Thomas Shaw (World War I veteran)

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Thomas Shaw
Born(1899-06-00)June 1899
Belfast, Ireland (now Northern Ireland)
Died(2002-03-02)2 March 2002 (aged 102)
Bangor, County Down, Northern Ireland
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch Royal Irish Rifles
Years of service1914; 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.

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