News story: Final plea to find Yorkshire family of World War 2 hero

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  1. Sergeant (Sgt) David Allan Ashton was just 18 years old when his RAF Bristol Blenheim aircraft went missing over France in May 1940. Today, the MOD’s Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre (JCCC), part of Defence Business Services, launches a final appeal to trace Sgt Ashton’s family after his grave site was identified 70 years after he was killed in action.

    Royal Air Force (RAF) member Sgt Ashton was born in York, as were his parents David and Isobel Ashton. He was on board Bristol Blenheim N6210, part of 110 Squadron Royal Air Force, when it was lost while on a sortie over the Sedan area of France on 14 May 1940. The crew were later buried in Choloy War Cemetery, France as “unknown” British airmen.

    More recently the records have been re-examined and have revealed that one of the crew buried in Choloy held the rank of Pilot Officer whilst another had a cigarette lighter with the initials “D.A” engraved on it. The only aircraft missing during May 1940 whose crew included a Pilot Officer and someone with the initials “D.A” was Blenheim N6210, meaning these graves in Choloy must belong to this crew.

    The Ministry of Defence (MOD) is now trying to track down any of David’s surviving relatives so that they can be invited to attend a service of rededication of his grave in Choloy War Cemetery on 25 October.

    Louise Dorr, from the JCCC said:


    David’s records don’t give us a great deal of information about him. From what we can make out, he seems to have had 2 older sisters (Evelyn and Hilda) and an older brother (Albert), plus a younger brother and sister (John and Iris). We believe that out of his siblings, John married and had children and we hope that some of his children and grandchildren may still be living in the Yorkshire area.

    If you can help with tracing David’s family, please call Louise on 01452 712612 extension 5465 or email her at: [email protected].

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