Private Luke Shackleton. 20th (Tyneside Scottish) Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers. Service No: 45791.
Luke was born on 18th August 1890 in Haworth and the birth was registered in Keighley that year. His parents were William Oliver and Rebecca Shackleton and William was a woolsorter. Luke was baptised at St Michael and All Angels Church in Haworth on 18th January 1891.
He was seven months of age in the 1891 census, when the family were living at 49, West Lane in Haworth and William was a mohair sorter. Luke had an older sister Susannah who was two years old. Clearly working in textiles wasn't enough for their 44 year old father William, who by 1901 had become a stone merchant and the family had moved to 8, Sladen Bridge just up the Worth Valley near Stanbury. Their mother Rebecca was 41 and the children were Susannah,12; Luke, 10; and Emily, 7.
By 1911 William was a stone merchant and part owner of Dimples Quarry on the North Slopes of Penistone Hill, Haworth and overlooking the valley which contained their home at 8, Sladen Bridge. He and Rebecca had been married for 25 years. Susannah (22) was a worsted weaver and Emily (17)a worsted spinner, whilst Luke (20) was now an apprentice quarryman.
There are no Army Service records available for Luke, but from searching available records he seems to have enlisted around August 1916 at Haworth with the 9th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers, spent several months in training then he was posted overseas to France, where he joined the 20th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers.
War diary extract 20th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers October 1917: North of Poelcapelle.
On the night on 18th inst. D Coy 20th NF took over the front CRAVEL FARM (exclusive) to BESAGE FARM (inclusive) thus relieving portion of the 21st NF & 22nd NF respectively: remaining Companies and Headquarters 20th NF maintained their present position. On the night of Oct 18th the enemy opened an intense bombardment on our positions with gas shells, lasting two hours. The gas was chiefly of the mustard type and traces were noticeable for a considerable time afterwards. There were no serious cases of gassing in this Battalion, but a number of men were affected the following day (19th Oct) when the enemy recommenced shelling with H.E., when this liberated the gas which had saturated the ground.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission records show two men from this Battalion died during this period, one of whom was Luke. He died of wounds at a Casualty Clearing Station based at Dozinghem, which along with the war diary report, suggests he was gassed during the attack and evacuated, when he later died from the effects of the gas and was buried in grave 16 of row E in Plot IX at Dozinghem Military Cemetery in Belgium.
Keighley News 27th October 1917, page 3: WORTH VALLEY.
News was received on Wednesday from a chaplain in France that Private Luke Shackleton (27), of the Northumberland Fusiliers, was killed in action on the previous Friday. Prior to joining up he worked at Dimples Quarry with his father, one of the partners of Shackleton Bros., Stone Merchants, and resided in Sladen Bridge, Stanbury.
In Memoriam messages and poems were also posted in the Keighley News on 19th October, 1918 by Luke's parents and his Aunts and Uncles.
Luke was posthumously awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal for his war service. His parents would have received these after the war along with his remaining pay and war gratuity. His mother also received a war pension of 9 shillings per week beginning on 30th April 1918.
His father William received his estate which was £183 19 shillings. This large amount suggests that Luke may have had part ownership of Dimples Quarry, which passed to his father after his death.
Luke is named on the Stanbury and Oldfield War Memorial in Stanbury.
England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915
1891 England Census
1901 England Census
1911 England Census
England & Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1837-1915
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919
Keighley News archives in Keighley Library
Army Registers of Soldiers' Effects, 1901-1929
British Army WWI Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920
WWI Service Medal and Award Rolls, 1914-1920
World War I Pension Ledgers and Index Cards, 1914-1923
England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1995