Private Herbert (Bertie) Shaw


Herbert Shaw was born on 6 March 1894 at Magherasaul, Dundrum, County Down, the fourth or fifth of six children of farmer Hugh Shaw and his wife Emily (née Watts). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at Magherasaul with his widowed father and a sister and working on the family farm.

Shaw enlisted in the North Irish Horse between 12 and 20 February 1914 (No.903). He embarked for France with a reinforcement draft for A and C Squadrons on 20 January 1915, where he was posted to the latter.

In June 1916 C Squadron combined with F Squadron and the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron to form the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment, serving as corps cavalry to X Corps until September 1917, when the regiment was disbanded and its men transferred to the infantry. Like most, Shaw was posted to the 9th (Service) Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers – renamed the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion – on 20 September, joining it in the field at Ruyaulcourt five days later. He was issued regimental number 41262 and posted to C Company. He probably saw action with the battalion at the Battle of Cambrai in November and December 1917.

Shaw was one of the many posted as missing following the 9th (NIH) Battalion's fighting withdrawal from St Quentin from 21 to 28 March 1918 during the German spring offensive. It was later learned that he had been captured on 22 March near Ham. He remained a prisoner until the end of the war, held at camps in Stendal and Diedenhofen.

Shaw arrived back in England on 26 November 1918. He was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve, on 25 March 1919.