Alfred Shaw (1894-1967)Subject
Wyndham City LibrariesDate
March 28 1916Contributor
- Lowman Shaw who was born in Preston, Victoria in 1892 and
- Alfred Shaw who was born in Footscray, Victoria in 1894.
They were the sons of John William and Miriam Shaw who lived on Melview Farm, Werribee.
Prior to the war, he had served with both the senior cadets and the 29th (Port Phillip) Australian Light Horse Regiment – probably part of C Squadron that was active in Geelong, Drysdale (to the east of Geelong) and Werribee.
Alfred Shaw was a farrier, a blacksmith that shoed horses, before he enlisted in Melbourne on March 28, 1916 at the age of 22.
He was assigned to the Australian Army Service Corps, the unit responsible for the supply and resupply of Australian troops in the field, including that all-important mail from home, as well as the necessary transport to move troops.
All combatants involved in World War I were heavily reliant on horses, mules and donkeys for transport, resupply and the hauling of artillery.
Australia sent around 130,000 horses to Egypt and the Western Front. Only one ever returned home – Sandy, the personal mount of General William Bridges who commanded the 1st Australian Division and was killed on Gallipoli in May 1915.
More than 6,000 horses had been earmarked for the Gallipoli landings, but very few made it to shore given the unsuitability of the terrain.
Undoubtedly, Alfred Shaw’s skills as a farrier would have been very attractive to the AIF, and especially the Army Service Corps, but following enlistment, he trained as a driver.
Following training, he left Australia on June 5, 1916 aboard HMAT Afric, arriving at Southampton, England on July 24. More training followed before he and his unit were sent to France in late November.
In France, he was transferred to the 3rd Division Motor Transport Company. Driver Shaw’s active service record isn’t very specific. It would appear that he would have served in France for the balance of 1916 before heading to Belgium with the 3rd Division in 1917. He had a brief period of leave in the United Kingdom at the end of the year before returning to his unit in early 1918 in France. At the end of 1918, he went to Nice in the south of France for around two weeks leave.
By then, of course, the war was over. He left France in May 1919 and returned to Australian in June.
Alfred Shaw resumed his trade as a farrier and lived on Melview Farm in Werribee. He was still living on the farm in the mid-1930s. He died in Kew, Victoria in 1967 aged 73.
Medals and Entitlements:
- British War Medal
- Victory Medal
NAA: B2455, SHAW, ALFRED