Shropshire Star

Service to remember teenage war victim


Shropshire's youngest casualty of the Great War – a 14-year-old Royal Navy cadet – is being commemorated at a service next week in Shrewsbury, marking the centenary of his death.

It is part of a series of weekly services at St Chad's Church remembering Shropshire's fallen from the conflict on, or close to, the 100th anniversary of their deaths.

John Caulfield Wolseley-Gatliff, who was born at Alveley on September 23, 1900, the son of the vicar of Alveley, is being remembered along with nine others from Shropshire on Wednesday whose anniversaries fall in the same week.

Shropshire members of the Army Cadet Force will be at the service.

"He died on July 5, 1915, aged 14, two days after an operation to rectify a blocked intestine. He was serving as a cadet in the Royal Navy and was based at Dartmouth Naval College," said parish secretary Claire Crackett.

"Although his death was recorded in the Times, he was not included on the Alveley War Memorial and was only added to the Commonwealth Wars Graves Commission register in 2009 thanks to the work of the research on the Shropshire Roll of Honour project.

"Everyone is welcome to the short service, which will include the playing of the Last Post and will be followed by tea and trench cake.

"In 2014 St Chad's produced a new roll of honour for the Great War for the whole of Shropshire, drawing together all the records from memorials throughout the county."

St Aidan's Chapel is the King's Shropshire Light Infantry memorial chapel within St Chad's.

Mrs Amanda Venner, St Chad's parish administrator, said: "In that chapel on every Wednesday at 5pm we hold a World War One remembrance service. We began at the beginning of the centenary of the start of the war in 2014 and we will finish in 2018, the centenary of the end of the war. At each service we remember by name every person from Shropshire who died, of all the forces.

"We know this is the youngest casualty because we have researched everybody," said Mrs Venner.

The roll of honour has been compiled by Neil Evans and copies are available from the church for £15.

As for Wolseley-Gatliff, his body was taken from Dartmouth on a gun carriage with great ceremony. It arrived at Alveley draped in a Union Jack and he was buried next to his godfather, Colonel St George Wolseley.

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.