Johnny Ashley, a negro Bahamian actor, who died in Grant’s Town, in 1941, at the age of 90 years old, must have been someone of high repute for his death to be noted in the Canadian press.
However. his life story remains lost.
We know almost nothing about the man who trod the boards of the theatre district of Soho in London.
Johnny Ashley, a negro born just 17 years after Emancipation, was apparently a veteran of the First Boer War. Ashley would have fought for the British Empire against the Transvaal Republic of South Africa. Johnny was deafened by artillery fire, the large cannons which were fired at the enemy, during his years as a soldier for Great Britain in the battle for South Africa.
After his long years in England, Johnny Ashley returned home to Grants Town. Grants Town is the historically significant negro settlement are of the post emancipation era. It sits near the city limits of Nassau on the capital island of New Providence.
(The Winnipeg Tribune, Monday, September 22, 1941)