Express & Star, football, France, Midland Counties Express, Penn Road, South Staffordshire Regiment, St John's in the Square, St John's School, Walsall Street Council School, William Astle, Wolverhampton Chronicle, Wolverhampton Education Committee, Worcester Place
St John’s in the Square includes the following memorial inscription inside the church:
To the glory of God and in loving memory of WILLIAM LESLIE ASTLE. Lance Sergeant 6th South Staffs Regiment, who was killed in action in France. October 15th 1915. Aged 25 Years. Rest in Peace
William Astle was born in 1890, the son of William Charles and Louisa Astle (nee Tonks). By the time of his death, the family were living at 9, Worcester Place, Penn Road, Wolverhampton. According to a small item in the Express & Star on 15 September 1916, Astle had in fact worked for the newspaper concerned prior to the outbreak of war. He was later employed as a manual instructor under the Wolverhampton Education Committee. A report also appeared in the Midland Counties Express on 6 January 1917. This has the additional information that he attended St John’s School for eight years without a single late or absent mark recorded against him. He had worked for the Midland Counties Express as well as for the Express & Star for two years. He then decided to become a teacher and was articled to the Wolverhampton Education Committee, getting a job as assistant master at Walsall Street Council School. A well-known footballer, he was at one time captain of the Old Church Club in Wolverhampton.
He enlisted with the 1st/6th Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment, and became a Lance Sergeant (number 2824). A report in the Wolverhampton Chronicle dated 20 October 1915 listed him as one of the local men reported as wounded. However, it was later confirmed that he was killed in the attack on the Hohenzollern Redoubt on 13 October 1915. He is commemorated on the Loos Memorial in France.