Dorchester Illustration no. 2312 Wilbur George Ashcroft
At the Dorchester Historical Society, we are in the process of a year-long project to commemorate the 100th anniversary of World War I. Using a collection of photographs we have of WWI Dorchester residents, we will be featuring service men and women in a number of short biographies throughout the year. At the culmination of the project, we hope to produce an online exhibit which highlights these men and women and their service to our country.
Our next biography features: Wilbur George Ashcroft
Wilbur George Ashcroft was born on July 7, 1897, on Bearse Avenue, Dorchester to Richard and Caroline (Carrie Williams) Ashcroft. His father was born in Canada, the child of parents who were born in Ireland; he was a mill operative. Caroline was born in England.
By 1910, Wilbur was one of 4 children, an older brother Alvin and 2 younger siblings, Myrtle (Marie) and Stanley. Their father Richard was a chocolate maker at the chocolate mill.
On April 4, 1917, at age 19, Wilbur enlisted in the Army at the South Armory, mustered on April 7, 1917 with 11th Co. N.G.C.A.C. (National Guard Coast Artillery Corps) and called to Federal Services July 25, 1917. He reported to Ft. Andrews July 28, 1917 and was detailed to Fore River for guard duty October 12, 1917. He was Private First Class as of January 1, 1918. His overseas duty was with Battery B, 55th Artillery Regiment C.A.C. He arrived Liverpool, England on April 2, 1918, La Havre, France on April 8, 1918 and was at the front July 30, 1918 to November 1918. He was engaged in the offensive at Oise-Aisne and Meuse-Argonne and in the defensive at Vesle (Champagne). He sailed for home January 11, 1919 and arrived back in the U.S. on January 22, 1919. He was honorably discharged on February 6, 1919.
In 1920, the whole family is together on Bearse Avenue. Wilbur was a machinist and his brother Alvin was a chocolate maker. Around this time, Wilbur became a member of the Massachusetts Masons in the Macedonian Lodge, A.F. & A.M., Milton. There he received a Veteran’s Medal in 1970.
Sometime about 1920, Wilbur married Linda (Matott) and by 1930 they had 3 children, Richard N., Georgina M. and Ruth M. They lived on Bearse Ave.
Wilbur still lived on Bearse Ave., when he retired in 1974 and was listed as a millwright. He died on March 19, 1977 at about age 80, having lived his whole life in the same house. He had 11 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. He is buried at Cedar Grove Cemetery, Dorchester.
Do you know more about Wilbur George Ashcroft? We would love to hear from you! All material has been researched by volunteers at the Dorchester Historical Society, so please let us know if we got something wrong or you think a piece of the story is missing!
Birth and Death Records (Familysearch.com and Vital Statistics, Mt. Vernon St., Dorchester)
Boston City Directory (Ancestry.com)
Death notice, Boston Globe, March 20, 1977
Massachusetts Mason Membership Card (Ancestry.com)
Military Records, Archives-Museum Branch, Office of Adjutant General, Concord, MA
U.S. Census Records, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930 (Familysearch.com)