An Old Coathamian – Not Forgotten


No. 1139291 Warrant Officer (Navigator/Wireless Operator),
Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve;
No. 140 Squadron, Royal Air Force.

Died 19 March 1945, aged 21 years.

Buried in Brussels Town Cemetery, Brussels-Evere, Belgium,
Grave X. 20. 17.

No. 140 Squadron was a photo-reconnaissance squadron. It had moved to Belgium from England in September 1944 to be closer to its operating areas. Its aircraft by then were de Havilland Mosquitoes. The circumstances of the young Warrant Officer Ashton’s death are at present unknown.

Brussels Town Cemetery contains 587 British and Commonwealth war graves of the Second World War.

Arnold Ashton was the son of John and Ruth Ashton of 93, Westfield Way, Dormanstown, Redcar. He won a North Riding County Council Scholarship to attend Coatham School as a day boy in September 1935. He was then aged eleven and joined Cochrane’s House, in Form IIA, the same form initially as Ackcral, Eaton and Savage (q.v.). The school magazine of July 1939 noted his participation in the school pantomime of earlier that year. He remained in school until at least April 1940, by then in Form VB, and he may well have had a younger brother in the school. In December 1943 he was “on operations” as an RAF Sergeant. He was first listed on the School’s Roll of Honour in June 1945.