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ex-Lt Harold Ashworth Shaw, RE, died April 1916


Mark Hone
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Harold Ashworth Shaw, a Civil Engineer in civilian life, died exactly two months after being medically discharged from the army in February 1916, aged 23. As his Bury Guardian obituary indicates, he was given a military-style funeral at All Saints Church, Elton, with six members of the Lancashire Fusiliers carrying the coffin and the Last Post sounded over the grave. However, his burial is not recorded by the CWGC. Much of the churchyard (the church has been converted into flats) is now in serious disrepair and I could not locate the grave when I visited some time ago. 

http://bgsarchive.co.uk/Filename.ashx?tableName=ta_boys_rollofhonour&columnName=filename&recordId=19

On Friday, I visited the grave of another Bury Grammar old boy, Trooper Thomas Heys Leigh, 15th/19th Royal Hussars, at Christ Church, Walshaw, not far away from Elton. The church is still very much an active one and the churchyard is well-maintained. Trooper Leigh died on 6th April 1945 aged 20. I have found it difficult to discover exact details of his military career but the indications are that he was discharged from the army several months before his death. His grave is recorded by CWGC and he has a non-standard but recognisably military headstone with Hussar cap badge, incorporated into the family plot. The obvious question is, why is Trooper Leigh commemorated by CWGC but 2nd Lieutenant Shaw isn't? Did the War Graves Commission have a change of policy between the wars or is it simply due to inconsistency, for example in the family notifying the Commission? As I have mentioned before, three of the 98 old boys listed on our school Great War memorial are not commemorated by CWGC: Midshipman Reginald Hall, SV 'Englehorn', whose ship disappeared off South America in August 1914, subsequently ruled a civilian shipwreck; Sydney Olive, Canadian Engineers, who was severely wounded during the Second Battle of Ypres and medically discharged, dying in Bury in June 1918 and Harold Shaw. I can understand the non-commemoration of Sydney Olive, as he died several years after his discharge, but Shaw died only a few weeks after resigning his commission, quite clearly from the illness which was the cause of his leaving the army. 

Edited by Mark Hone
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Have you looked at the CWGC reports attached to the others buried in the same cemetery.  

 

I helped a friend in tracking a relative, who’s Grave we found in a local cemetery, his name appears on the towns war memorial but not on the CWGC website. 

 

It transpires, that when a Grave Registration Unit visited the cemetery, they noted the family headstone and wrote the details down.  

 

But the IWGC, simply it as a Non War Grave, the sailor in question was discharged from the Navy but died the following year. 

 

Jamie

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Hello Mark,

 

to advance the case you would need to obtain his service file from TNA & the DC. The ill health for which he left the army would have to reflected by the cause of death on the DC for the case to go forward.

 

Cheers

 

Chris 

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  • 2 years later...

I concur.

:-) M

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Recently Terry Denham posted on 26 March 2021 in

His position seems clear as to the grounds on which a post-discharge death could be commemorated:

"three post-discharge criteria -ie. death due to an illness attributable to service, aggravated by service or of an illness commencing during service (all within the qualifying dates)."

 

He finishes with:

"For post-discharge men, the actual cause of death is immaterial as whether it can be proven that the cause of death meets one of the three criteria is the governing factor and not the nature of the illness.  Don't get hung up on any specific cause of death."

:-) M

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Thanks for this. Terry's explanation would seem to strengthen further the case for Harold Shaw's commemoration, which probably falls into (at least) the third category he specifies.  

Edited by Mark Hone
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  • 6 months later...

Was an officer's record found for Harold Ashworth Shaw? I've searched the National Archives but I can't find a match.

 

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No, I haven't had a chance to go down to the National Archives. 

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