Belfast, Ireland (now Northern Ireland)
|Died||2 March 2002 (aged 102)|
Bangor, County Down, Northern Ireland
|Service/||Royal Irish Rifles|
|Years of service||1914; 1916–1919|
|Battles/wars||World War I|
Thomas Shaw (June 1899 – 2 March 2002) was the last known Irish World War I British Army veteran. He served in the Royal Irish Rifles after joining up in 1916 and fought in battles such as Passchendaele.
Shaw was born in Belfast, Ireland (now Northern Ireland), in June 1899. He first enlisted as a rifleman at 15 in 1914 and went into battle, but was sent home after his brother, a military policeman, met him by chance while in France. In 1916 he joined the 16th battalion of the Royal Irish Rifles and fought in battles such as Messines and Passchendaele. He stayed in Germany as part of the Army of Occupation for six months after the war ended and returned home in April 1919.
During World War II he was in charge of meat rations in Belfast. In 1942, he married his girlfriend Nell.
Shaw and his wife spent the last 12 years living at The Savoy, a sheltered accommodation development in Bangor, County Down. He died on 2 March 2002 at the age of 102 and was buried in Clandeboye cemetery in Bangor. A plaque in honour of Thomas Shaw was put up at the front door of The Savoy on 4 August 2014.
The Royal Welch Fusiliers (Welsh: Ffiwsilwyr Brenhinol Cymreig) was a line infantry regiment of the British Army, and part of the Prince of Wales' Division, that was founded in 1689; shortly after the Glorious Revolution. In 1702, it was designated a fusilier regiment and became the Welch Regiment of Fusiliers; the prefix "Royal" was added in 1713, then confirmed in 1714 when George I named it the Prince of Wales's Own Royal Regiment of Welsh Fusiliers. In 1751, after reforms that standardised the naming and numbering of regiments, it became the 23rd Regiment of Foot (Royal Welsh Fuzileers). In 1881, the final title of the regiment was adopted.
The 14th (Light) Division was an infantry division of the British Army, one of the Kitchener's Army divisions raised from volunteers by Lord Kitchener during the First World War. All of its infantry regiments were originally of the fast marching rifle or light infantry regiments, hence the title "Light". It fought on the Western Front for the duration of the First World War.
The division was disbanded by March 1919, and was not reformed in the Second World War.
The 36th (Ulster) Division was an infantry division of the British Army, part of Lord Kitchener's New Army, formed in September 1914. Originally called the Ulster Division, it was made up of mainly members of the Ulster Volunteer Force, who formed thirteen additional battalions for three existing regiments: the Royal Irish Fusiliers, the Royal Irish Rifles and the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. However, regular Officers and Soldiers and men from all around the United Kingdom made up the strength of the Division. The division served from October 1915 on Western Front as a formation of the British Army during the Great War.
The 16th (Irish) Division was an infantry division of the British Army, raised for service during World War I. The division was a voluntary 'Service' formation of Lord Kitchener's New Armies, created in Ireland from the 'National Volunteers', initially in September 1914, after the outbreak of the Great War. In December 1915, the division moved to France, joining the British Expeditionary Force (BEF), under the command of Irish Major General William Hickie, and spent the duration of the war in action on the Western Front. Following enormous losses at the Somme, Passchendaele and Ypres, the 16th (Irish) Division required a substantial refit in England between June and August 1918, which involved the introduction of many non-Irish battalions.
The Queen's Own Rifles of Canada is a Primary Reserve regiment of the Canadian Armed Forces, based in Toronto. The regiment is part of 4th Canadian Division's 32 Canadian Brigade Group. It is the only reserve regiment in Canada to currently have a parachute role. The regiment consists of the reserve battalion, the Regimental Association, and the Regimental Band and Bugles. The official abbreviation is The QOR of C, but the name is often abbreviated to QOR.
The 5th Royal Irish Lancers was a cavalry regiment of the British Army. It saw service for three centuries, including the First World War. It amalgamated with the 16th The Queen's Lancers to become the 16th/5th Lancers in 1922.
The West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales's Own) (14th Foot) was an infantry regiment of the British Army. In 1958 it amalgamated with the East Yorkshire Regiment (15th Foot) to form the Prince of Wales's Own Regiment of Yorkshire which was, on 6 June 2006, amalgamated with the Green Howards and the Duke of Wellington's Regiment (West Riding) to form the Yorkshire Regiment (14th/15th, 19th and 33rd/76th Foot).
The Rifle Brigade (The Prince Consort's Own) was an infantry rifle regiment of the British Army formed in January 1800 as the "Experimental Corps of Riflemen" to provide sharpshooters, scouts, and skirmishers. They were soon renamed the "Rifle Corps". In January 1803, they became an established regular regiment and were titled the 95th Regiment of Foot (Rifles). In 1816, at the end of the Napoleonic Wars, they were again renamed, this time as the "Rifle Brigade".
The Royal Irish Rifles was an infantry rifle regiment of the British Army, first created in 1881 by the amalgamation of the 83rd Regiment of Foot and the 86th Regiment of Foot. The regiment saw service in the Second Boer War, the First World War, the Second World War, and the Korean War.
The Royal Winnipeg Rifles are a Primary Reserve one-battalion infantry regiment of the Canadian Army. Nicknamed the "Little Black Devils", they are based at Minto Armoury in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The Royal Winnipeg Rifles are part of 3rd Canadian Division's 38 Canadian Brigade Group.
Sir Charles Norman Lockhart Stronge, 8th Baronet, MC, PC, JP was a senior Ulster Unionist Party politician in Northern Ireland.
The Royal Irish Fusiliers (Princess Victoria's) was an Irish line infantry regiment of the British Army, formed by the amalgamation of the 87th (Prince of Wales's Irish) Regiment of Foot and the 89th (Princess Victoria's) Regiment of Foot in 1881. The regiment's first title in 1881 was Princess Victoria's (Royal Irish Fusiliers), changed in 1920 to the Royal Irish Fusiliers (Princess Victoria's). Between the time of its formation and Irish independence, it was one of eight Irish regiments.
The 107th Brigade, later 107th (Ulster) Brigade was an infantry formation of the British Army which saw service in the First World War. The brigade was later reformed during the Cold War and finally disbanded in 2006, following the drawdown of Operation Banner.
This is an incomplete list of the last surviving European veterans of several wars. The last surviving veteran of any particular war, upon his death, marks the end of a historic era. Exactly who is the last surviving veteran is often an issue of contention, especially with records from long-ago wars. The "last man standing" was often very young at the time of enlistment and in many cases had lied about his age to gain entry into the service, which confuses matters further.
During World War I (1914–1918), Ireland was part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, which entered the war in August 1914 as one of the Entente Powers, along with France and Russia. In part as an effect of chain ganging, the UK decided due to geopolitical power issues to declare war on the Central Powers, consisting of Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire, and Bulgaria.
Major General Sir Eric Stanley Girdwood, KBE, CB, CMG was a British military officer who served as General Officer Commanding the Northern Ireland District from 1931 to 1935.
The 38th Battalion was an infantry battalion of the Australian Army. Originally formed in 1916 for service overseas during World War I as part of the Australian Imperial Force (AIF), the battalion was recruited from the state of Victoria and formed part of the 10th Brigade, 3rd Division. It served throughout the war on the Western Front before being disbanded in 1919. During the inter-war years, the battalion was re-raised as a part-time military unit and during the World War II undertook garrison duties in Australia, but did not see combat. After the war, it was re-formed in Victoria and was eventually subsumed into the Royal Victoria Regiment, with its honours and traditions being preserved by the 8th/7th Battalion, Royal Victoria Regiment.
The 43rd Battalion was an Australian Army infantry unit that was originally formed during the First World War as part of the all-volunteer Australian Imperial Force. Raised in early 1916, the battalion subsequently fought in the trenches of the Western Front from late 1916 until the end of the war in November 1918. After the war, the 43rd was re-raised as a part-time unit in South Australia, serving until 1930 when it was merged with the 48th Battalion. During the Second World War, the 43rd was briefly re-raised between 1942 and 1944, but did not see action before it was disbanded. After the war, the 43rd and 48th were once again merged, existing until 1960 when they became part of the Royal South Australia Regiment.
The 44th Battalion was an infantry unit of the Australian Army. Originally formed in 1916 for overseas service during World War I, the battalion fought in the trenches along the Western Front in France and Belgium between late 1916 and 1918, before disbanding at the conclusion of hostilities. During the inter-war years, the 44th became part of the part-time Citizens Force, based in Western Australia. During World War II, it undertook garrison duties in Australia but was not deployed overseas to fight. In the post-World War II period the 44th was amalgamated with the 11th Battalion, before being subsumed into the Royal Western Australia Regiment in 1960.
Albert Lewis Stewart, was an Irish rugby union player and decorated British Army officer. He played for North of Ireland Football Club from 1907 to 1914, and made three appearances for the Ireland national rugby union team. During World War I, he served in the Royal Irish Rifles and the Machine Gun Corps. He was killed in action in the Battle of Broodseinde during the Battle of Passchendaele.