Shaw, William (No. 11335)

Shaw, William


No. 11335, 6th Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry

Killed in action on Thursday 5 August 1915 (aged 30)

Brother of Private James Shaw (No. 40057)


Sanctuary Wood Cemetery, Belgium (Grave V. Q. 13/15)


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Holywood and District War Memorial (as W. Shaw)


In the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) Debt of Honour Website it is recorded that Sergeant William Shaw (No. 11335) was a son of John and Eliza Shaw of Olive House, Church View, Holywood, Co. Down and that his place of birth was Heckmondwike in West Yorkshire.  Eliza Shaw was in fact his stepmother.

In the Soldiers Died in the Great War 1914 – 1919 database it is recorded that Sergeant William Shaw (No. 11335) was born in Belfast.

William Shaw was in fact born on 20 December 1884 in Seapatrick Village, Banbridge, Co Down, and he was a son of John and Ann (Annie) Shaw (nee Hinchcliff).  John Shaw (aged 20), a millworker, and Ann Hinchcliff (aged 19) were married on 6 June 1881 in Birstall Parish Church of England Church, Yorkshire.  John Shaw, a carrier from Cleckheaton, was a son of John Shaw, a farmer.  Ann Hinchcliff was from Heckmondwike and they had three children:

James (born around 1881/1882 at Cleckheaton, Yorkshire)

William (born 20 December 1884 at Seapatrick Village, Banbridge, Co Down)

Reginald (born 1 April 1900 or 1901 in Dewsbury; service papers have both years; baptised in the Parish of Staincliffe on 5 May 1901, ‘son of John and Ann, Cullingworth Street, Staincliffe’).  During the First World War, Reginald Shaw (No. 292728) served with the Merchant Navy.  He held the position of 2nd Cook and his Identity Certificate number was 849400.  He joined the RAF on 5 September 1918 aged 18 years 5 months.

In the 1891 census the Shaw family was living in Heckmondwike, Yorkshire:

John Shaw (aged 29, born Co. Down), Ann Shaw (aged 29, born Heckmondwike), James Shaw (aged 9, born Heckmondwike), and William Shaw (aged 6, born Co Down).

In the 1901 census the Shaw family was living in Dewsbury, Yorkshire:

John Shaw (aged 40, born Co. Down), Ann Shaw (aged 39, born Heckmondwike), James Shaw (aged 19, born Cleckheaton), and William Shaw (aged 16, born Co Down).

Ann (Annie) Shaw (nee Hinchcliff) from Park View Dewsbury died in January 1905 (aged 49) and was buried in the Parish of Hepworth on 15 January 1905.  After that, John Shaw married Eliza Hamilton.

In the 1911 census the Shaw family was living in the townland of Ballycultra, Co Down:

John Shaw (aged 50, born in England); his wife Eliza Shaw (aged 37, born in Ireland); Reginald Shaw (aged 10) and Mary Elizabeth Shaw (aged 2).  John and Eliza had been married for seven years.

John Shaw (a gardener) and Eliza Shaw (nee Hamilton) had at least one child:

Mary Elizabeth (born 19 August 1908 in Ballydown, Banbridge)

William Shaw enlisted on 22 June 1904 at Dewsbury and stated his age to be 18 years 6 months.  He was 5 feet 8½ inches tall, with a fair complexion, blue grey eyes, brown hair, tattoos on his left forearm, and he had initially applied to join Coldstream Guards.

His occupation was recorded as ‘Teamer’, and his place of birth, Banbridge.  William Shaw (No. 5582) was discharged on 5 July 1912 in London and the reason given was SNLR – Services no longer required.  His rank was Sergeant and his character exemplary.  All his service had been on the Home Front.  There was a reference to his two brothers – James and Reginald.

William Shaw rejoined the Colours, served with the 6th Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (KOYLI) and was killed in action on 5 August 1915.

Sergeant William Shaw (No. 11335) was 30 when he died and he was buried in Sanctuary Wood Cemetery, Belgium.  There is an inscription on his CWGC headstone:



In the Army Register of Soldiers’ Effects there is reference to his father John and his brother Reginald.

William Shaw (No. 11335) went to France on 21 May 1915, and so he was awarded the 15 Star, the Victory Medal, and the British War Medal.

Pension claimants after he died were his father John (in one document his address was Dunrath Cottage, Craigavad) and his stepmother Eliza (in one document her address was Olive House, Church View, Holywood, Co Down.

There is an Army record sheet with brothers William Shaw and James Shaw both named thereon:

Shaw, William, KOYLI, 11335, Sgt.

Shaw, James, Yorks & Lancs, 40057, Pte.

Sergeant William Shaw (No. 11335) is commemorated on Holywood and District War Memorial as W. Shaw.