Private 023141 34th Coy., Royal Army Ordnance Corps
A list amongst the records of the Ash War Memorial committee gives the address of Robert Harris's relative as Japonica Cottage, and Robert and Eliza Harris were recorded as living there in the 1918 electoral register. The Army Register of Soldiersí Effects records that Robertís wife was called Eliza.
Robert Harris was born in Tarrant Monkton near Blandford in Dorset in 1877. The censuses record that in 1891 he was a carpenterís apprentice and in 1901 he was a journeyman carpenter. In the 1911 census his home is described as Japonica Villa and he was a Coach Builder and Cycle Agent. In June 1916 he applied for absolute exemption from military service but was only given a month. He described his occupation as engineer, wheelwright, coach builder, carpenter, cycle repairer etc. In July he appealed against conscription on medical grounds, but his appeal was refused.
Robert Harris ran the Japonica Works, coach builders, on the corner now occupied by the Greyhound Close flats. He is the man with the dogs in this picture.
Air Mechanic 1st Class 8445 Royal Air Force
Albert (born 29 December 1893) and Ernest Hawes were admitted to Ash Street National School in 1906. They had previously attended No 5 Garrison School. They left school for Aldershot in 1908.
The censuses record that in 1901 Albert was living in Wimbledon with his family, and his father was ďat the frontĒ; and that in 1911 they were living at 1 Crooksbury View in Ash and his father was a baker and Army pensioner. Albert senior, a baker, had been in the Army Service Corps (6889) and had been awarded the Kingís South Africa Medal with 1901 and 1902 clasps.
Albertís service papers record that he enlisted 10 September 1915 and gave his occupation as chauffeur. He had black hair and blue eyes. He contracted septic poisoning whilst home on 28 days leave prior to demobilisation, and died in the Cambridge Military Hospital in Aldershot.
A form completed for the Ash War Memorial committee tells us that both he and his brother Ernest had been on active service for three years with the RAF.
Reverend Lacey officiated at the funeral. The Aldershot News 5 December reported that the many floral tributes included one from No 21 Ward Cambridge Hospital, and listed the chief mourners.
Albertís parents Albert and Mary Hawes still lived at 1 Crooksbury View, Ash Street, after the War.
In this photograph Albert is standing outside Harrisís coachbuilders works by the Hawes and Horne barrow from the bakery in Ash Street.