King Edward’s School and the Great War

Memorial Roll of Honour 1914 - 1918


Astbury, Thomas Leslie

Private ▪ 1st Birmingham Pals, 14th Royal Warwickshire Regiment

Thomas Leslie Astbury, born on 11th August 1887, was admitted to King Edward’s School in January 1901. Son of the Reverend George and Matilda Astbury, the family lived at the Old Church Vicarage, Smethwick.

Curiously, there is very little in the School records about Thomas and his brothers, apart from a very brief reference to Thomas’ gymnastic abilities, which were “above the average”.

On the outbreak of war, Thomas enlisted as a Private Soldier in the 1st Birmingham Pals Battalion (14th Royal Warwickshire Regiment). Thomas’ brother Reginald, also an Old Edwardian, was already a Lieutenant in the 6th Royal Warwickshire Regiment by 1914, and survived the war, serving in Salonica and Palestine and reaching the rank of Captain. A third brother, Harold, again an Old Edwardian, enlisted in 1915 and was invalided home in 1918 with a Military Cross. He was transferred to the South Staffordshire Regiment and reached the rank of Captain. Thomas was killed on 21st March 1918 at Bullecourt, France, and is commemorated on the Arras Memorial.