- Born: 6 Mar 1870, Smyrna, Turkey
- Christened: 14 Aug 1870, All Saints' Church, Boudja, Smyrna, Turkey
- Marriage: Rev. Robert Pickering ASHE on 4 Apr 1899 in All Saints Church, Boudja, Smyrna, Turkey
- Died: 12 Mar 1963, Croydon, Surrey, England aged 93
- Buried: Warlingham Churchyard, Croydon, Surrey, England
EDITH BLACKLER (ASHE)
Edith Blackler was born on 6 March 1870 in Smyrna, daughter of Francis Chipman Blackler and Annie Sophia Boucher Routh. She was the youngest of six, and had one brother Francis Blackler, and four sisters, Mary, Ida, Rose and Ellen (Nellie). She went to the 'Home School' in Skutari, Constantinople, and then to a boarding School in London, where she was very unhappy. During the holidays she stayed at her uncle's, Dr. Amand Routh, in Upper Montague Street. After a stay in a School in Exeter, she returned to Turkey and trained as a Froebel Kindergarten teacher. She was a loving, gentle person, and a close follower of her Lord Jesus.
After her father's death, she lived for a time in Malta with her mother,and although her father was an American, she applied for a British passport, and never took out US Citizenship.
In 1899 she married the Rev. Robert Pickering Ashe, Chaplain in Boudja, Smyrna. She bore five children, Oliver in 1900, Mary in 1902, William in 1903, Ellen in 1905, and Patrick in 1915. She brought them up with Robert, her stepson, under extreme difficulties as they were interned by the Turks during the 1914-18 war, but were allowed to live in the Parsonage in Boudja. She was greatly loved in the village by the British, Greek and Turkish communities, often supplying food to the hungry, and tending the sick. When British soldiers, taken prisoner at Kut - el - Amara in Mesopotamia, were marched by the Turks to Smyrna, they arrived in Boudja in terrible condition. Though there was very little food in the Parsonage, she cooked for them, and they were all miraculously fed.
In 1922, the Turkish army under Kemal Ataturk took Smyrna from the Greek occupying forces, and there was the massacre, sacking and burning of Smyrna. Edith and Robert, and three of the children, Mary, Ellen and Pat were taken on the Royal Navy Hospital Ship "Main" to Malta, and were housed in the Lazaretto. After six months they went to Cartagena, Spain where R.P. Ashe became Chaplain. In 1924 they returned to Boudja for a short time, and then to England where they lived in Croydon, Surrey. Edith died in 1963 at the age of 93, and is buried in Warlingham Churchyard.
Contributed by Edith Blackler in a note written before her death in 1963
The earliest we know of the Blacklers is that the family lived in the south of England, probably Salisbury. A Blackler fought in Spain in the time of Frederick and Isabella during the expulsion of the Moors. He was knighted (on the battelfield), and had a crest of an eagle's head, and a shield with the heads of three Moors on it.
In 1704 a descendant emigrated to America and made good in Boston, Mass. He married a great granddaughter of John Cotton, Vicar of St. Botolph's, Lincolnshire, who, in the reign of Charles I, was summoned by the Ecclesiastical Court. He immediately left for Holland with some of his flock and, in 1632, they left for America.
John Cotton was Minister to the Colony in Bristol, and his son Ronald was afterwards Judge. His grandson, or great grandson, was Captain William Blackler, who fought in the Revolution and rowed Washington over the Delaware on Christmas Eve. A picture is in the New York Gallery.
Captain Blackler's son, Francis, was born in 1791, and my father, Francis Chipman Blackler, was born in 1823.
The Bible record begins here. Frank Blackler had a book telling all the early history.
(Note: Francis Blackler [Frank] of Smyrna had a son William [Willie] of Athens, and a grandson Raymond born about 1925.
I, Edith Blackler, was born on March 6th, 1870, at 6.20 am in Smyrna. Dr. Von Eichstorf assisted in my birth. In the winter of 1872, my father and mother went to Boaston, Mass.; my father on business and also to see his sister. Her mother had died in 1854, and his father was lost at sea in 1839. He owned the sailing ship 'George Cabot', which sailed from As recorded in the Family Bible: "The ship, it is presumed, foundered at sea with all on baord, as nothing has been heard of them up to the time of this record in 1854".
My sister Mary was in her 21st year (she was born in 1851). A Miss Wolf, a friend of my mother's, came to stay with us and help Mary run the house while my parents were away in Boston. In the spring of 1872, in March, Mary took Rose and me to the photographers to have our pictures taken to send to our parents. I remember being dressed up for the occasion in a pretty white frock, and I insisted on wearing my little coral necklace. At the photographer's all went well until I saw him cover himself with a big black cloth. It frightened me, and I cried and cried until he pulled the cloth away.
Extract from England and Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations)
ASHE, Edith, of 65 Birdhurst Rise, South Croydon, Surrey, widow, died 12 March 1963. Probate London 17 June to William John Arthur Blackler Ashe, foreign sales representative. Effects £6,580 14s.
Edith married Rev. Robert Pickering ASHE, son of Rev. George Alexander Hamilton ASHE and Mary PICKERING, on 4 Apr 1899 in All Saints Church, Boudja, Smyrna, Turkey. (Rev. Robert Pickering ASHE was born on 29 Nov 1857 in Witton, Blackburn, Lancashire, England, christened on 29 Dec 1857 in St. Mark the Evangelist, Witton, Lancashire, England, died on 25 May 1944 in Croydon, Surrey, England and was buried on 29 May 1944 in Warlingham Churchyard, Croydon, Surrey, England.)