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Sidney Asher

Born:
1897
Died:
3 Heshvan 5677 (30 October 1916)

Basic Information

Unique reference:
ASH0128
Gender:
Male

Birth

Date of birth:
1897
Place of birth:
Sunderland

Death

Date of death:
3 Heshvan 5677 (30 October 1916)
Died in combat?:
Yes
Place of death:
Étaples
Cause of death:
Died of Wounds
Burial place:
Étaples Military Cemetery

Places

Addresses

Family Home:
8 Cuba Street, Sunderland

Synagogues

Name:
Moore Street Synagogue, Sunderland
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Sidney Asher
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The Fallen

The news that Corpl. Sidney Asher, only son of Mr and Mrs H Asher, died of wounds in France on October 30th, has caused widespread regret in the Jewish Community of Sunderland. Although only nineteen years of age when he died, Sidney Asher had attained great popularity among all who knew him before he volunteered for King and Country. Since joining the Army he had distinguished himself in several directions and brought honour to his Regiment, the Durhams (from which he was subsequently transferred to the Yorks and Lancs). It is only a few weeks since we bade him farewell and his smiling face betrayed his cheerfulness and his confidence in himself, as well as in the cause for which he was ready to offer his life.
Loyal to Judaism and devoted to his parents, he was expected to do honour to both but, alas, he was only able to do it by his death instead of achieving it, as we had hoped by a useful and active life. While lying mortally wounded in hospital, he dictated a letter to his parents which throws a splendid light on the lads' character and reveals the intense Jewishness of his mind and heart.
"Do not fret," he says to his parents, "my eyes have been opened by my experiences and with all my heart and mind, I promise, dear parents, to be a better Jew in the future. Now I know what the life of a good Jew means. When God helps me round I shall start afresh, and in every way prove a better son to the parents whom I love. Bear up all of you"
It must have done the heart of the Jewish Chaplain, the Rev L Morris (who wrote these words from the dying soldier's lips) good to convey such a message from a brave Jewish boy who feels that "his eyes have been opened" before they finally closed and whom the perils of war have taught more effectively than anything else "to know what the life of a good Jew means!"
I know that this lofty message has afforded the stricken parents great comfort and consolation, "but this makes us, who have helped to death this splendid boy the meaning of Judaism all the more sad" and the sense of bereavement and loss becomes all the more vivid and aching. May the Great Comforter speedily heal the wounds of the mourners.

Family

Siblings

Alberta Asher (female)

Parents

Father: Henry Asher (male)
Mother: Miriam Asher (female)

Homefront

Military Record

Military service:
Army
Military record no.:
20/676
Date discharged/death:
20 October 1916
Rank at discharge/death:
Lance Corporal
Assignments
Regiment:
Yorks and Lancashire Regiment
Battalion/unit:
9th Battalion
Regiment:
Durham Light Infantry
Battalion/unit:
20th Battalion

Roll of Honour

S. ASHER, 03 October 1916

Commonwealth Graves Commission

Rank:
Private
Date of Death:
03/10/1916
Age:
19
Regiment / service:
20th Bn., Durham Light Infantry
Cemetery:
Etaples Military Cemetery
Grave reference:
II. A. 42.
Additional information:

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London Jews in the First World War - We Were There Too

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