100 years late
As we remember the 100 years anniversary of the Battle of the Somme, the people of Stonegravels can celebrate the finding of the grave of one of their soldiers who fought in this important First World War conflict. Private Charles Gordon Shaw of the 1/6th (Chesterfield) Battalion of the Notts. & Derby Sherwood Foresters was mortally wounded on the first day of the Battle of the Somme on 1st July 1916. He died from his wounds in Chester Hospital on 7th July and was buried at Christ Church Stonegravels on 11th July 1916. Unfortunately, when the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) tried to mark the grave, they were unable to establish where Private Shaw was buried, and they were resigned to simply erecting a headstone at Christ Church stating that he was buried elsewhere in the churchyard. Prompted by an enquiry from Mrs Doris Innes, the deceased’s niece, a full investigation was carried out into this burial and eventually his grave was discovered in May of this year. The CWGC has agreed to mark the grave with a new headstone later this year, but in the meantime the family of Private Shaw will be holding a graveside service at Christ Church on Monday 11th July at 2pm exactly 100 years to the day since their relative was buried. The service will be conducted by the Reverend Kevin Ball, chaplain to the Sherwood Foresters and attended by the Mayor and Mayoress of Chesterfield together with members of the soldier’s regiment plus a number of his family, relatives of Sgt Dick Wagg, who was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for rescuing Private Shaw, and members of the British Legion. After the service Ian Shaw, the great nephew of the deceased, will give a short presentation detailing the action which led to Private Shaw’s death. In addition, full details of all the 88 soldiers of Stonegravels who gave their lives in the First World War, will also be on display.