Shaw, Henry (No. 253325)

Shaw, Henry

Gunner

No. 253325, ‘A’ Battery, 50th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery

Killed in action on Wednesday 1 May 1918 (aged 29)

Buried:

Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Belgium (Grave XXVIII. E. 15A)

Commemorated:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Newtownards and District War Memorial

Presbyterian Church in Ireland (PCI) Roll of Honour 1914 – 1919 for

Greenwell Street Presbyterian Church Newtownards

Crawford family grave headstone in Movilla Cemetery, Newtownards

BIOGRAPHY

There is some ambiguity as to Gunner Shaw’s date of death.  In the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) Debt of Honour Website his date of death is recorded as 29 April 1918.  On the Crawford family grave headstone in Movilla Cemetery Newtownards it is inscribed as 1 May 1918 and this date is substantiated by the date stated in a letter of sympathy sent to Henry’s mother by Captain Laidman.

Henry Shaw was born on 30 January 1889 in Movilla Street, Newtownards and he was the second son of Robert and Letitia Shaw (nee Crawford) who were married on 12 July 1886 in Greenwell Street Presbyterian Church Newtownards.  Robert Shaw was a son of Henry Shaw, a weaver.  Letitia Crawford was a daughter of James Crawford (a weaver) and Ann Jane Crawford.

The Shaw family lived at 8 Queen Street, Newtownards.

Robert Shaw worked as a wool weaver and he and Letitia had at least eleven children, all of whom were baptised in Greenwell Street Presbyterian Church:

James Crawford (born 22 April 1887 in Movilla Street, Newtownards)

Henry (born 30 January 1889 in Movilla Street, Newtownards)

Elizabeth (Lizzy, born 14 April 1891 in Greenwell Street, Newtownards)

William John (born 25 February 1893 in Queen Street, Newtownards)

Francis Crawford (born 5 May 1895 in Queen Street, Newtownards)

Alexander (born 27 June 1897 in Queen Street, Newtownards)

Robert (born14 March 1899 in Queen Street, Newtownards)

Letitia (born 7 February 1901 in Queen Street, Newtownards)

Mary Anne (born 25 April 1903 in Queen Street, Newtownards)

Margaret (born 28 July 1905 in Queen Street, Newtownards)

Jane (born 18 May 1909 in Queen Street, Newtownards)

Prior to the outbreak of the Great War Henry Shaw worked as a painter and in the Soldiers Died in the Great War 1914 – 1919 database it is recorded that he enlisted in New York City, USA.  He served with the Royal Field Artillery and was killed in action on 1 May 1918.

Captain J.H. Laidman wrote to Henry’s mother to express sympathy on behalf of the whole Brigade and, in the letter, he related the circumstances of Henry’s death.  Around 5.00 pm on 1 May 1918 Gunner Henry Shaw was hit in the back by a splinter from a shell and he remained conscious for about three minutes before he died.  Gunner Shaw who was 29 had only been with ‘A’ Battery for a few days before he was killed in action.

Gunner Henry Shaw (No. 253325) was buried in Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Belgium and there is an inscription on his CWGC headstone:

HE WAS HONORABLE

BRAVE AND KIND

FATHER, MOTHER, BROS. & SIS.

Gunner Henry Shaw (No. 253325) is commemorated on Newtownards and District War Memorial; in the PCI Roll of Honour for Greenwell Street Presbyterian Church and on the Crawford family grave headstone in Movilla Cemetery, Newtownards.