Cyril Garfield John ASHMEAD MC

ASHMEAD, Cyril Garfield John

Service Number: 1789
Enlisted: 27 March 1916, Wangaratta, Victoria
Last Rank: Lieutenant
Last Unit: 37th Infantry Battalion
Born: Winton, Victoria, Australia , November 1892
Home Town: Gundowring, Alpine, Victoria
Schooling: State School Winton North & Wangaratta High School, Victoria, Australia
Occupation: State School Teacher/Headmaster
Died: Killed In Action, France, 30 August 1918
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Gundowring State School 1159 Roll of Honor, Villers-Bretonneux Memorial (Australian National Memorial - France), Wangaratta High School Roll of Honor, Wangaratta High School War Memorial Gates, Yackandandah Memorial Gates
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World War 1 Service

27 Mar 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Wangaratta, Victoria
16 Aug 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 1789, 37th Infantry Battalion, --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '17' embarkation_place: Melbourne embarkation_ship: RMS Orontes embarkation_ship_number: '' public_note: ''
16 Aug 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, 1789, 37th Infantry Battalion, RMS Orontes, Melbourne
24 Jun 1918: Honoured Military Cross, Military Cross
30 Aug 1918: Involvement AIF WW1, Lieutenant, 37th Infantry Battalion, --- :awm_ww1_roll_of_honour_import: awm_service_number: awm_unit: 37th Australian Infantry Battalion awm_rank: Lieutenant awm_died_date: 1918-08-30

Information about his Military Cross

In the London Gazette of 7 November 1918, Lt Ashmead was awarded the Military Cross. On two previous occasions, he had been recommended for this award due to his outstanding bravery during actions on 21/22 June 1918 at Villers-Bretonneux, France and on 10/11 August 1918 near Proyart, France.
(Australian War memorial)
Military Cross

'For conspicuous gallantry during an attack. When his platoon was checked by heavy machine gun fire he went forward and personally led the ranks, encouraging them and his men to press on, and showing great coolness and power of command at a critical time. Later, he brought in three wounded officers who were lying out in front of his platoon.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 31
Date: 4 March 1919
(National Archives of Australia)
Near Proyart on night of 10th November Lieut. Ashmeads Platoon was suddenly met with a hial of machine gun fire. Recklessly exposing himself in order to maintain the advance of his Platoon he went forward and personally led the tanks encouraging both them and his men to press on. This officer showed great courage & power of command during a critical time, maintaining his position in spite of heavy casualties. When the situation quietened he personally brought in 3 wounded officers who were lying out in the front of his Platoon.
His Military cross was recommended by (Sgd) W Ramsay McNICOLL, Brigadier General commanding the 10th Australian Infantry Brigade - date of recommendation was 24th June 1918
(War File -National Archives of Australia)

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Cyril Garfield John ASHMEAD was born in 1892 in Winton, Benalla, Victoria

His parents were Joseph William ASHMEAD and Mary Jane WILLIAMS

He had obtained his Junior Cadets Training Certificate & also served in the Senior Cadets for 6 months when he enlisted on 27th March, 1916 with the Australian Army - he was with the 37th Battalion - Unit embarked from Melbourne on RMS Orontes on 16th August, 1916 

He was recommended for a Military Cross on 24th June 1918 & again on 16th August, 1918 (see attached story for details)

Cyril was Killed in Action on 30th August, 1918 in France from a shot from an enemy rifle bullet during an operation for the capture of a ridge east of Clery Sur, Somme, France - he has no known grave and is commemorated on the Australian National Memorial at Villers Bretonneux and the Australian War memorial

He was awarded the Military Cross, British War Medal and the Victory Medal 



Wangaratta Chronicle Victoria - 14th September, 1918


Lieutenant C. G. ASHMEAD.  Word reached Glenrowan on Wednesday that Lieut. Cyril Ashmead, third eldest son of Mr. & Mrs. J.W. Ashmead "Bourne Bank" North Winton had been killed in action in France whilst serving with the Australians. Lieut. Ashmead was attached to the 37th Battalion. 

General regret was expressed locally where his parents & family are well known and the parents & family have the sympathy of a large circle of friends in their bereavement.

Before enlisting, Lieut. Ashmead was employed as head teacher at Gundowring State School.  The school flag and the town flag were flown at half mast out of respect to the memory of the deceased.