert Ashley Crowder was a 21 year old seedsman from Horncastle, Lincolnshire. Private Crowder was part of C Coy. of the 1/28th Battalion London Regiment (Artists Rifles), 190th Brigade, 63rd Division. In October 1917 his battalion took part in the Second Battle of Passchendaele. On the 28th of October, his battalion went into the line at Albatross Farm (28.D.2.d.), where they relieved the Nelson Battalion. On October the 30th at 5.50 a.m., the 190th Brigade attacked with the Artists Rifles, the 4th Bedfordshires and the 7th Royal Fusiliers on Passchendaele Ridge. Immediately, the Artists Rifles came under heavy machine-gun fire and, while they were struggling in the mud, they were subjected to German counter-barrage. The Artists Rifles suffered severe casualties. They holed up near Source Trench and managed to hold this position. The line held by the division was Source Trench-Varlet Farm-Bray Farm-Berks Houses. On the evening of the 31st, the Artists Rifles were relieved by the Nelson Battalion. Private Crowder was killed in action during the attack on October the 30th. His body was never retrieved. In a letter from Frank Beddow to his mother, describes how Robert was still advancing and had neared his platoon objective but was being subjected to machine gun fire from a nearby pill-box. According to officer Beddow it was highly possible that a machine gun bullet killed Robert. A few nights afterwards the Nelson Battalion furnished a burying party. Beddow has no doubt that Robert’s body was amongst the number of men they buried and according to him his grave would be (V.28.c.1) about three hundred yards in front of Varlet Farm.
Today, he is remembered on the Tyne Cot Memorial, panel 153A.

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