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Person Details
Radford Nottingham
Gilbert was the second son of John Henry and Clara Shardlow nee Bignall. Both his parents were born in Nottingham in about 1871 and were married in 1889 (J/A/S Nottingham). According to the 1911 Census when they had been married for 21 years they had had eight children of whom seven survived: Lilian Rose b. 1889 (O/N/D), Ethel b. 1892 (O/N/D), John Henry birth registered 1895 J/F/M, Gilbert b. 1896 (A/M/J), Harold b. 1897 (A/M/J), Clara b. 1898 and Esther b. 1900 (A/M/J); all the births were registered in Nottingham. Another child, Frederick, was entered on the 1891 Census aged 5 days; no record has yet been found of his death but it is likely that this was the child who died in infancy. In 1891 John (20), a plumber, and his wife Clara were living at 1 High Church Street, Basford, with their two children Lilian Rose (1) and John Henry (5 days). By 1901 they were living at 330 Alfreton Road. John (30) was working as a plumber on his own account. He and Clara (30) now had seven children but only six were at home on the night of the census: Lilian (11), Ethel (8), Gilbert (5), Harold (4), Clara (2) and Esther (1). John Henry, the eldest son, has not yet been traced on the 1901 Census. In 1911 the family was living at 34 Birkin Street, Hyson Green. John Henry (40) was now working as a glass cutter. All their children were still living at home: Lilian (21) a cigar maker, Ethel (18) a hosiery hand, John Henry (16) and his brothers Gilbert (15) and Harold (14) who were all errand lads and Clara (12) and Esther (11) who were still at school. Gilbert's younger brother, Harold, also served in the 1st Bn Sherwood Foresters (15213 Private), and was killed the same day as Gilbert, 5 July 1916, at the age of 19. (Theipval Memorial). Their service numbers (15213 and 15220) suggest they enlisted together. This website has identified seven days during the Great War on each of which two Nottinghamshire brothers were killed. Four of the local pairs discovered so far were killed fighting with the same unit. The Shardlow family tragedy highlights the dangers of siblings serving in the same battalion. The eldest brother, John Henry, married Elsie S Brady in 1915 (A/M/J Nottingham) and their son, Gilbert Raymond, was born on 13 August 1916. John Henry died aged 36 in 1931 (registered March, Nottingham). John Henry senior died in June 1924 (buried 11 June) aged 54; his wife Clara died in 1929 (registered June, Nottingham), aged 58.
He was an errand lad in 1911.
05 Jul 1916
812192 - CWGC Website
1st Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
He entered theatre (France) on 18 May 1915. Gilbert was killed in action and his body was not recovered for burial; he is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial (Panel Reference: Pier and Face 10 C 10 D and 11 A). The Shardlow brothers lost their lives in bitter combat a couple of miles outside Albert. On July 5th 1916 1st Battalion Sherwood Foresters was ordered to attack, capture and consolidate a line near La Boisselle (close to the now much visited Lochnagar mine crater). Although, as General Babbington later acknowledged, the assault went ahead ‘at short notice and with little opportunity of preparation', the Foresters fought with the greatest bravery. The position was fiercely defended by numerically superior élite Prussian Guards and ‘throughout the action’, recorded the battalion war diary, ’the fighting was of a very severe nature and mostly hand to hand.' The brutal nature of July 5th’s battle is confirmed by 1st Battalion’s casualties: Officers 4 killed and 10 wounded, Other Ranks 41 killed, 178 wounded and 3 missing. All four companies had been withdrawn by 9pm and were relieved at 2am and returned to billets.
Registers of Soldiers' Effects: legatee, father John H. snr The sequence of the notices of the boys' deaths in the Nottingham Evening Post suggest that the family first had confirmation of the death of Gilbert (notice 5 August), then Harold's death was confirmed about a week later (notice 14 August). Nottingham Evening Post, Roll of Honour, 5 August 1916: ‘Killed in action, July 5th, Private Gilbert Shardlow, Machine Gun Section, Sherwood Foresters, aged 20 years, second son of Mr and Mrs JH Shardlow, Hyson Green. His duty nobly done. From his sorrowing father, mother, and family.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, Roll of Honour, 14 August 1916: ‘Shardlow. Killed in action, July 5th, 1916, Private Harold Shardlow, Lewis Gun Section, age 19, also his brother Gilbert, of Machine Gun Section, on the same day, both of the Sherwood Foresters, the beloved sons of Mr and Mrs Shardlow, Hyson Green, and grandsons of the late Henry Shardlow, plumber, Hyson Green. Their duties nobly done, after two years’ service. From their sorrowing mother, father, and family.' (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, Roll of Honour, 15 August 1916: ‘Shardlow. Killed in action, July 5th, Gilbert, aged 20, also same day his brother Harold, aged 19. Duty nobly done. Eternal rest give unto them. Uncle Tom and Aunt Nellie.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, 22 August 1916. Photograph with caption: ‘(left) Pte G Shardlow (Sherwood Foresters, machine gun section), 11, Thurman Street, Hyson Green, killed in action July 5th, aged 20 his brother also being killed at the same time.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Notices were published in the local paper the following year on the anniversary of the brothers' deaths: Nottingham Evening Post, In Memoriam, 5 July 1917: ‘Shardlow. In loving memory of my dear brothers, Privates Gilbert and Harold, Sherwood Foresters, who were both killed the same day, July 5th, 1916. Sadly missed and ever in our thoughts. Duty nobly done. Brother Jack, wife, and Sonny.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, In Memoriam, 5 July 1917: ‘Shardlow. In loving memory of our dear nephews, Harold and Gilbert, killed in action July 5th, 1916. Uncle Tom, Aunt Nellie.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, In Memoriam, 5 July 1917: ‘Shardlow. In loving memory of Gilbert and Harold, killed in action July 5th, 1916. Fondly remembered. Mr and Mrs JR Norton and daughters.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, In Memoriam, 5 July 1917: ‘Shardlow. In loving memory of our two dear sons, Privates Gilbert and Harold Shardlow, Sherwood Foresters, who were both killed in action July 5th, 1916. A year has passed, our hearts still sore, as day by day we miss them more. From heartbroken mother, father and sisters.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk)
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