CAPT. THE REV. T. J. SHOVEL.
Thomas Jasper Shovel was born in the third quarter of 1884 in Linkinhorne, Cornwall. His father was Thomas Shovel (b. 1858 in Linkinhorne), a farmer. His mother was Ellen George (b. 1857 in Linkinhorne). Thomas and Ellen were married in 1883 and they had five children: Jasper was the eldest and his siblings were: George (b. 1885), Ernest (b. 1888), Dorothy (b. 1890) and Leslie (b. 1892).
Jasper joined the Wesleyan ministry in about 1905. In 1912, he was living in London, and he moved to Bamber Bridge the following year. As the newspaper article tells us, when war broke out he offered his services as an army chaplain but the Wesleyan Army and Navy Board told him there was no vacancy, so he told them if he couldn’t go as a chaplain he would enlist as a private. A place was found for him and he left for France in February 1918. He was attached to 2/2 Wessex Field Ambulance. This field ambulance (a hospital, not a vehicle!) was part of the medical support for 57th (West Lancashire) Division, so he would have been in close contact with the men from Bamber Bridge who served with 286 Brigade RFA.
Jasper had been home on leave in August, returning to his unit on 8 September 1918. He was killed while out walking with one of the medical officers on 5 October 1918. He was 34 years old. The Division at the time was heavily engaged in the advance on Cambrai, which the Germans were fiercely resisting.
Rank: Chaplain 4th Class
Date of Death: 05/10/1918
Regiment/Service: Army Chaplains' Department
Cemetery/memorial reference: A. 6.
Cemetery: LOUVERVAL MILITARY CEMETERY, DOIGNIES
Additional Information: Son of Thomas and Ellen Shovel, of Upton Cross, Linkinhorne, Cornwall.