Arthur Henry William Shaw, Private TR/9/21700, 44th Training Reserve Bn.
Died 29th May 1919 in Macclesfield, aged 19
Arthur Shaw was born on 21 May in Knutsford Workhouse and baptised on 7 June 1899 at St John the Baptist Church, Knutsford, the son of Annie Shaw, a laundress. In 1901, Arthur was living at 22 Police St, Altrincham, with his grandmother, mother and two uncles.
Ten years later in 1911 Arthur was back in Knutsford Workhouse as an inmate. He attended school there and later trained to be a gardener.
Arthur enlisted at Norwich on 4 August 1916, joining the Royal West Kent Regiment with service number 11333, stating that he was aged eighteen and was living at the East Anglian Institution, East Harling, but he deserted on 3 October 1916.
On 28 May 1917 Arthur either volunteered again or was conscripted into the Army training reserves. He gave his address as Bucklow Union, Knutsford and stated that he was 18 years old and had previously served for two months with the Royal West Kents. He also stated that his name was Arthur Henry William Shaw, although there is no previous record of him having any forenames other than ‘Arthur’. He gave his mother’s name as next of kin, with the address c/o Mrs Bostock, 22 Silk Mill St, Knutsford.
On 17 August 1917 Arthur was admitted to the Military Hospital, Sutton Veney, Wiltshire suffering from pleurisy, and on 10 September he was transferred to Tidworth Military Hospital for medical tests. Arthur was discharged from the Army after 137 days training service on 9 October 1917 due to being ‘no longer physically fit for war service’ and having ‘mental deficiency originated at birth, not aggravated by war service.’
It is not known when Arthur was admitted to Macclesfield’s Parkside Asylum but he died there on either 29th May or 1st June 1919. His death was reported in the Macclesfield Advertiser on 6 June 1919:
SHAW – On June 1, at Parkside Asylum, Arthur Shaw, aged 19.
Private Arthur Shaw is buried in grave ref. Z. 19119A. in Macclesfield Cemetery. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Private Arthur Shaw, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.
Private Arthur Shaw is not known to be commemorated on any local war memorials.
GRO (England & Wales) Index: Births, Deaths
Diocese of Chester Parish Baptisms (Find My Past): Knutsford
Census (England & Wales): 1901, 1911
WW1 British Army Service Records 1914-1920
Commonwealth War Graves Commission website
Lives of the First World War website
Macclesfield Advertiser: 6 June 1919