James Alfred ASHLEY

ASHLEY, James Alfred

Service Number: 586
Enlisted: 24 August 1914, Enlisted at Sydney, NSW
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 2nd Infantry Battalion
Born: Hay, New South Wales, Australia, 1890
Home Town: Hay, New South Wales
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Labourer
Died: Killed in Action, Gallipoli, Gallipoli, Dardanelles, Turkey, 6 August 1915
Cemetery: Lone Pine Cemetery, ANZAC
Special Memorial, Row C, Grave 4 Headstone inscription reads: Their glory shall not be blotted out, Lone Pine Cemetery, Gallipoli Peninsula, Canakkale Province, Turkey
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour
Show Relationships

World War 1 Service

24 Aug 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, 586, 2nd Infantry Battalion, Enlisted at Sydney, NSW
18 Oct 1914: Involvement Private, 586, 2nd Infantry Battalion, ANZAC / Gallipoli
18 Oct 1914: Embarked Private, 586, 2nd Infantry Battalion, HMAT Suffolk, Sydney

Help us honour James Alfred Ashley's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.

Biography contributed by Carol Foster

Son of John and Kathleen Jane Ashely of Macauley Street, Hay, NSW. Brother of William Ashley, Edward I. Ashley. Annie Ashley and Colin Joseph Ashley who was killed in action on 1 October 1917 while serving with the 14th Field Artillery Brigade and has no known grave. Name appears on Menin Gate, Ypres, Panel 7

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal

Biography contributed by Stephen Brooks

James enlisted during August 1914, age 24, and served at the Landing on Gallipoli. He was evacuated to Egypt with a bomb wound to his left thigh 9 May 1915. Upon recovery he was returned to Anzac in the middle of June 1915 but was reported missing during the Battle of Lone Pine. He was later confirmed as killed in action 6-9 August 1915, and has a Special Memorial (believed to be buried in) Lone Pine Cemetery, Turkey.

He wrote the following letter home from Heliopolis hospital after being wounded at Gallipoli. It was published in the Riverine Grazier (Hay, NSW) 6 July 1915.

‘I am sorry to say I was unlucky enough to run into one of the Turks' bullets. I got hit in the hip and had to be operated on to get the bullet taken out, after coming 600 miles by boat and train. But I was very lucky, as I got ten days' firing at the Turks before I was hit, and I can safely say I can account for a few of them. And I hope to bag a few more when I get back to the firing line again. The Turks did not like our bayonet charges at all, and a fellow had to be a Postle to get near them when we showed our bayonets. But they got a bit of their own back with their shell fire. They cut us up terribly; in fact, I think a fellow is lucky to be alive at all, considering the amount of shrapnel they poured at us. But no doubt the Australians made a name for themselves the day they landed at the Dardanelles, which will never be forgotten. I saw Johnny McKinney the day I came out of the trenches, and he said, 'Tom and all the Hay boys in the A.S.C. are well; they are still on the boats with the horses.' A lot of our men had very stiff luck; they were cut down without having the satisfaction of getting a single shot. There is one thing about the Turks we have found out — that they are good shots There is a fine medical staff here, and a lot of Australian nurses, and we are very well- treated. I got pretty deaf while I was in the trenches; in fact, I think we all did. That must have been how I stopped the bullet, as 1 did not hear it coming, until I felt it. It is funny here in hospital at times. There are a lot of wounded, and some of them walking about; and at the least noise one will duck his head. A fellow's nerves seem to get strained for want of sleep. We were five nights without any, and one cannot sleep much when he is out of the trenches for the firing of the big guns at night, and the rifles by day. Remember me to all the boys. I hope to be out of this in a few days; I am getting on splendid now.’