Arthur Henry Sherwood died serving with the West Yorkshire Regiment in the Gallipoli campaign and has no known grave but is remembered on the Helles Memorial. Locally he is commemorated on the memorial at St Philip’s, Birchencliffe, however, Arthur, or Henry as he was sometimes called, was not originally a local man.
Arthur was born in the spring of 1889 in the Norton district of Malton in the North Riding, the son of George and Mary Sherwood who came from Ganton and Hull respectively. George was a track worker on the railway. The couple had in all. Twelve children of whom three had died young. One, Ada, was over twenty-five years old when Arthur was born. Inexplicably, Arthur was not listed on the 1891 census, when the family lived in the centre of York, although the boy listed as Walter may be incorrectly named.
However, Henry is named, aged 11, ten years later (when Walter is missing). By this time George had stopped working for the railway and was described by the enumerator as ‘Retired, pensioner, Railway, Platelayer’. The eldest son, Charles, 27, was a ‘Flour Miller’. While Ernest, ages 15, was an ‘Ironmonger’s Labourer’. Henry was still at school. A granddaughter, Mary, aged 4, lived with George and Mary; they also had two boarders, a gasworks labourer and his five-year-old daughter.
Two years later George died at the age of sixty-four. Things cannot have been easy for the widowed Mary; by 1911 she was living in a four-room terrace house in York with her 19 year-old daughter, Rose, her granddaughter aged 14, and four boarders.
Arthur married Susannah Mapplebeck — who in 1901 lived in Dennis Street, Walmgate, in the centre of York and not far from where the Sherwoods lived in Rymer Street, in St Cuthbert’s parish — towards the end of 1909. Soon after marrying the couple moved to Huddersfield, probably seeking work. By 1911 they were living in a two-roomed house, no. 21 Rock Road, Birchencliffe. Arthur worked as a labourer and Susannah gave no occupation.
We do not know precisely when Arthur joined the army but it seems likely that he enlisted early: the 9th Battalion, West Yorkshire Regiment, a Service battalion, sailed from Liverpool for Turkey on 3 July 1915. Arthur was a volunteer not a conscript and must have been serving in another command since his Medal Roll Index card says he arrived ‘In the Balkans’ on 1 July, before the 9th had left England. He was certainly promoted Sergeant, which suggests some length of service. He died on 9 August, three days after the 9th landed at Sulva Bay.
Susannah would have received a small pension of about 12/9d a week which she lost when on 8 September 1917, at St Philip’s, Birchencliffe, she married Clarence John Nash, who gave his profession as ‘soldier’ and his address as the ‘Military Barracks, Fulford’. Clarence seems to have been in the same regiment as her late husband and it seems possible that is how they met. However Clarence has proved difficult to identify: the only man who fits the description, name and age seems to have been a pre-war regular who left the service early in 1914 re-enlisting in the following December.
Clarence worked briefly for the Huddersfield Corporation but was made redundant and by 1921 was destitute in London.
It seems that neither Arthur and Susannah, nor Susannah and Clarence, had any children.
The memorial at Birchencliffe records Arthur as ‘H Sherwood’.