Harry Ashdown, died 12th June 1918, aged 22.
Able Seaman J/14946, HMS Lord Nelson, Royal Navy.
Harry Ashdown, one of seven children, was born 13th September 1895 at Share Farm, off the Goudhurst to Horsmonden road. He was eight when his father died and, after schooling in Goudhurst, he was placed with a charity which gave naval training and opportunities to poor children. He went on to serve on several Royal Navy ships and shore establishments, including HMS Dominion from 1912 to 1916. His training as a Petty Officer was interrupted by a posting to HMS Lord Nelson, flagship of the Eastern Mediterranean Squadron, where he was fatally wounded in an accident on board. Harry Ashdown is buried in East Mudros Military Cemetery.
Parish Magazine, St Mary’s, Goudhurst, August 1918
Last month there was a notice of the death of Harry Ashdown serving on board HMS Lord Nelson. The Chaplain has written a most kind letter with an account of the funeral which took place in Murdros. “All the honour and respect that could be shown: and both the Captain and Commander attended. The funeral procession advanced at slow-march from the landing. First of all went the firing party, then followed the Band, then the Chaplain just in front of the motor-lorry which carried the coffin, no gun-carriage was available, behind came the mourners and officers. The grave-yard is a nice spot at the foot of some hills, walled in and neatly kept. It was originally provided for Galiipoli Heroes. At the close of the service the firing party fired a salute, and the bugler sounded the last post.
The firing party had been abolished at the station, but it was revived at the funeral with others signs of honour for your son.”
Kent & Sussex Courier 12th July 1918
Roll of Honour – We have to chronicle the death in his 23rd year, of Harry Ashdown, as a result of a gun accident in the Persian Gulf. He was born at Goudhurst and educated at the School. He was attending a course of gunnery in which a successful examination would have qualified him as a Petty Officer, when he received orders to proceed to the Persian Gulf. He wa an excellent son, and did much to support his widowed mother and to help his youngest brother.
Kent & Sussex Courier 9th August 1918
The Late Harry Ashdown formerly serving on board HMS Lord Nelson, was buried at Mudros with all the honour and respect that could be shown, both the Captain and the Commander attending the funeral which took place in a graveyard, walled in and neatly kept, and originally provided for Gallipoli heroes. The firing party had been abolished at the station, but it was revived for this occasion with other signs of honour for this Goudhurst young man.