546 PTE. T. W. SHERLOCK. A.I.F.

 

Thomas William Sherlock was born in the first quarter of 1892 in Higher Walton.  His parents both had military connections: his father was John Sherlock (b. 1842 in Preston) who served in the army (I know only that he was discharged in 1888).  After that he worked as a labourer in a paper mill.  His mother was Mary Ann Kirk (b. 1863 in Fermoy, Co. Cork, Ireland).  Mary Ann’s father was in the army and they moved from Ireland to Aldershot and Guernsey before arriving in Fulwood in 1868.  Mary Ann Kirk and John Sherlock were married in Higher Walton in 1888; John was 20 years older than Mary Ann.  They had 15 children together though 7 of them died before reaching adulthood.  Thomas was their first-born; his surviving siblings were: Francis (b. 1893), William (b. 1896), Ernest (b. 1897), Harold (b. 1899), Robert (b. 1901), Florence (b. 1903) and Edward (b. 1904).  John Sherlock died in 1909, leaving Mary Ann (then aged 45) to bring up her remaining 8 children (4 of whom were still at school).  According to the 1911 Census, they lived at 30 Mill Street, School Lane, Bamber Bridge.  Tom was a labourer in a spinning mill.  A couple of months after the Census, on 27 June 1911, Tom left England for Australia, arriving in Brisbane on 1 September.  He moved to Bundaberg, Queensland, where he worked as a labourer.  On his attestation papers he says that while in England he had served two years with the Territorials, in the East Lancashire Regiment.  He enlisted on 19 August 1914 and was posted to 9th Infantry Battalion of the Australian 1st Division.  He was assigned service number 546.

 

Australian 1st Division left Albany, Western Australia, on 1 November 1914.  They were initially destined for England but en route were diverted to Egypt to pre-empt any Turkish attack on the Suez Canal.  The Australians were then included in the allied plan to attack the Ottoman Empire at Gallipoli and knock them out of the War.  They landed at Anzac Cove on the Gallipoli Peninsula on 25 April 1915.  Tom was wounded at Gaba Tepe (now Kapa Tepe), on 2 May 1915.  He was taken prisoner by the Turks and moved to Beylerbey Hospital in Constantinople.  He died there of gangrene in his foot, on 13 June 1915.  Tom was 23 years old.

The Gallipoli campaign was a failure; Australian casualties totalled 26,111, including 8,141 killed.

 

Rank:  Private

Service Number:  546

Date of Death:  13/06/1915

Age:  23

Regiment/Service:  Australian Infantry, A.I.F., 9th Bn. 
Cemetery/memorial reference: I. C. 1.

Cemetery:  HAIDAR PASHA CEMETERY, Istanbul.

Three of Tom’s brothers – Francis, William and Ernest – also served in the forces during the War and are recorded on St Aidan’s Roll of Honour. 

 

Francis was born on 20 July 1893.  He joined the Royal Field Artillery on 13 November 1911 and was initially assigned service number 1003.  This indicates that he joined up in Preston, rather than Bamber Bridge.  He was later assigned service number 695315, indicating that he served in the Divisional Ammunition Column of 55th Division.  At some point he was invalided, sick rather than wounded, and he returned home and stayed in the reserves until the end of the War.  In September 1918, he got married to Nora Wilkinson (b. 1893 in Preston).  He was finally discharged on 25 November 1919.  The couple had a son, John (b. 1919).  Francis died in 1981.

 

William was born in 1896.  He too joined the Royal Field Artillery, enlisting on 22 July 1913.  He was assigned initial service number 1283, which was later changed to 680245.  From this it seems that William served with 276 Brigade, which was attached to 55th Division (same as his brother).  So the two of them possibly landed together in France on 30 September 1915.   At some stage, however, William was transferred to 91st Brigade, which was attached to 20th (Light) Division.  He was also wounded, though again I don’t know precisely when or where, but he also served until the end of the War, being discharged on 24 January 1919.  In the summer of 1918 he got married to Ellen Margery Stuart (b. 1900 in Blackpool) and the couple had two children.  William died in 1961.

 

Ernest was born on 4 November 1897.  He took a different path to his brothers, joining the Navy on 1 September 1913 (aged 15) as a Boy II Class.  In the latter part of the War (from 1916) he served on HMS Topaze, a 3rd Class light cruiser.  The map plots the ship’s journeys from 1914 to 1919.  He was demobbed in 1919 and later that year he married Eleanor Emily Davenport (b. 1895 in Bamber Bridge).  They had two children.  Eleanor died in 1988 but I haven’t found a record of Ernest’s death.

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