Mr Henry Wellesley Ashe was born in Munchins Street, Limerick City, Co Limerick, Ireland on 20 February 1871.
He was the son of William Henry St George Ashe (1839-1909), a clerk, and Rachel Corneille (1839-1900), both Limerick-natives who had married there in 1861.
The youngest of three children, Henry's siblings were: Edward John Henry (1862-1946) and Sarah Jane (b. 1869, later Mrs William Joseph Crothers).
Ashe's parents had settled across the Irish sea in Birkenhead, Cheshire where their first two children were born. Following a brief spell in their native Ireland where Henry was born they returned to England and settled in Liverpool.
Henry first appears on the 1881 census living at 91 Flinders Street, Kirkdale, Liverpool. On the 1891 census, when his family were recorded living at 16 Looke (?) Street, Everton Henry is absent, having already commenced a sea-going career.
Ashe first appears on crew records in 1897 whilst serving as a waiter aboard the Campania, his local address then being given as 18 Dunkeld (?) Street. Still living at this address in May 1900 he was by then a waiter aboard the Ivernia. By 1902 he had switched to the White Star Line and served as a steward aboard the Majestic, his address around this time given as 129 Greyrock Street. By 1903 he had transferred to the Cedric and was still working aboard her as of the latter half of 1904; his address by that time was 118 Greyrock Street.
Henry's mother passed away in 1900 and by the time of the 1901 census his widowed father is living at 44 Phoeba Ann Street, Everton with his son Edward and married daughter Sarah Jane Crothers and her family but Henry is again absent.
He was married in West Derby in 1904 to May Rawsthorne (b. 19 May 1881 in Clitheroe, Lancashire), the daughter of a jeweller; they would have three children: Henry Wellesley (b. 13 June 1905), Doris Adelaide (b. 26 October 1906) and William James (b. 12 August 1910). A freemason, he was inducted into the Egremont Lodge on 5 February 1906.
Henry was again absent from the 1911 census when his wife and family were living at 11 Oxford Road, Aintree, Liverpool.
When he signed-on to the Titanic on 4 April 1912 Ashe gave his age as 32 and his address as 15 Wyesdale Road, Aintree, Liverpool. His previous ship had been the Olympic and as a glory-hole steward he received monthly wages of £3, 15s.
Ashe died in the sinking and his body was recovered by the Mackay-Bennett (#34) and buried at Fairview cemetery, Halifax, Nova Scotia on 8 May 1912.
|NO. 34 - MALE - ESTIMATED AGE, 34 - HAIR, DARK; MOUSTACHE LIGHT
CLOTHING - Blue suit and green shirt.
EFFECTS - Gold watch and chain; keys; knife; 2 books; Freemasons' book; photos; papers; lodge badge; "Nat. Union Ship's Stewards, Butchers and Bakers."
NAME - H.W.ASHE, 15 or 17 Wysdale, Aintree
© Bob Knuckle, Canada
Henry's widow May had been pregnant at the time of the Titanic disaster and gave birth to a daughter Gladys May later in the year. Gladys only reached her fifth birthday and died on 7 August 1917. May never remarried and died in Liverpool on 1 July 1952.
His son Henry was married in 1939 to Clara Brownrigg but had no children; he later settled in Bournemouth and died there in May 1993.
Son William James Ashe was married in 1934 to Emily Maud Galloway, emigrated to New Zealand and had two children; he died in Hamilton in December 1990.
Daughter Doris Adelaide Ashe was married in 1936 to George Barlow and they had one daughter. She died in Liverpool on 10 May 1951.
Henry Ashe is remembered on his family gravestone in Kirkdale Cemetery, Fazakerley, Liverpool:
IN LOVING MEMORY OF HARRY,
BELOVED HUSBAND OF MAY ASHE
WHO LOST HIS LIFE ON THE TITANIC APRIL 15th 1912.
WHO DIED AUG 7th 1917 AGED 5 YEARS
"PEACE PERFECT PEACE".
BELOVED WIFE OF GEORGE BARLOW AND DAUGHTER OF ABOVE
WHO PASSED AWAY MAY 10th 1951 AGED 44 YEARS
"GOODNIGHT GOD BLESS YOU SWEETHEART"
WHO PASSED AWAY 1st JULY 1952 AGED 71 YEARS
"REUNITED WITH HER LOVED ONES"