Dedicated to the memory of all the men and women of the Bridgnorth area who died during the two World Wars.
George Sheldon was born at Eardington in 1893 and was baptised at Quatford Church on 22nd October. He was the son of Samuel Naylor Sheldon of Eardington Mill. Samuel worked as a Miller's Carter.
By 1911 the 17-year-old George was boarding at Chorley where he worked as a colliery banksman.
George served with the 6th Battalion King's Shropshire Light Infantry. He was wounded in action in early October, 1916 and died of his wounds a few days later on the 12th October. At the time of his death, he had just been awarded the D.C.M. "For conspicuous gallantry and devotion as a Runner. He volunteered on many occasions to carry messages and despatches under the hottest fire, and without the slightest consideration of personal safety."
Lance-Corporal George Sheldon, 13141, is buried in Grove Town Cemetery, Meaulte. He was awarded the Victory and British War medals and 1915 Star.
DIED OF WOUNDS
[Bridgnorth Journal 28th October, 1916]
13141 Lce-Corpl. George Sheldon, 6th K.S.L.I., son of Mr & Mrs. S. Sheldon, Eardington Mill, near Bridgnorth, who was reported as seriously wounded early in October, is now officially stated to have died as the result of his wounds on the 12th October, aged 23.
A LOCAL HERO
PRESENTATION OF THE D.C.M.
"A FINE SOLDIER AND A VERY GALLANT ONE"
[Bridgnorth Journal, April 7th January, 1917]
Before proceeding with the legal business which occupied the Court of Quarter Sessions for this Borough on Wednesday, the Recorder, who was accompanied on the Bench by Mr. A. Edge (Mayor), Major Welch, Mr J W. Steward, and Mr. G. Lloyd, said he had been asked by his Worship the Mayor for permission to make a presentation to the parent a of Lce.-Corporal G. Sheldon, who had been, unfortunately, killed in the discharge of his duties to his King and country. He gave such permission with great pleasure, for he thought it was very important that the bravery and devotion of a man who had given his life to the country should be as publicly recognised as possible. It might serve as an example to others, and he hoped it was some slight token of the respect and esteem on the part of those who knew him and thought of him.
The Mayor said the occasion for which they had assembled that morning was an auspicious one, namely, the presentation of the Distinguished Conduct Medal, which had been awarded to 13141 Lce.-Corporal G. Sheldon, of the the 6th Batt. King's Shropshire Light Infantry, "For conspicuous gallantry and devotion as a runner. He volunteered on many occasions to carry messages and despatches under the hottest fire, and without the slightest consideration of personal safety." It was with mixed feelings of pride and sorrow that he ventured to offer a few words in making the presentation. He was sure they were all proud in honouring the memory of Lce.-Corporal Sheldon. Such deeds as his filled their emotions, and gave them unbounded confidence in the spirit and ability of their Army, together with the aid of their noble Allies, to eventually win such a victory as would overcome and overthrow German arrogance and its attendant atrocities, and establish in the world once more a righteous and enduring peace. He was sorry that Lce.-Corporal Sheldon did not live to receive that Medal. He was wounded on October 6th, 1916, and died six days later. He was only 23 years of age. He joined Kitchener's Army on September 7th, 1914, and went out to France in July, 1915. Although he did not live in Bridgnorth his home was not far away —it was in the neighbouring parish of Eardington. He (the Mayor) knew him very well. He was a quiet, unassuming young fellow, typical of many others from this town and district who readily responded to the Nation's call in the early days of the war. He now occupied a soldier's grave, but "his soul goes marching on." He offered to his parents (Mr and Mrs Sheldon) heartfelt sympathy in their loss, but he asked them to rejoice that they were able to give such a hero to the service of their King and country. He would now ask Mr. Sheldon to accept the Medal, and he hoped its possession would be an inspiration to them and every member of their family.
Mr. Sheldon here stepped forward and receivedthe D.C.M. at the hands of the Mayor.
Major Welch said he was very glad to have the opportunity of saying how highly they respected Lce.-Corpl. G. Sheldon in the Battalion. He knew him very well, being in his Company when he went out. He was a very fine soldier and a very gallant one. He was one of the Battalion runners who were a very fine body of men, and when they were fighting on the Somme front he had a very hard time, and it was simply owing to his courage and bravery that he became the leader of them, the Chief Battalion runner, and was recommended for the D.C.M., which he thouroughly deserved. There were many occasions when they could not keep in touch with the front line but for theses runners and, speaking for his Regiment, he might say they always got men who were only too ready to volunteer to go out. Even when close up to the Bo[sche] lines, and when exposed to shells and snipers, [the] runners if wanted made no bones about it - they went out and did what was wanted. He was [sure] Mr. and Mrs. Sheldon had very much to be proud of in their son — a good soldier and highly respected by all ranks in his Battalion. He was glad to say that he lived to wear the ribbon for some time before he was wounded, and he (Major Welch knew that he was very proud of it, and they were all very proud of him. (Applause).
The Mayor said he would like to add that Lce.-Corpl. G. Sheldon had a brother who was wounded but had now recovered and was still serving.
This memorial has mostly been compiled from official sources. It would be good to be able to expand it with more personal material - memories, stories, photos, etc. If you have any suitable material or any corrections please contact Greg. For news of updates follow @BridgnorthHeros on Twitter.