Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Rifleman Edward Gorman Shaw - 12th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles



Today I was assisting with the Great War section of Woodburn Presbyterian Church history publication when I realised that Edward Gorman Shaw had in fact been a member of that congregation.  Many of you may have read about him in the section I did about LOL 553 in Carrick but I think the details of his war story are worth another look.  I don't have a picture of Edward yet so if anyone could help track one down I would really appreciate it.

J.S

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NAME; Shaw, Edward Gorman
RANK; Rifleman
SERV. NO; 12/18755
UNIT/SERVICE; 12th Battalion "C Coy"
REGIMENT; Royal Irish Rifles
BORN; Carrickfergus 1871
LIVED; Upper Woodburn, Carrickfergus
ENLISTED; September 1914 in Carrickfergus
FATE; Survived the War
CEMETERY; N/A
CHURCH; Woodburn Presbyterian
MEMORIAL; N/A
REMARKS; REMARKS; Edward Shaw was born in Carrickfergus in 1871 the son of Thomas and Rachael Shaw of Woodburn. In 1901 and 1911 he is listed as living in the Woodburn area of the town with his wife Jemima whom he married on 29th September 1899 in Ballycarry Presbyterian.  The couple had 5 children, William, Henry, Rachel, Susan and Jemima.  The entire family were members of the Presbyterian church and Edward was a member of Bennett's Chosen Few LOL 553.  Prior to the war he worked as a salt miner at the local salt mine works, presumably in Woodburn.  Edward was a big man for the day 5ft 10 inches 156 pounds with blue eyes and dark hair, he had a tattoo of a ship and a flower on his left forearm and was listed as being in good physical health.  On the 28th September 1912 he signed the Ulster Covenant at Carrickfergus Court House where he is listed as living in Upper Woodburn.  Edward enlisted with the 12th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles in September 1914 aged 34 and was assigned to C Company.  He was promoted to Corporal on 29th September 1914 but reverted back to private in December that year at his own request.  He saw action across the Western Front and was on active service in France from October 1915.  He was reported as missing presumed dead on 21st March 1918 but was actually taken prisoner of war.  He served out the rest of the war in captivity only being repatriated on 19th December 1918.  Edward was demobilised on 29th March 1919 and returned to Carrickfergus by which point the family were living in 42 Unity Street in the town. 

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