John Boxell Shaw was born in Hammersmith in 1892 to parents Frederick Augustus and Susannah (nee Moreton). One of 4 children, upon the death of his mother in 1895, he and his sister Florence were fostered by the local postmistress in Cuddington, and at some time he was living in Chinnor Road, Thame, – his grandfather had been born in Thame.
Enlisting at Oxford with the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, his service number 9983 would suggest this would have been sometime in 1909, at the age of 17. Initially posted with the 2nd battalion, he would have served with them in Burma and India. The battalion returned to England in early 1914, before embarking for France in August 1914 (He was awarded the 1914 Star). After a spell in the infantry base depot, he transferred to the 10th battalion.
The battalion was engaged in several actions during 1915/16, and although not involved in the initial attacks in the Battle of the Somme, the battalion took part in an ill-fated night attack on Delville Wood on 20th July 1916 in support of the South Africans. The battalion won two VCs but they suffered heavy casualties, including Private John Boxell Shaw who was killed in action whilst serving with D Company.
He is buried in the Delville Wood Cemetery, Longueval, France.
John is remembered on the Thame War Memorial, and on the memorial boards for St Marys Church, and All Saints Church.
The Thame Remembers Cross was delivered to Delville Wood Cemetery, Longueval, Somme, France on 18th April 2015 by David Bretherton (Thame Remembers)