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WW1 Casualty: Rifleman 1902 Alfred James Sherwood -

Rifleman 1902 Alfred James Sherwood

Prescot Reporter 04/06/1915

Unit/Regiment 5th Bn, South Lancashire Regiment
Date of Death 08/05/1915 Age at Death 19
& Reference
Hazebrouck Communal Cemetery
II D 32
Census Details 1901 Census -

Living at 48 Houghton Street, Prescot, were Ralph Sherwood, a 33 year old watch case maker, who was widowed, and his children Ellen (9), Thomas (8), and Alfred (5).

1911 Census -
The Sherwood family now lived at 54, Scotch Barn Lane. Alfred, aged 15, was employed as a Painter's Apprentice
Birth/Marriage/Death Registrations Birth Registered Q4/1895, Prescot, 8b, 678
SDGW – Where Born Prescot, Lancs
Enlisted Prescot, Lancs
How Died Died of Wounds Theatre of War France & Flanders
Research Ref. No. P255

Service Details

Alfred Sherwood was born in Prescot on 20th September 1895 and was baptised at St Mary's Church on 3rd November.

He was a brother of Ralph Sherwood

His service number of 1902 was issued in early August 1914 and so it would appear that he was one of the local men who rushed out to join the army on the outbreak of war.

The 5th Battalion, South Lancashire Regiment, had just started its annual training in camp when war broke out in August 1914. It was sent to Edinburgh until October, then moved to Tunbridge Wells until February 1915. It was then ordered to France, sailing on the 13th aboard s.s. King Edward. Arriving at Le Havre the same day.

The Battalion was moved around regularly without seeing action, until 28th April when it was moved to Vlamertinghe, Belgium in readiness to take part in the 1st Battle of Ypres, which had started on the 22nd.

On 2nd May, the Germans launched a violent attack, accompanied by a cloud of chlorine gas, and the battalion was moved into the line for the first time. On 3rd May, it was moved to the new line in front of Wieltje, and then on the 4th it was again moved to Shell Trap Farm. At dawn, they engaged the Germans but by 4pm the enemy was within 400 yards of the British lines, from where they began a heavy bombardment of the British lines.

More shell fire continued through the next day, culminating in heavy concentrated fire about 5 p.m. which resulted in a considerable number of men being buried, many of them killed and wounded. The enemy fire continued til midnight and four attempts were made by the Germans to take the farm, but all were repulsed.

At 2 a.m. on the 6th, the Battalion was relieved and moved to La Brique, having incurred considerable casualties.

Rifleman Sherwood was one of these. He is known to have died of wounds and is buried at Hazebrouck Communal Cemetery, south of Calais. This was home to several casualty clearing stations, and so it seems highly likely that he was severely wounded in the fighting detailed above, and later he succumbed to his wounds.

A list of Prescot men reported killed which appeared in the Liverpool Daily Post on 31st May 1915

Private Sherwood's Medal Index Card

Alfred Sherwood's grave at Hazebrouck Cemetery.

Private Sherwood's sister, Ellen, was listed as his sole legatee in the Register of Soldiers Effects

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