Gunner Peter Sherry RFA

A rare event when researching my family’s story happened. Recently, a relative of my Sherry family shared her family photo archive. It contained a photo of my Great Uncle Peter Sherry 1886-1918

Over the last couple of months, I have found a relative who is a fellow family history addict. My relative, a descendant of my Great Uncle paid a visit to Peter’s Granddaughter who shared her old family photos.

Gunner Peter Sherry

This First World War group photo features Gunner Peter Sherry of the Royal Field Artillery with comrades prior to his death in June 1918:

Peter Sherry Group Photo WW1
Gunner Peter Sherry Royal Field Artillery, 4th from left. Unknown date during WW1

I did not expect such a photo to exist in a Sherry related family album. It was fantastic and emotional to properly see my Grandfather’s older brother.

Other Sherry Men Who Went To War?

So, after the joy of seeing Peter Sherry in a new photo settled down, my eyes scanned across the other men in the photo.

The man 2nd from the left and the other chap on the far right in the above photo look like Sherry relatives. One in particular is the mirror image of my Dad.

I believe this photo is not only of Peter Sherry, but also two of his brothers who also served in the Royal Field Artillery. To confirm of course, I need photos of Peter’s brothers James and John Sherry.

I hope I’m right.

My relative shared other photos. Many have no names or dates. Unfortunately, my side of the family cant help identify previous generations.

Those on my side of the Sherry family who could put a name to faces from long ago passed away in 2018.

A Postcard To Daddy

A poignant find amongst the treasure trove of old photos and letters was this postcard sent to Peter by his daughter. The ink has faded so in some areas it is difficult to read – Unless your eyes are better than mine!

Peter Sherry Daughter WW1 Postcard
Postcard sent to Peter Sherry from his daughter: probably Bridget Sherry 1911-1964
Peter Sherry WW1 Postcard Front
Postcard Front

Letter From The Front Line?

In my relative’s archive, there was a letter. We believe it was from Peter to his wife Agnes Robertson Abt 1883-1945. Now fragile, the handwriting is difficult to decipher.

Peter Sherry Letter WW1
Excerpt from a letter we believe was from Gunner Peter Sherry, Royal Field Artillery WW1

We will look to get it professionally transcribed.

It took a long time to find a relative happy to share their photo archive. Before it opened, I did not believe such items would exist. My side of the Sherry family and others have not looked after our family archive of photos, letters and other possessions.

Time Hardly Breaks A Confidence

I, and my family have failed the future of our family and other family history addicts. One too many ancestors are only fragments in official records.

We have no faces to their names, no flesh to add to the skeletal information of their lives. No possessions to pass to future generations.

Instead, we consigned photos to the bin or misplaced them moving house. Some gave away people’s possessions to the charity shop without thinking of their importance.

Without physical media or possessions from the past, time peels away the substance of existence: Day to day lives, beliefs, loves and thoughts.

Time keeps that information close to it’s chest.

Opening Archives

After I saw Peter Sherry looking at me from over 100 years ago, another relative contacted me and sent a photo of Peter’s brother Arthur Sherry 1888-1958.

My extended relatives have begun to unlock their family archive and I cant wait to see what else is out there.


Acknowledgements

I will be forever grateful to Janet McManus & Samuel McManus Shanks for sharing these photos with me.

Family History addict since 2012. Now documenting my findings and insights online.

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