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Astle One-Name Study
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Army, Navy & Air Force

Army, Navy & Air Force





RAF Pilot Officer DFC (Dambuster) - (from a military family)



Naval Officer



Alias James Kelshaw aboard HMS Victory at Trafalgar






Captain (later Rear Admiral )





Parliamentarian Army Officer

? Astle,  Naval Officer.

I know very little about this officer, but the London Gazette of 8th October 1841 describes how he helped to save his ship from being destroyed by Chinese Fireships!

Joseph Astle,  (Alias James Kelshaw)

Robert Astle has kindly sent me an image of an extract from ADM 171/1  which shows the names of men who had applied for the Naval General Service Medal, and were aboard HMS Victory at the battle of Trafalgar. These men had to apply for their medals in response to an advertisement in the London Gazette in 1847!

It then took four years for all the applications to be processed. This was a complex undertaking and unfortunately many of the original records have not survived. There are some useful notes on what records did survive and how those have been researched in more recent times.

From those notes it is clear that many errors and omissions were made, but notwithstanding those, this document shows that a Joseph Astle was aboard HMS Victory at Trafalgar. Who was Joseph?, Where did he come from? Why did he use an alias? There lies the mystery!!

George Astle,  Naval Officer.

George Astle  was born on 27th November 1773, the son of Thomas Astle (keeper of the Records at the Tower of London) and Anna Maria Morant. George served in the Royal Navy during the period of the Napoleonic Wars, but in 1800 he was Captain of the La Virginie operating against Dutch ships in the East Indies.

In February 1801 the London Gazette published an extract of his report which described the capture of six ships and 117 men during his passage to the island of Amboyna. His prizes were carrying the annual supplies to the island of Ternate and 17,943 Spanish Dollars!!  In 1825, the London Gazette recorded his promotion to Rear Admiral.

Daniel Axtell,   Parliamentarian Army Officer

Daniel Axtell  (also known as Daniel Astell) was a Parliamentarian  Army  Officer  and commanded the soldiers at the trial of  King Charles I in January 1649,  and was eventually charged with treason for his actions there.  He was executed  at Tyburn on 19 October 1660 and his head was set up on Westminster Hall.

(For more information about AXTELL families in the UK and US visit the Axtell One Name Study website.)

Arthur Astle, Marine, Royal Marines

Arthur was born on 20 December 1906, at Walsall the eldest son of William Frederick Astle and Lydia Bradburn. Arthur was a Gardener’s Mate when he enlisted as a Royal Marine on 8 September 1924 at Birmingham.

Arthur served in the Plymouth Division, first at Portsmouth, and then aboard HMS Lowestoft from November 1926 until October 1929. He was discharged with very good conduct on 22 January 1930.

Barnabas Astle, Sergeant Royal Marines          Family Tree

Barnabas was born on 1st June 1845 and was the son of Barnabas Dawson and Eliza Astle. On the 1851 census he is living with his grandparents John and Mary. In 1861 he worked as a Cow Boy in Hilton for James Archer a local farmer.

Barnabas enlisted as a Private in the Royal Marines on 30 May 1864 at Burton on Trent.  Barnabas was posted to the Woolwich Division and was to serve there for four years, during which period he married Emma Taylor of Tuxford, Nottinghamshire in 1867.

Barnabas was posted to HMS Liverpool in March 1868 and served on that ship until December 1870. HMS Liverpool was part of the “Flying Squardon” which sailed around the world between 18 July 1869 and December 1870 when it was paid off. This appears to have been Barnabas’ only spell as part of a ships company, but it was clearly a good draft.

On the 1871 census they are living at 3 Bests Town, in the parish of St Mary's which is an island near Chatham. Barnabas is a Private in the Royal Marines Light Infantry, and they have a child Annie aged 3 who was born in Tuxford.

A son Alfred was born at Chatham in 1871, and in April 1872 Barnabas is posted to Portsmouth Division where two more children Herbert and Minnie are born in Forton Hampshire. In June 1876 Barnabas extended his service, and in August 1878 he was  posted back to Chatham Division and was promoted to Corporal a month later.

On the 1881 census the family are at Chatham, with another young son Edward aged only 2 months. On 10 July 1885, Barnabas was promoted to Sergeant, although he ended his service 2 months later at the end of his engagement. His address at that time was 54, Dale Street, Chatham.

On the 1891 Census the family are at 11, Middle St, Gillingham where Barnabas is a Publican and three more children have been added to the family, Lewis, Daisy and Mary. Son Herbert is following in his father's footsteps and is a 16 year old Bugler in the Royal Marines. Barnabas died in 1900 aged 56.

Edward Barnabas Astle, Colour Sergeant and Bugle Major Royal Marines  Family Tree

Edward was the son of Edward Henry Astle and Sarah Ann Godbold, and a grandson of Barnabas above, and a nephew of Herbert below. Edward enlisted as a Bugler in the Royal Marines at Gillingham, Kent on 24 May 1916, aged 14 years and 3 months.

He served on HMS Agamemnon from March 1917 when it was stationed in the Eastern Mediterranean until its return to England two years later. Edward was then stationed at Deal in Kent for six years during which time he married May Hilda Firminger on 11 June 1924. Edward was posted to HMS Constance in July 1925 and served on that ship for a year. Edward was promoted to Corporal in 1928, Sergeant in 1934 and Colour Sergeant in 1939.

Although his engagement came to an end in January 1941, it appears he was immediately mobilised and continued to serve at Deal during the Second World War. Edward was a Bugle Major for Chatham Division from his promotion to Sergeant in 1934 until the end of his service in June 1945. On Discharge his address was Blenheim Cottage, Upper Gladstone Rd, Deal, Kent.

Frederick William Astle, Private Royal Marines Artillery

Frederick was born on 26 June 1880, at Derby the eldest son of Frederick Astle and Amelia Phillis Thompson. Frederick was a Groom when he enlisted as a Private in the Royal Marines Artillery on 30 May 1901 at Nottingham.

Unfortunately he was discharged only six months later, invalided from the service with very good character. His condition was sufficiently serious to mean that he was unable to work, and he had returned to live with his parents at 14 Bloom St Derby at the time of the 1911 census.

Herbert Barnabas Astle, Bugler, Royal Marines          Family Tree

Herbert was born on 8 May 1874, at Alverstoke, Southampton, the son of Barnabas Astle above and Emma Taylor, and was also the uncle of Edward Barnabas Astle above. Herbert was just 14 years and 7 days old when he enlisted as a Bugler at Chatham in 1888 a little under 3 years since his father had completed his own service of 21 years.

Herbert served in Chatham division for 16 years and was promoted to Corporal. He served on a number of ships including; HMS Belleisle 1889-1891, HMS Mersey in two spells of a few months in 1892 and from 1893 to 1896. Herbert served briefly on HMS Dreadnought in the summer of 1901, but his longest sea service was with HMS Immortalite From December 1901 to April 1904.

Herbert was discharged on 10 may 1904, but continued to serve in the Royal Fleet Reserve, and received a Long Service and Good Conduct Medal in 1925. Herbert died in 1953 aged 79.

Jesse Astle, Private Royal Marines Artillery          Family Tree

Jesse was born on 3 June 1881, at Newcastle under Lyme,  the younger son of William Richard Astle and Ellenor Hollomby. Jesse was a Carpenter when he enlisted as a Private in the Royal Marines Artillery on 23 November 1899 at London. Jesse only served for 3 months and was discharged with very good character on 21 February 1900 having paid £10.

Reginald Harry Astle, Private Royal Marines Light Infantry

Reginald was born on 11 November 1896, at Long Eaton, Derbyshire the son of Titus Astle and Sarah Elizabeth Greasley. Reginald was a threader in a lace factory when he enlisted as a Private in the Royal Marines Light Infantry on 7 August 1914. Reginald served in the Royal marine Brigade until August 1915 seeing active service at Gallipoli.  Reginald was serving on HMS Invincible during the Battle of Jutland, and was killed when it was sunk on 31 May 1916 by SMS Derfflinger and Lützow. Invincible’s magazines exploded tearing her apart and she sank very quickly with the loss of all but six of her crew of over 1000.





Royal Marine






Sergeant, Royal Marines

Edward Barnabas




Colour Sergeant and Bugle Major, Royal Marines

Frederick William




Private, Royal Marines Artillery

Herbert Barnabas




Bugler, Royal Marines





Private, Royal Marines Artillery

Reginald Harry





Private, Royal Marines Light Infantry

Royal Marines

Royal Marines