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George Wilson Ashdown

Servicenumber : 5883315
Rank : Warrant Officer Class II (C.S.M.)
Regiment : The Parachute Regiment
Unit : 11th Battalion
Date of Death : 20-09-1944
Age : 30
Grave : Plot 19. Row C. Grave 15.
George Wilson Ashdown was born in London in 1914. He was a son of George John and Lily Wilson Ashdown of Chiswick, Middlesex.
Ashdown enlisted into the Northamptonshire Regiment, where he served with the 2nd Battalion. In 1940, while in France, he was recommended for a Military Medal. The award was being confirmed on 27 august 1940. After the was evacuated back to the UK Ashdown joined the 11th Battalion.
Ashdown was a member of A company when the battalion jumped on the Ginkel Heath at 18 september 1944. According to the Roll of Honour published by the Society of Friends of the Airborne Museum (Jan Hey 1999 and 2011) Ashdown was killed by a 88mm shell from across the Rhine. This happened when he and his company were preparing to attack from a position east of the St. Elisabeth Hospital at Arnhem. According to the authors of the book 'Arnhem, their final battle' (Gerrit Pijpers and David Truesdale 2012) Ashdown was killed on 19 september (confirmed by multiple sources). In this book Major Gilchrist of the 11th Battalion is quoted on page 84: "I had attended one of the many 'O' Group meetings and went back to my company position. I walked round giving the platoon commanders their information. A German 88mm gun was firing on our positions and scored a direct hit on my company headquarters. My Company Sergeant Major (George Ashdown) and signaller were killed instantly and my second-in-command (Captain Peter Perse) got wounded. There was also increased mortaring".  
Members of the Dutch Red Cross gave him a field burial beside Onderlangs, opposite the St. Elisabeth Hospital. He was later reburied at the Airborne Cemetery in Oosterbeek.
Picture: 23-09-2012
 
Ashdown his parents and brother at his grave in 1946.
 
Sources: Website CWGC, 'Arnhem Their Final Battle and Roll of Honour. Gerrit Pijpers, thank you for the pictures of Ashdown. The one with his Military Medal (on top of this page) and the one of his family at his grave. 

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