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Asa Firth

Date of birth: 17.7.1895
Date of death: 10.4.1918
Area: Wrenthorpe
Regiment: Duke of Wellington’s (West Yorkshire)
Family information: Son of Noah and Selena Firth of Wrenthorpe
Rank: Private
Service number: 202785

War Service

Asa enlisted in Wakefield in the 1st/4th Battalion of the Duke of Wellington’s (West Yorkshire Regiment) as Private 202785. The 1st/4th was a territorial force who arrived in France in April 1915 and saw action on the Western Front as part of the 49th Division. In April 1918 they took part in the Battles of Estaires and Messines and I believe it was in this action he lost his life.
According to the war diary on the 10th April the battalion arrived in Nieppe and two companies were sent out to clear the farms about Le Veau which had been occupied by the enemy. The enemy was driven back and “a considerable number of the enemy were killed and 2 M.G.s (machine guns) captured”. However it goes on to say that “A Coy suffered heavy casualties”.
Asa was killed on 10th April 1918 and is remembered on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium. He was awarded the Victory and British War Medals and his effects were to be granted to his aunt Rhoda Lunn. His aunt was also granted probate on 31st July 1918 with his effects totalling £63 5s 8d.
His death was reported in the Wakefield Express at the end of April stating that he resided with his Grandmother and previous to enlistment worked at Wrenthorpe Colliery. On May 4th it was again reported in the paper
“PRIVATE ASA FIRTH (22), Duke of Wellington’s Regiment whose death in action was reported in our last issue, lived with Mr and Mrs T H Lunn Jerry Clay Lane Wrenthorpe. Prior to enlisting he was employed as a wagon lowerer at Lofthouse Colliery. He was the secretary of the UMC Sunday School and assistant secretary to the PSA.”
Also printed in the paper were several memorials to Asa from his parents, sisters and brothers, aunts, uncles, friends and his sweetheart Harriet.
Asa is also remembered on the Kirkhamgate Memorial.

Family Life

Asa was born on 17th July 1895 and was baptised in the Free Methodist Chapel in Wrenthorpe on 10th September 1895. His parents were recorded as Noah and Selena Firth of Wrenthorpe.
In 1901 he was staying with his Grandparents Henry and Sarah at Towlerton Lane, Wrenthorpe while his parents, together with his 2-year-old sister Laura and 10-month-old brother Arthur, were living in Fawcett Row, Wakefield. In 1911 he was still living with his 73-year-old widowed Grandmother in Marshland Buildings in Wrenthorpe. At 15 years of age he was working in the rope and twine works. His parents were living in Eastmoor and had 3 more children – Albert (b1905), Annie (b1906) and Florence (b1909).

Photo of Tyne Cot memorial. A wall of columns surrounding rows of headstones. Tyne Cot memorial

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