Harold Lonsdale SHONE
Rank: 2nd Lieutenant
Number:
Unit: 6th RESERVE CAVALARY RGT
Date of Death: 9 July 1918
Age: 25
Cemetery: Willow Grove Cemetery, Stockport

Harold was born in Salford, the eldest son of Joseph and Harriett, 0n 6 July 1891. The 1901 Census shows that Joseph was more than twice the age of his wife, at 55 and 27 respectively. They had moved to the Stockport area fairly recently, with their two sons, Harold then 7 and Norman, 2 and were living at 22 Green Lane, Heaton Mersey. Joseph was the groundsman of the adjacent cricket club.

Harold' early education was at Wellington School, Heaton Moor. He later studied at Stockport Technical School and then worked as a clerk for Heaton Norris Urban District Council. He later worked for the Labour Exchange at Reddish, before transferring to their divisional office at Warrington. In his spare time, he had joined the Cheshire Yeomanry in November 1911 and was mobilised with them on 5 August 1914. His service number with the Yeomanry was 723 and he served, with the rank of Acting Corporal, with them in Egypt (although he is not mentioned in the unit's history, "The Last Regiment to Fight on Horses"). Harold's service papers show that he was 5 feet 9 inches tall with a 33.5 inch chest (which he could expand a further 2 inches. The examining doctor recorded his vision as "good".

In March 1917, the Cheshire and Shropshire Yeomanry units were amalgamated into the Kings Shropshire Light Infantry and became its 10th Battalion; the troops now fighting as ordinary infantry. Harold served with the KSLI's No. 2 Company for about four months, as a sergeant (service number 230590), and was then recommended for a commission. He returned home on leave in June 1917, before undertaking several months training at a cadet school for cavalry officers, in Kildare, Ireland.

Harold passed all his exams, scoring 95/100 in entrenching, 45/50 in topography, 95/100 in engineering, 96/100 in animal management, 79/100 in tactics. He was commissioned, with effect from 23 June 1918, as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 6th Dragoon Guards and was scheduled to report to his unit at Tidsworth in August. During 1918, there was a worldwide pandemic of a virulent strain of influenza. This, coupled with the fact that antibiotics had not yet been invented, meant that many millions of lives were lost across the globe as the flu worsened to pneumonia. Harold caught it and was dead within days. His funeral was held on the day he should have taken up his new duties.

His funeral was held at St Paul's Church, Heaton Mersey and was attended by many people, including his parents, his brother Corporal L Shone (Manchester Regiment - presumably a younger brother born after the 1901 Census) and his fiancée, a Miss Wightman. After the service, his coffin was taken to the Cemetery on an open car. A firing party fired three volleys over the grave and a bugler sounded "The Last Post". His grave, although with a family headstone, is now maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. The inscription on the headstone reads "Sacred to the memory of 2/Lt Harold Lonsdale Shone, 6th Dragoon Guards (Late 1/1st Cheshire Yeomanry). Dearly loved son of Joseph & Harriette S Shone of Heaton Moor. Died July 10th 1918 aged 25 years. Crown after Cross ". 

He is also commemorated on the Memorial to the Staff of the Ministry of Labour, now hanging in Caxton House, Tothill Street, London SW1 and on the Board of Trade Memorial.

In the early 1920s, when the War Graves Commission was collating its casualty information, Harold's mother, fairly recently widowed, had remarried and now had the surname Parrish. She was living at 17 Arundel Gardens, Goodmayes, Essex.

   
           
   
     
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