Major Fountain Okey Colbourne NASH
Killed in Action 27 April 1915
The NASH family lived in Bedford Park from its inception in the late 1870s, firstly at 17 Woodstock Road, and until at least 1905, at 36 The Avenue. Fountain, who within the family was called Peter, was born in 1878, the third child of Joseph Nash II, a celebrated watercolour artist and illustrator, whose father, Joseph I, in his turn was also an artist, a pupil of Pugin. As can be seen in the accompanying family tree, Fountain’s unusual Christian name comes from his grandmother’s family, the Elwins. An early 17th century ancestor was Poncahontas, a Virginian Indian, who became the wife of a tobacco planter, John Rolfe.
Fountain trained as a civil engineer, initially in the office of Mr DJ Ebbetts, Engineer to Acton Urban District Council, he subsequently served in the engineering departments at Hertford and Rochdale, as surveyor and water engineer in Cockermouth, and Assistant to the City Engineers of Newcastle-on- Tyne and latterly Birmingham.
In 1904, he joined the Territorials, and was first commissioned Second Lieutenant in the 5th (Cumberland) Battalion, Border Regiment, being promoted Lieutenant in 1909. In 1905 he married a teacher, Ella Heap, in Fylde, Lancashire.
By 1911, his father and family had left Bedford Park, moving to Somerleyton, Suffolk.
In 1914, he was transferred to 5th. Bn. Northumberland Fusiliers (TF), initially as Captain, promoted to Temporary Major on 13th April 1915. He was killed in action near Ypres on 27th April 1915. Fountain is commemorated at Birr Cross Roads Cemetery (CWGC ), the site of which was a first line dressing station from early 1917, so became a concentration cemetery established later. The exhumation and re-interment data suggests that Fountain fell near the notorious Hellfire Corner, and was buried with a brother officer killed the same day, Lt. T Lindsey Bainbridge.
He is also commemorated at the church of St Mary, Somerleyton , the home of his parents. His wife Ella also commemorated her husband on a stone in the cemetery at Rochdale, her home town.