Son of William and Isabella Shute; husband of Esther Leonora Shute, of Plympton, Devon.
William Ashley Shute was the master of the British steam merchant Tunisia which was bombed and sunk by a German Fw200 aircraft about 350 miles west of Achill Head, Co. Mayo on 4 August 1941. Award Citation as published in London Gazette on 6 January 1942:
The ship was hit by bombs from enemy aircraft and had to be abandoned. The Master, with four men, remained on board to destroy confidential papers and books. They left the ship in the starboard jolly
boat to which were transferred stores and gear from damaged lifeboats. After eight days they reached port, having travelled about 200 miles by the use of oars and a blanket set as a sail. The Master put up a stout defence, and by
means of excellent organisation and good seamanship brought his boat to land.