William Sheldon (1870–1952)


Army Service Corps 055154  

Courtesy Louis Sheldon

photo of William Shedon in WW1

Research & notes: Louis Sheldon & Simon Johnson
William Sheldon was born at Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, in 1870. He was the oldest child of George Sheldon and Mary Ward. His parents had twelve children, of whom ten were still living in 1911. William was raised at Sutton-in-Ashfield, but by 1881 the family had moved to live at Crich.

During the 1880s, William worked as a factory hand in the Crich area. As a young man he was part of a volunteer battalion of the Sherwood Foresters. At eighteen years of age he left Crich to become a regular soldier, enlisting as a Private in the King’s Royal Rifle Corps at Winchester. He served with his regiment in India, Burma and South Africa.

William married Sarah Ann Eastwood at Skipton in the West Riding of Yorkshire, in 1898. They had eight children, six boys and two girls. In November 1899, only a few months after his marriage, William was recalled to active service as a result of a Special Army Order and served with the King’s Royal Rifle Corps during the Second Boer War in South Africa.

By the time William returned from South Africa the family were living at Westmorland Street in Skipton and he soon found employment as a railway porter. The family remained in Skipton for a number of years, where William is known to have worked as a lamplighter for the Urban District Council, and later as a chauffeur for a local jeweller. The family later moved close to Bradford at the village of Saltaire, near the town of Shipley, where he worked at the mills of Sir Titus Salt.

During the early stages of the First World War, as an experienced former solider, the call to arms found William ready to respond. He was attested as a Private with the Army Service Corps at London on 25 March 1915, aged forty-five years. He served in Mechanical Transport as a driver, and most of his service was spent with the rank of Acting Corporal. From October 1915 he served in France as part of the British Expeditionary Force, but he was invalided home in November 1916 due to failing health, for which he was later awarded a pension and the Silver War Badge. He was discharged on 2nd October 1917.

As William’s parents George and Mary were still residents of Crich until after the First World War, they had William’s name listed on the Roll of Honour inside Crich Parish Church alongside that of his brother Joseph. It is notable that all of William’s six sons also served in the armed forces.

After he was discharged from the army, William returned to his family at Saltaire, and remained in the Shipley area for the rest of his life. Only a month after the death of his wife, William Sheldon passed away at Shipley on 18th February 1952, aged eighty-two years. He was laid to rest in Nab Wood Cemetery at Saltaire.

Medal Index Card
He was awarded the Victory, British War and 15 Star Medals. He also was awarded the Silver War Badge
He entered France 03/10/15 and was discharged 02/10/17

Silver War Badge
M2/055154, William Sheldon, Pte ASC, Badge 135709, enlisted 23/5/15, discharged 2/10/17, sickness, served overseas ; age 44yr 6mo

William's brother Joseph Sheldon is also on the Roll of Honour


1881: Crich

Forename Surname Relationship Age Occupation Where born
George Sheldon Head 30 FWK Sutton in A
Mary Sheldon wife 30 FWK Sutton in A
William Sheldon son 11 Scholar Sutton in A
Sarah Ann Sheldon daughter 7 Scholar Sutton in A
Albert Sheldon son 4 Scholar Sutton in A
Elizabeth Sheldon daughter 3   Sutton in A
George Sheldon son 2   Sutton in A
Florence Sheldon daughter 6mo   Crich

RG11 piece 3415 page14

1901: Skipton

Forename Surname Relationship Age Occupation Where born
William Sheldon Head 30 Railway Porter Sutton in A
Sarah Ann Sheldon wife 23   Skipton
Ethel Sheldon daughter 3   Skipton
Albert Sheldon son 2   Skipton

RG13 piece 4032 piece 112 page9

1911: Skipton

Forename Surname Relationship Age Occupation Where born
William Sheldon Head 39 Lamp lighter Sutton in A
Sarah Ann Sheldon wife 32   Skipton
Ethel Sheldon daughter 13 Cotton winder Skipton
Albert Sheldon son 12 Reacher in Skipton
Harry Sheldon son 9   Burnley Lane
Maria Sheldon daughter 7   Skipton
Louis Sheldon son 4   Skipton
Fred Sheldon son 1   Skipton

RG14PN25803 RG78PN1486 RD485 SD5 ED13 SN68

1939 Register: Shipley
William Sheldon b.16 February 1870 ; labourer motor works
Sarah A Sheldon b.3 June 1880
Robert Sheldon b.21 July 1922; worsted jobber