Lance Sergeant Frederic Harold SHENTON


Regiment/Service:
York and Lancaster Regiment
(Formerly: Sherwood Foresters
[Notts and Derby Regiment])
Unit:
3rd (Reserve) Battalion
Service Number:
31940
(Formerly: 3471 Sherwood Foresters)
Date of Death:
25 June 1918 - Died (Home)
Age:
23
Cemetery / Memorial:
Grave Number:
3534


Personal History:

Frederic was born in the September quarter 1894, the son of Thomas Frederick (Slate merchant) and Emma F. (née Pemberton) Shenton of Bramble Street, Derby (1901 Census RG13/3214). He had an older brother, George Edward.

In 1911 (Census RG 14/20903) the family were living at 40 Gerard Street, Derby, and Frederick was employed as an "Assistant" - presumably to his father, now designated "Master Slater".

In the March quarter 1916 he married Rose Ashcroft and they lived at 54 Gerard Street, Derby. In the March quarter 1917 their son, Ronald W. was born.

Why Frederic was included on the Buxton Memorial has yet to be determined, unless his work brought him to the town in the short period between the Census Return and his enlistment.
His Death Certificate reveals that before joining up he had changed his occupation to "County Police Officer", so could have been stationed in the town. If so, his colleagues in the Force could have put his name forward for inclusion.

Military History:
Frederic was living at 54 Gerard Street when he enlisted into the Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment) on 5th June 1915, joining the 3/5th Battalion. He enlisted into the Territorial Force, for a period of service of 4 years. For someone of no previous military service Frederic soon became noticed for promotion. He was promoted to Lance Corporal on 21st August and to Acting Corporal on 13th December 1915. Frederic's Medal Index Card shows he was not eligible for the 1914-15 Star, so he did not serve overseas until after the end of 1915.

His Service Papers show that Frederic transferred from the 3/5th Reserve Battalion to the 1/5th Battalion on 4th October 1916, which is presumably the date Frederic entered France as the 1/5th had been posted there from as early as February 1915, part of the 139th Brigade in 46th (North Midland) Division. However, his period of time in France was short-lived as sometime in the next fortnight he was transferred to the 1/4th (Reserve) Battalion, York and Lancs Regiment, and then almost immediately, on the 18th October 1916, back to the 14th (Reserve) Battalion, Notts and Derbys, recently converted to a Training Reserve Battalion, based at Brocton.

His short time in France, however, did not interfere with his promotions, so clearly he was highly thought of by his superiors. Frederic became a full Corporal on the 20th October and Lance Sergeant three weeks later, on the 11th November 1916.  He moved back to France to be employed with the XIII Corps School, at Pernes, Pas-de-Calais, and was made Acting Sergeant on 17th October 1917, but relinquished his acting rank - back to Lance Sergeant - on 20th February 1918. [N.B. Located at Pernes between St. Pol and Lillers, the XIII Corps School conducted a variety of instructional courses in warfare as well as providing reinforcements to units of the Corps.]

Two days after relinquishing his rank, on the 22nd February, Frederic transferred again, from the 14th to the 13th Reserve Battalion, though still based at Brocton.

Frederic was posted back to the Depot on 1st April 1918, presumably by now suffering from the illnesses from which he would eventually die, and transferred to the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion, York and Lancaster Regiment. This Battalion was a depot/training unit, it had moved in August 1915 to Durham but returned to Sunderland in February 1916 where it remained as part of the Tyne Garrison.

The last notation on the few surviving pages of his Service Papers states he was suffering from (1) Myocarditis, and (2) Syncape (light-headedness; blackouts; fainting).

Frederic's Death Certificate shows that he succumbed to these ailments and died in the
Voluntary Aid Detachment Hospital, Jeffrey Hall U.D. in Sunderland, and died on the 25th
June 1918. He was subsequently brought back to Derby and buried in Grave 3534,
Uttoxeter Road Cemetery.

He does not have a CWGC headstone, instead he is buried in the grave of Fanny Derry,
who died on 10th September 1883 - over ten years before Frederic was born.

[N.B. Fanny was born Fanny Andrews on 24th July 1860 in Winchester and moved to
Derby to work as an "Assistant in Shop". The 1881 Census (RG 11/3399) shows her
boarding at 18 Colyear Street, Derby.

Fanny married Alfred Derry in the June quarter 1883, just a few months before she died.
Quite why Frederic is buried in this Grave remains a mystery, as does his inclusion among
the War dead of Buxton.]

Sources:
· I am grateful to Keith Taylor for the details from Frederic's Death Certificate

Commemorated on:
Link to CWGC Record
Uttoxeter Road Cemetery, Derby
Sgt. Shenton's Grave in Derby
The inscription on Frederic's Grave
The inscription on Frederic's Grave
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