World War I Soldiers Remembered: Ashby Porcher Wickham

21 Sep

Ashby Wickham galleryAshby Porcher Wickham was born on December 5, 1899. His father was Thomas Ashby Wickham and his mother was Julia Wickham Porcher. He was a 17 year old farmer when he enlisted on May 19, 1917. According to his Registration Card, we know he was of medium build with brown eyes and brown hair.

He was assigned to the Training Camp in Newport, Rhode Island first but soon transferred to City Park Barracks in Brooklyn, New York, The U.S.S. Kanawha and then to St. Helena Training Station in Norfolk, Virginia. In September of 1917, he embarked for Europe. He served in the Navy and was witness to several events, most notably the sinking of the Tuscania. In his Military Service Record, he says that his ship was beside the Tuscania when it was torpedoed on February 5, 1918. The Tuscania had been a luxury liner that was converted to a troop ship. It was carrying U.S. troops to war, 210 of which were lost in the sinking.

He mustered out of service in Norfolk on April 6, 1919 and returned to farming. He wrote on his Record that he was “studying at present at a business college in Richmond. He eventually traveled to Ireland where he married Edith Catherine Orr and in 1936 they returned to America. He passed away on September 8, 1980 in Kilmarnock and was buried at sea.

If you have any photographs of World War I service men and women from Goochland, please contact the Goochland County Historical Society. We would love to scan your photographs and add them to the World War I Commemorative Collection. Contact us at 804-556-3966 or at goochlandhistory@comcast.net.

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