Dedicated to the memory of all the men and women of the South Staffordshire area who died during the two World Wars.
Bernard Noel Asprey was born in Bilston on Christmas Day, 1888. He was the son of Albert Asprey, a photographer, and his wife Annie. Albert and Annie had been married at Wolverhampton Catholic Church on 9th August, 1888.
By 1891 Albert had a photographic studio at 55 Wellington Street, Bilston. Possibly this was not sufficiently profitable to maintain his growing family as by 1901 the had moved to the Brewood area as landlord of the Bell Inn at Stretton. By 1911 Albert was landlord of the Admiral Rodney in Brewood. At the time of his death in 1935 Albert was living at Belle Vue, Orams Lane, Brewood. Albert appears to have taken an active part in local affairs: newspaper reports suggest that he served on the Brewood Parish Council and that he represented the village on the Cannock Board of Guardians (the Workhouse) and the Cannock Rural District Council.
Bernard was educated at Brewood Grammar School. In 1909 he enlisted in the Coldstream Guards, rising through the ranks so that by 1912 he was Acting Schoolmaster-Sergeant. Later that year he transferred to the Royal Flying Corps.
At the outbreak of war, as a Corporal in the RFC, Bernard went to the front with the Expeditionary Force and was placed in charge of two aeroplanes. On 16th September 1914 he was given a commission in the West Yorkshire Regiment for service in the Field. He was killed instantaneously, in charge of the machine-gun section, at ten o'clock on the morning of the 24 Feb. 1915, being shot through the head while endeavouring to locate the position of a German machine-gun. He was 26 years old.
Second Lieutenant Bernard Noel Asprey is buried in Houplines Communal Cemetery Extension. He was awarded the 1914 Star with clasp and the Victory and British War Medals. He is also commemorated on the War Memorial in St Mary's Catholic Church, Brewood.
Second-Lieut. B. N. Asprey, of the West Yorkshire Regiment, eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Asprey of the Admiral Rodney Hotel, Brewood, has been killed in action. Lieut. Asprey served seven years in the Coldstream Guards, in which he attained the rank of Sergeant. He afterwards joined the Royal Flying Corps at the front, and was subsequently promoted to a Second-Lieutenancy in the West Yorkshire Regiment. Much sympathy is expressed with Mr. and Mrs. Asprey on the loss of such a promising son. [Staffordshire Advertiser 13 March 1915]
This memorial has mostly been compiled from official sources. It would be good to be able to expand it with more personal material - memories, stories, photos, etc. If you have any suitable material or any corrections please contact Greg.