Sapper Patrick McShee

A white circle with a glove crossing it's fingers and the words: Made Possible with Heritage Fund.This man is a candidate for addition to Keighley's Supplementary Volume under the proposal to add further names in 2024, the centenary of the original roll of honour.
Click here to go to the Main page
Supported by the National Lottery's Heritage Fund, our project intends to submit about 120 names for peer review to add them to the book which is kept at Keighley Library. The unveiling of the book with it's new names is planned for November 2024, 100 years after the unveiling of the original war memorial.

Sapper. 210th Field Coy. Royal Engineers Service Number: 83839

A head and shoulders portrait newspaper photograph, of a British Army soldier in uniform. He is wearing a cap and facing the camera.

Sapper Patrick McShee.

Early life:

Patrick was born in Keighley around 1874. He was the son of Matthew and Ellen McShee who were originally from Ireland. (Other name possibilities in records are Shea and O'Shea)
We could not find the family in the 1881 census. Patrick was aged 17 in the 1891 census and a labourer, living at 12, Rectory Row in Keighley in the 1891 census with his 71 year old widowed Grandmother Honor McShee (also written in some records as Hannah,) who was head of the household, and his mother Ellen McShee who was 36 and employed as a servant. Also living here were Grace Ann Shackleton aged 24 and a worsted twister. They also had a boarder called William Roach, aged 19 and a labourer.

There is a possible record for Patrick in the nominal roll for Wakefield Prison dated 20th June 1893, in which a Patrick McShee of Keighley was committed at Otley for assaulting a constable. He received a sentence of one calendar month with hard labour. He was described as 20 years of age, 5 feet 5 inches tall and with red hair. He was of Roman Catholic faith and was born in Keighley and had no previous convictions. We have no proof that this is our Patrick, other than his name and being of similar age and from Keighley.

The Electoral rolls show that Hannah was living at 12, Rectory Row from 1890 until 1900, although the rolls only indicate a registration to vote and there could be a delay in names being added or removed if someone moved house. We think Patrick and his mother and sister would be living there too as Hannah does not appear to have any other means of supporting herself and if this is the case, Patrick had been living in Keighley since his birth, for over 25 years.
Hannah died in 1903 aged 79 and her death was registered Keighley in the last quarter of the year.

By the time of the 1901 census Patrick had moved away from Keighley and he was a 26 year old stone mason boarding at 7, Parkinson's Fold in Addingham. The head of the household was Elizabeth Bracewell, a 78 year old widow.
Elizabeth died on the 3rd of October 1901 aged 72, so Patrick would have had to find somewhere else to live.

Patrick married Edith Whitaker towards the end of 1902 and their marriage was registered at Wharfedale in the last quarter of the year.
Their son William was born on 20th April 1907 and registered at Skipton in the second quarter of the year.

In the 1911 census Patrick aged 37, Edith aged 35 and their son William aged three, were living at 9, Parkinson's Fold in Addingham. Patrick was employed as a bricklayer and Edith was a winder at a silk mill, either half a mile away at Burnside Silk Mill in Addingham village, or at the Low Mills silk mill, 3/4 of a mile to the East of where they were living. The census also tells us they'd been married for eight years.

The electoral rolls for Patrick at this address show he was still at 9, Parkinson's Fold, Addingham in 1912, 1913, 1914 and 1915. It's possible he had simply moved next door from number 7 at the end of 1901, but we can't be sure.

War service:

The war gratuity amount of £13 10s in the 'Soldier's Effects' record gives an approximate enlistment date of March 1915.
From this we can surmise he enlisted at Leeds in early 1915 and after his training was completed he went overseas. He entered the war theatre in Egypt on 23rd December 1915.
He was serving with the 210th Field Company and died on 30th March 1918. He was 43 years old when he died.

WO-95/2352/1 - 210 Field Company Royal Engineers. War diary entry for March 1918:

Page 73:
March 24. 5.50 am:
Company paraded and proceeded to HAMLINCOURT to dig line of posts after work moved to COURCELLES weher HQ and Transport had moved in the meantime.
March 25. 5 pm:
Line of posts dug W. of COURCELLES to ABLAINZEVILLE and after work Company moved back to DOUCHY to join HQ and Transport, arriving about 6 pm.
6 pm:
Company proceeded to COURCELLES to dig line of posts with instructions to hold this line on completion of work until relieved. On relief Company marched to MONCHY where HQ and Transport had moved in the meantime.
MONCHY. March 26:
Arrived at MONCHY at 6 am.
March 27:
Officers occupied all day reconnoitring Army line with a view to digging at night.
Company left MONCHY at 5 pm to work on Army line. Casualties on journey to work: 1 killed and 5 wounded.
Reached site of work 6 pm. Received instructions from G.O.C. 92nd Infantry Brigade to assume command of 3 Field Companies and to dig Army line from VALLEY WOOD to ADINFER WOOD and to occupy this line as support to the infantry who were to make a further retirement during the night.
March 28:
Received orders at 5 am to withdraw 3 Field Companies to West side of ADINFER WOOD and await further instructions.
Insturctions at 8.30 am from 92nd Infantry Brigade to occupy PURPLE LINE from LITTLE FARM to QUESNOY FARM and to hold this line at all costs. Transport moved to BIENVILLERS.
March 29:
Instructions to take Company to ADINFER WOOD and hold line by support to 11th EAST YORKSHIRE REGIMENT, Ceased command of the 3 Field Companies and resumed command of 210th Field Company. Transport moved to POMMIER. One Sapper wounded.
March 30:
Company continued to hold this line. 1 Sapper killed and 1 Sapper wounded. (We think the Sapper who was killed was Patrick.)
March 31:
Company relieved by 219th Field Company and marched to SOUASTRE to join HQ and Transport.

Craven Herald dated 12th April 1918:

Sapper Patrick McShee, Addingham
We regret to announce the death of Sapper Patrick McShee, killed by enemy shell in France. News was first received on Saturday morning on a postcard from Sapper E. Kettlewell, Royal Engineers.
Sapper John England, in a letter to Mrs. England, stated that while they were in their dug-outs resting, a shell came over and killed Sapper McShee. Mrs. McShee has received no official notification as yet, but as Sapper Kettlewell and England are both attached to the same company as McShee there is little room to doubt that the sad news is true.


Patrick was buried in grave 9 of row A in plot II of Bellacourt Military Cemetery at Riviere in France
He was 43 years old when he died. His wife Edith was still living at Parkinson's Fold in Addingham after the war. She supplied a personal inscription for his gravestone, which reads: 'May his soul rest in peace.'
He is named on the Addingham War Memorial and at St. Peter's Church in Addingham.

Post war:

Edith would have received Patrick's outstanding Army pay which amounted to £5 17s 5d paid on 8th August 1918, followed by a further payment of £11 14s 10d paid on 30th October 1918.
She also received a war gratuity payment of £13 10s paid on 3rd December 1919.
Edith would also have received any personal effects plus his medals which were the British War Medal and Victory Medal and these usually arrived in early 1920, along with a bronze War Memorial plaque and King's scroll inscribed with his name.

The pension cards indicate that Edith received 20 shillings and 5 pence per week for herself and young William, which began on 21st October 1918. An element of this would be for life for Edith. For William, it would last until his 16th Birthday, which was on 20th April 1923.

In the 1921 census, 45 year old Edith and 14 year old William were living at 11, Parkinson's Fold in Addingham. Edith was a silk rover and William a silk spinner, employed by J.C. Lister & Co., manufacturers based at Burnside Mill in Addingham. Also living at this house were Jane Hannah Allen, Edith's 49 year old sister plus 23 year old Sarah Jane Tonge, Edith's neice.

In the 1939 register Edith was 63 years old and was unemployed on domestic duties. Also living here was Margaret McShee aged 30 employed as a domestic servant and Patrick McShee aged ten and at school. Margaret has the name Wenger on her entry suggesting she later married someone of that name.
There are also three redacted entries for this household.

Edith died aged 68 in 1944. Her death was registered at Skipton in the first quarter of the year. She was buried at St. Peter's Church in Addingham on 12th January 1944.

in 1929, Edith and Patrick's son William was married to Margaret Halligan, registered at Wharfedale in the second quarter of the year.
They appear to have had a son, Patrick born on 29th July 1929.

William died in 1937 aged 30. The death was registered in Skipton in the second quarter of the year.
He was buried on 26th June at St. Peter's Church in Addingham.

Information sources:

1891 England Census
West Yorkshire Electoral Rolls
1901 Census
West Yorkshire, England, Prison Records, 1801-1914
England & Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1837-1915
England & Wales, Civil Registration Marriage Index, 1837-1915
England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915
1911 England Census
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919
British Army World War I Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920
World War I Service Medal and Award Rolls, 1914-1920
Army Registers of Soldiers' Effects, 1901-1929
World War I Pension Ledgers and Index Cards, 1914-1923
1921 Census Of England & Wales
1939 Register
England & Wales Deaths 1837-2007
England & Wales, Civil Registration Marriage Index, 1916-2005
England & Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1916-2007
West Yorkshire, England, Church of England Deaths and Burials, 1813-1985
Craven Herald Newspaper.
Craven's Part in the Great War book and website
Keighley News archives at Keighley Library.
National Archives war diary, WO-95/2352/1 - 210 Field Company Royal Engineers.

No Comments Yet.

Leave a comment

Please verfiy you are not a computer program by answering the following question to submit your comment *