An Old Coathamian – Not Forgotten

Raymond George SHAW

No. 14455 Private, 9th (Service) Battalion,
Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding Regiment).

Born 22 September 1894,
Died 2 March 1916, aged 21 years.

Commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial,
Belgium, Panel 20.

The Menin Gate in Ypres is one of four great memorials commemorating those who died in what was known as the Ypres Salient of the Front and who have no known grave. This memorial contains the names, Private Shaw’s among them, of over 54,000 Commonwealth servicemen. He is also commemorated on a family grave in Redcar Cemetery, which records that he was “killed in action at The Bluff St. Eloi”.

Raymond George Shaw was the son of George Herbert Gurr Shaw and Rebecca Shaw of 32, Henry Street, Coatham. His father was a cashier in a local newspaper office and his parents were long-term neighbours of the Schwenk family, whose son F.L Shirley (q.v.) also died during the War. Raymond had twin sisters three years his senior, Nora and Hilda, and one sister three years his junior, Doris. He attended Redcar Zetland Council School before winning a North Riding County Council Scholarship to enable him to attend Coatham Grammar School. Raymond started at Coatham in September 1907, aged 12, and was to remain until December 1912, beyond his eighteenth birthday. He was successful in each of the three levels of Cambridge Local examinations, including an award for being “First in all England” for Arithmetic at Junior level in 1908, and honours at Senior level in 1911. He was a sportsman, leading a tug-of-war team in 1911, and on leaving school he became a clerk with W. B. Peat & Company, Chartered Accountants, in their Middlesbrough office.