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  • Family headstone, Nottingham Church (Rock) Cemetery. Photograph Rachel Farrand
Person Details
Elder son of John and Edith Ann Shaw. Father died 23 October 1915, mother died 21 May 1938. His mother received his medals, address on Medal Roll: 209 Arkwright St, Nottingham
Member of Nottingham Union Rowing Club (NURC).
27 May 1918
1439083 - CWGC Website
Second Lieutenant
South Nottinghamshire Hussars
Medal Roll: SNH, 2Lt (1/1st). Theatre Egypt 26/4/1915, drowned at sea. Victory Medal, British War Medal and 1915 Star. HMT Leasowe Castle, torpedoed Mediterranean while on passage in convoy from Alexandria to UK. Commemorated Chatby Memorial, Alexandria. This account is from a local resident posted on the Woodborough village website. The Hussars had been fighting in the Middle East and they were returning to France where they were to be re-formed as a machine gun company. Their new title was to be the South Notts Machine Gun Battalion. They were sent to Alexandria, Egypt and had received orders to embark on a transporter ship called the "Leasowe Castle" on 23th May 1918 ¹. On 27th May, the ship was struck by a torpedo with devastating results. A very detailed account of the fateful journey may be read in the historical records of the South Notts Hussars Yeomanry by G. Fellows. The "Leasowe Castle" was one of a convoy of six transporters and they were accompanied by a number of destroyers. The weather was good, the sea was calm and a brilliant moon shone in the night sky. At 1.30 am on May 27th 1918 when the ship was about 104 miles from Alexandria, the "Leasowe Castle" was struck by a torpedo on the starboard side. The engines were immediately stopped. The troops mustered to their stations, rolls were called, boats lowered and rafts flung overboard. The Japanese destroyer "R" stood by, while the remainder of the convoy continued on their journey at full speed. We are informed that perfect order was maintained on board, the men standing quietly at their stations as if on parade, while those detailed for the work assisted in lowering the boats. Lifeboats were launched in the course of forty five minutes and the rescue attempt continued smoothly. The "Leasowe Castle" remained fairly steady, though sinking a little at the stern, with a slight list to port. All of 'B' (Warwickshire Yeomanry) Company of the Battalion went over the port side and were picked up in the water. About 1.45am. HM sloop "Lily" appeared having turned back from the convoy to assist in the work of rescue. She ran her bows up to the starboard side of the "Leasowe Castle" and made fast, so that troops were able to pass quickly on board. Meanwhile the Japanese destroyer put up a smoke screen for protection. Suddenly about 3.00am a bulkhead in the aft part of the ship gave way, and with a loud noise the "Leasowe Castle" sank rapidly. The "Lily" had a narrow escape, as the hawsers connecting her with the sinking ship were cut with an axe just in time.
Nottingham Church (Rock) Cemetery family headstone: (John Shaw) 'Also his elder son, 2nd Lieut Alfred John S.N.H., drowned at sea May 27th 1918'.
Remembered on

Photos

  • Family headstone, Nottingham Church (Rock) Cemetery. Photograph Rachel Farrand
    Alfred John Shaw - Family headstone, Nottingham Church (Rock) Cemetery. Photograph Rachel Farrand
  • Inscription family headstone, Nottingham Church (Rock) Cemetery. Photograph Rachel Farrand
    Alfred John Shaw - Inscription family headstone, Nottingham Church (Rock) Cemetery. Photograph Rachel Farrand