John Clifford Sherwood

royal engineers badgeSapper, 256732, 21st Light Railway (Train Crew) Company, Royal Engineers, died through illness, 9th May, 1917, aged 23

Born in 1893 at Driffield, John was the eldest son and one of seven children of Charles and Louisa Sherwood (nee Isle). His father was from Driffield and his mother from Crowle. The family moved back to Crowle sometime around 1898 and in 1901 lived in Gas Road where Charles was a photographer. By 1911 they had moved east to Cross Hill where he had become the landlord of the St Oswald Arms.

When John enlisted at Scunthorpe post 1915 he was working as a shunter, for the Great Central Railway. At the same time he enlisted the war had become ‘bogged down’ in the trenches and moves were being made to find ways of delivering the huge amount of food, supplies, ammunition and other equipment required on a daily bases by the troops in and around those trenches. The solution was to construct a network of light (narrow gauge) railways from points on the main French and Belgian railway network, right up to the front line. The responsibility for constructing and running these railways was down to the Royal Engineers, so with John’s background on the railways he was allocated to 21st Light Railway (Train Crew) Company. It is probable he was not on the Western Front for very long as the company was only formed in March 1917.

John was working on the railway system in the Ypres area when he was taken ill. Taken for diagnoses and treatment to the Royal Army Medical Corps, No 17 Casualty Clearing Station in Lijssenthoek, here on 9th May 1917, John Sherwood died of aseptic meningitis. He is buried in Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery.

John is commemorated on the plaque to former members of the congregation and Sunday School in Crowle Methodist Church.

(The date of his death is incorrectly recorded as 9th May 1918 on the Roll of Soldiers who Died in the Great War)