Lance-Corporal Herbert Nelson Sheard, 175413, 1/1st Battalion, (Queen's Own) Yorkshire Dragoons
Herbert Nelson Sheard was born in Ravensthorpe, Dewsbury in April 1892, the second son of textile mill clerk Osmond Horatio Sheard and his wife Jane née Crowther, who had married in 1890 at Ravensthorpe. Herbert's mother Jane Sheard died in 1917 and his father, Osmond Horatio Sheard in 1946.
Herbert had a younger brother Reginald Jackson Sheard, born in 1894 and a sister Grace Elizabeth Sheard, born in 1900, all at Ravensthorpe, Dewsbury. Another sibling, Charles Sheard born in March 1891, died in the December quarter of 1891.
By 1911, Herbert was lodging with widow Sarah Ann Spofforth in Todmorden where he was working as an electrical fitter. Herbert Nelson Sheard joined 'B' Squadron, Wakefield (Dewsbury and Pontefract) of the 1/1st battalion of the (Queen's Own) Yorkshire Dragoons in September or October 1914, right at the outbreak of WW1.
HQ and 'B' Squadron joined 37th Division on Salisbury Plain and landed at Le Havre, France on the 1st of August 1915. On the 12th of May 1916, the Regiment reformed at Hazebrouck and became known as II Corps, Cavalry Regiment and then in October 1917 they became Cavalry Corps Troops. On the 6th December 1917 they joined Lucknow Cavalry Brigade in the 4th Cavalry Division.
Finally, in February 1918, the division was broken up and the Regiment was dismounted and then converted into a Cyclist Battalion. Finally, on the 16th of March 1918 they came under orders of II Corps and remained as such for the rest of WW1. The Great War cost 37th Division 29,969 men killed, wounded or missing.
In 1920, Lance-Corporal Sheard was awarded the British and Victory Medals for his service during WW1.
After WW1, on the 29th December 1926 at Holy Trinity Church, Ossett, 34 year-old Herbert Sheard, a rag merchant, living at Belmont, Gawthorpe married 30 year-old spinster Neva Dews of Springstone Avenue, Ossett. In 1939, the Sheard family were living at 3, Hirstlands Drive, Ossett when Herbert's occupation was given as Electrical Engineer. The Sheards had a son, Reginald Paul Sheard, who was born in Ossett on the 19th February 1928, and he lived at 16, Wesley Street, Ossett at the time of his death in January 2005.
Herbert Nelson Sheard died in March 1961 and was buried at Ossett Holy Trinity Churchyard on the 18th March 1961 aged 69 years.
The "Ossett Observer" had this report about Lance-Corporal Herbert Sheard's award of the Military Medal:1
"Military Medal Awarded To An Ossett Soldier - Corporal Herbert Nelson Sheard, Yorkshire Dragoons, elder son of Mr. and Mrs. O.H. Sheard, of Dewsbury Road, Ossett, has been awarded the Military Medal for gallant conduct during the war. The soldier joined the army voluntarily within about a month of the beginning of the war, and has had many rough experiences on the Western fighting front. Previous to the war he was employed as an electrician in the construction department of the Yorkshire Electric Power Company, and has served for four years in the Duke of Wellington's West Riding Regiment (Territorials). His younger brother, Private R. J. Sheard, has served in France for two and half years with the R.A.M.C."
Thanks to Anne-Marie Fawcett of "Ossett Through The Ages" for additional information.
1. "Ossett Observer", 15th February 1919