Pilot Officer Harold Withall Aston

Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, Service number 83051

Born:  November 1884
Died:  January 10th 1941

He was the second son of Alfred Withall Aston and Amy Aston and was baptised at St, Mary’s Church, Marylebone on November 10th 1884. Their address was given as 41 Bryanston Square.

His father was a member of the Stock Exchange and at the time of the 1901 census, was living at Woodcote Grove, Epsom.

According to John Toland, in his "Letter to Eudoxa," published in 1726, this mansion is the original Mount Diston, so called from Josiah Diston, an early Governer of the Bank of England, who built it in the reign of Charles II., circa 1680. Its present occupant, Mr. A.W. Aston, has much altered the house. In the hall still hangs a portrait of Charles II, by Lely,where it was placed about 1680, and there exists also in the hall the fireplace where, it is recorded, Charles II cooked food. The walls are of brick and are 5ft.6in. thick.

Harold went to Eton in September 1897, having been preceded there by his father and his own brother, Norman, two years earlier. Norman died at Eton in April 1900.

Harold matriculated in 1904 and came up to Christ Church. After Oxford he became a Lieutenant in the Surrey (Princess of Wales's) Yeomanry.

On November 8th 1910, he married Evelyn L Reed at St. Thomas’s Church, Portman Square. In 1911, they were living in Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire. He appears to have no occupation but “private means”, and employs three servants, a cook, a parlour maid and a stud groom.

His career during the First World War has not been found.

His name appears in Kelly’s Directory for 1935 as Major H.W. Aston T.D., R.A. Commanding Officer of the Shaftesbury Territorial Army. They were living at Preston House, Iwerne Minster.

The college records show that a letter received on April 2nd 1936 confirmed his address and rank of Lt. Col. Dorset (Q.O.) Yeomanry.

The London Gazette for August 27th 1940 states that he was granted a commission from July 2nd 1940 “for the duration of hostilities as a Pilot Officer on probation” in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve.

He died on January 10th 1941 at the Military Hospital, Douglas, Isle of Man and is buried in Iwerne Minster Churchyard.

His name is on the Lloyd’s Memorial.

His estate amounted to £14,044-7-2 and probate was granted to his widow and a solicitor.