Private 3792 Tom Shaw

Killed in Action on Wednesday, 13th October 1915, age 28.
Commemorated on Panel 103 to 105 of Loos Memorial, Pas De Calais, France.

'D' Company of 1st/5th Bn., North Staffordshire Regiment. 137th Brigade of 46th Division.

Son of Mrs Emma Shaw, of 4, Bloomfield Rd., Prince's End, Tipton, Staffs.
Born: Sedgley, Enlisted: Butterton, Staffs, Resident: Crewe, Cheshire.

First landed France & Flanders, 26th June 1915.
Medal entitlement: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives survived and transcribed.

Commemorated on the Crewe War Memorial.
Commemorated here because identified as Tipton on Commonwealth War Graves site.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/1768804/

Genealogical Data

1891 Census
13 Bloomfield Road, Tipton, Staffs.
Edward Shaw (36, Ash Pan and Fire Guard Manufacturer, born Willenhall), his wife Emma (34, born Tipton), and their 4 children: William H. (10, born Tipton), Sidney (6, born Tipton), Thomas (4, born Sedgley), and Frederick W. (9 months, born Sedgley).

1901 Census
4 Bloomfield Road, Tipton, Staffs.
Emma Shaw (44, Grocer, born Tipton), and her 4 children: Will H. (20, Potter's Fitter & Turner, born Tipton), Sam B. (16, Printer, born Tipton), Tom (14, born Sedgley), and Fred W. (10, born Sedgley).

1911 Census
45 Church Street, Moxley, Wednesbury, Staffs.
Lodging with John and Ann Griffiths was:
Tom Shaw (24, Boarder, Labourer in Chemical Works, born Coseley).

Personal Data

Thomas attested for the 2/6th Battalion North Staffs Regiment on 2nd November 1914 in Crewe, his home address was 38 Naylor Street, Crewe. He was 5 feet 6 inches tall with a 34 inch chest, and good physical development.

On 24th June 1915 Thomas was transferred to the 1/5th North Staffs who had already been in France since early March 1915. He sailed from Southampton on 25th June, landed in Rouen the next day, and joined his unit on 28th June in Zillebeke near Ypres, and for the next 2 months spent time at the feared Hill 60.

On Tom Shaw’s death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £5/9/0d (5 pounds and 9 shillings). As he had not given a Next of Kin, this was reported in the London Gazette of November 21st 1916 in List CCCCXCIX (499) of the “Soldier’s Balances Undisposed Of”, requesting his Next of Kin to apply for the outstanding balance. This was again reported in the re-publication of this List in the London Gazettes of November 30th 1917 and November 29th 1918.

In 1919, Tom’s War Gratuity of £3/0/0d (3 pounds exactly) was added to the amount available for distribution. It was not until 15th September 1926 that this sum of £8/9/0d (8 pounds and 9 shillings) was paid to his brother William Harold Shaw.

Action resulting in his death

The 1/5th North Staffs arrived in France between the 3rd and 5th March 1915. They moved to Armentieres on 20th March and then to Fletre for further training. In April the battalion marched to Wulveringhem in Belgium alternating between trench duties and further training. In June 1915 they moved nearer to Ypres, and for the next 2 months spent time at the feared Hill 60.

On 2nd October they moved near to Loos, still in Belgium but closer to the French border, to take part in the second stage of the Loos Offensive. Further training preceded the march to the assembly trenches near Vermelles on 12th October, and their action on the next day, the 13th October 1915.

"Loos" by Nick Lloyd.
The attack of 137th Brigade towards the Hohenzollern Redoubt was perhaps the most miserable episode on 13th October, the attack rapidly collapsing under a devastating weight of fire.
The leading (1/5th North Staffs) went "..over the top into a hail of bullets.." and "..against very deadly machine gun and rifle fire.." and could not progress. The attack on the right fared similarly.
This was the single most expensive day for the 46th (North Midlands) Division, even though it was involved on 1st July 1916 at Gommecourt (Somme). The Division had casualties of 180 Officers and 3583 Other Ranks. As Edmonds wrote in the Official History ".. it was a long time before the Division recovered from the effects of 13th October."

The attack was a costly failure and this in effect was the culmination of the Battle of Loos.

Thomas Shaw, like the majority of the men killed here, has no known grave and is commemorated on the Loos Memorial at Dud Corner, in sight of the Hohenzollern Redoubt.

Newspaper Cuttings