Date of birth: 1898
Date of death: 30.9.1918
Regiment: King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry
Family information: Son of Albert and Mary Shaw
Service number: 41275
Willie enlisted in the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry 2nd/4th Battalion as Private 41275. By the 27th September the Battalion were in Havrincourt and took part in the Battle of the Canal du Nord as part of the 62nd Division.
Willie died on 30th September 1918 and was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal, with his effects left to his mother Mary. He is buried at Bellicourt British Cemetery, Aisne, France.
According to UK Soldiers who died in the Great War 1914 – 1919, Willie Shaw was born in Kirkhamgate. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission records state his age at death as 21 which would lead to a birth date of around 1897. I found a baptism at Eastmoor Methodist Church of Willie son of Albert and Mary on 7th October 1903. He had been born on 24th February 1898. They were living at Webster’s Yard, Eastmoor at the time and had all four of their children baptised on the same day.
In 1901 I believe he was living at Taylor’s Croft, Kirkhamgate with his parents Albert and Mary and three siblings Emma aged 9, Sam aged 7 and Ernest aged 7 months. There was also a 25-year-old Ernest Shaw boarding with them who was possibly Albert’s brother as they both came from Highburton.
By 1911 the family had moved to 52, Bishopgate, Wakefield but unfortunately Albert had died as Mary is a widow. Sam, Willie and Ernest were still at home with Sam a colliery pony driver and Willie a colliery scale picker. There was still a boarder but he is now Ernest Tattersall aged 29, born in Leeds and a labourer on the tramways. Ernest was to marry Willie’s mother Mary later that same year.