Private 24391 Harry Sheargold

Sheargold Harry 96 346x600
Photograph & Newspaper Article courtesy of Mike Royden's excellent web site. To see this, click: sheargold.pdf

Died of Wounds Home on Wednesday, 9th May 1917, age 21.
Buried in Grave "Old. 6. 10." at Ellesmere Port (Christ Church) Churchyard, Cheshire, United Kingdom.

11th Bn., Cheshire Regiment. 75th Brigade of 25th Division.

Son of Mr and Mrs Sheargold, of 14, Sunny Side Pontoon, Ellesmere Port. Born at Princess End, Staffs.
Born: Princes End, Enlisted: Ellesmere Port, Resident: Ellesmere Port.

First landed France & Flanders, 26th September 1915.
Medal entitlement: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Not commemorated on any Tipton memorial, but commemorated on the Civic Memorial, Ellesmere Port.
Commemorated here because identified as Tipton on 'Soldiers Died in the Great War'.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2747151/

Genealogical Data

Birth of Harry Sheargold registered March quarter 1895 in Dudley.

1901 Census
48 High Street, Princes End, Tipton, Staffs.
Eli Sheargold (30, Ironworks Labourer, born Princes End), his wife Amy (33, born Rowley), and their son: Harry (6, Scholar, born Princes End).

1911 Census
14 Sunnyside, Ellesmere Port, Cheshire.
Eli Sheargold (42, Ironworks Labourer, born Sedgley), his wife Amy (43, born Sedgley), and their 2 children: Harry (16, Errand Boy at Furniture Dealer, born Sedgley), and Kate (8, born Willenhall).

Personal Data

After Harry's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £10/6/1d (10 pounds, 6 shillings and 1 penny); this was paid to his mother and sole legatee, Amy Ann, in August 1917. His War Gratuity was £10/10/0d (10 pounds and 10 shillings), this was also paid to his mother in November 1919. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that Harry had enlisted in approximately January 1915.

Action resulting in his death

Harry Sheargold died in Chester Royal Infirmary on 9th May 1917. The newspaper article below talks of being wounded in a “recent engagement” and then being treated at Chichester and Blackpool hospitals before being given a period of leave. During this leave his leg worsened and, despite undergoing an operation, Harry died.

No record exists of the time and place when Harry received his wounds. Looking back for the period February to May 1917, the casualties for the 11th Cheshires were relatively light, with 17 men losing their lives in the 3 months.

Casualties were mainly in February, with none in March and just 2 men killed in April. The only significant day was 16th February with a German trench attack on their positions at ‘Monmouth House’, just south of Ploegsteert Wood. Three Cheshires were captured, 7 were killed and probably around 15 wounded. During March 1917, the 11th Cheshires were out of the line, and did not return to the front line until 20th April again returning to the same area south of Ploegsteert Wood.

So, it is possible that Harry was wounded during the attack on 16th February as that is where the 11th Cheshires had the most casualties in the 3 months prior to Harry’s death, but this is just a possibility. Harry was buried with military honours at Ellesmere Port parish churchyard.

Newspaper Cuttings

Unknown Ellesmere Port Newspaper, May 1917
Military honours were given at Ellesmere Port parish churchyard, on Wednesday, at the funeral of Pte. H. Sheargold, of Sunnyside, Ellesmere Port. He was wounded in a recent engagement, and after being in hospital in Chichester and Blackpool was sent home for a period of leave. While here his leg became worse and he was operated upon at Chester Infirmary. Despite all attention, he passed away, and his body was brought home on Friday.
The funeral was witnessed by a large number of people, and the bearers were comrades from his regiment (the Cheshires). A firing party was in attendance, and the “Last Post” was sounded. The Rev. W. James performed the last rites, and Messrs. Warringon and Sons were the undertakers.