The Commonwealth War Graves Commission was established in 1917 and is charged with the care and commemoration of those Commonwealth Armed Forces who died during the two World Wars. There are war graves at over 12,000 locations in the UK alone.
The PCC of Holy Trinity church has been approached by the CWGC for permission to erect a sign near the entrance to the churchyard to show that we have a War Grave in the churchyard. Their signs are installed, paid for and maintained by the Commission on a permanent basis.
The Diocese has granted the necessary Faculty and the PCC has agreed to display a sign fixed below the church noticeboard to show that we have a War Grave.
The grave belongs to Jasper Johnson and the inscription is as follows:
27263 Private J. Johnson M.M.
2nd Battalion Hampshire Regiment.
Died 1st August 1918 Age 21
Jasper, known locally as Jeff. lived at Woodlands View Farm at the top of John Bank Lane in Ashford in the Water. He helped his father on the farm but also worked for Walter Tinsley of the Rookery, who was the Master of the High Peak Harriers and Hunt.
Jasper joined the South Staffordshire Regiment but was transferred to the 2nd Battalion of the Hampshire Regiment. He was injured at the Battle of La Creche where he won the Military Medal for gallantry. His injuries to his back, knee and lung were severe and he was brought back to hospital in Newcastle where he died on 1st August 1918.
His body was brought home by train to Hassop station and then transported to his home in Ashford.
His funeral was on 5th August in Holy Trinity church with Revd. H. E. Sherlock officiating. His body was brought to the church on a gun carriage which was pulled by volunteers. Three volleys were fired over his grave and the 'Last Post' was sounded.
May He Rest in Peace.
If you wish to visit the grave, it is marked by a standard CWGC stone to the west of the path, just north of the church tower. A poppy wreath has been placed on the grave.
There are two other private memorials, one near the vestry door in the churchyard and the other in the top cemetery above the Hall Orchard field.