In 2014 I visited my Aunt for the first time in two decades. I am not in touch with most of my living close relatives. My reasons are personal, so I wont put them into Blog words. That Saturday visit to my Dad’s sister was enjoyable. And I learned that my Aunt knew a lot about our family history. She filled in the gaps, and recalled many relatives I only know thanks to the archives. My Aunt knew about her Uncle Patrick Sherry who fell during the First World War. I mentioned her Dad’s other brother Peter Sherry who fell during the last months of the Great War:
” Ah know nothing about him son.. Ah don’t think my Dad spoke about him. ” She replied.
Shortly before our meeting, I managed to get a headshot of Peter Sherry. He appeared in the Glasgow Evening Times Roll Of Honour in 1918. The Mitchell Library hold a copy of the edition in their archive.
I showed my Aunt the poor copy from microfiche of Peter’s headshot. She said he looked like my Grandfather Thomas Sherry in his prime.
Peter Sherry: Early Years
Peter, the fourth child of my Great Grandparents Arthur Sherry (1857-1918) and Jane Mallin (1860-1944) was born on 1st May 1886 in the When Peter was five years old his family moved to Maryhill The 1891 Scotland Census recorded the family residing at 210 Possil Road.
The family returned to the miner rows of the Monklands area in the mid to late 1890s. When my Grandfather Thomas Sherry entered the world in 1901, my ancestors were toiling the mines of Longriggend.
However Peter Sherry and his older brother James (1884-1962) were working men miles away in West Lothian by the time my Grandfather was born. 1901’s Scotland Census lists Peter and James as Coal Miner Hewers in the mining village of Loganlea. An area that is now part of Addiewell, West Lothian.
Peter and James’ lived with the Sweeney family at 56 Loganlea. I wonder what their relationship with the Sweeney’s was?
Marriage To Agnes Robertson
St Mary’s RC Church in Longriggend was the venue for Peter Sherry and Agnes Robertson’s wedding on 22nd September 1905. Agnes (1883-1945) had a 1-year-old son, Joseph Robertson ( 1904-1962) from an unknown relationship.
Peter and Agnes had five children. Unfortunately not all of them survived childhood:
|Jane Mallon Sherry||1913-1981|
Peter Sherry and his family stayed at West Longrigg for several years. West Longrigg appears as their residence in the 1911 Scotland Census. His parents lived in nearby Greengairs.
At some point around the start of World War 1, Peter Sherry and family moved to Tollcross in Glasgow’s East End. Living at 77 Easterhill Street. Nearby, Peter’s parents and their younger children lived at 55 Calton Street.
In the early 20th Century, many of my Sherry relatives lived within a few blocks of each other. And that continued until the late 1970s.
World War 1 came calling for men to fight, and the older Sherry brothers answered the call. The Sherry family would not escape the horror of the Great War unscathed.
Gunner Peter Sherry
On the 27th October 1915, Peter, his brothers Arthur (1889-1958), James (1884-1962) and Michael (1894-1962) signed their Attestation Papers in Glasgow. On the 1st November, the Sherry brothers arrived at No.6 Depot Royal Field Artillery in the city.1 Possibly at Maryhill Barracks.
Sherry Brothers RFA Service Numbers
Peter’s younger brothers Patrick (1898-1917) and John (1896-1947) also took part in the Great War. My blog post about Patrick Sherry’s war is here. Unfortunately, I can’t find John Sherry’s Service Records.
So its conjecture from my part that John’s Service Record no longer exists due to the Luftwaffe paying a visit to London in 1940.
On 2nd November Peter Sherry and his brothers arrived at 33rd Reserve Battery, 6A Reserve Brigade RFA in Glasgow.2
I’ll share my findings about the Sherry World War One Service Records that still exist in a future Blog post.
Not all of the Sherry men returned home.
Casualties Of War
Looking back at my Great Grandparent’s lives during the First World War, those years were horrific. Not only losing grandchildren due to illness and poverty, they had to deal with the horror of war.
Their son, 18-year-old brother Patrick, serving in the Cameron Highlanders in France and Flanders died of his injuries on the evening of 5th January 1917. He rests at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery.
But the Grim Reaper of war was not finished with my family. He came calling for Peter Sherry a year later.
By June 1918, Peter was attached to D Battery of 15th Brigade RFA. On the night of June 25th/26th, 32 soldiers were casualties of a gas attack. The War Diary records this as a “heavy gas bombardment concentrated on a small area” 3around the area of Croix Marraisse near Nieppe. 4
It’s a guess if Peter was one of the casualties of this attack, but the Brigade had been in that area.
Peter Sherry was evacuated to No 2 Australian General Hospital at Wimereux. He died there on the 28th June 1918 and was laid to rest in Terlincthun British Cemetery, Wimmile
In October, the Grim Reaper returned. He chapped the door of 55 Calton Street, and called for Peter’s dad Arthur.
Peter Sherry was survived by his wife Agnes, their daughters Bridget, Jane and stepson Joseph. His hand written will is available to view on Scotland’s People.
Agnes remarried in 1919 to Frederick Hargreaves, a widower from Parkhead. When Peter and Agnes’ daughter Bridget married Edward Trainor in January 1937, one of the witnesses was Peter’s uncle Patrick Sherry (1873-1945). There are records and anecdotal evidence suggesting that Patrick was close to my Grandfather Thomas Sherry and his siblings.
I do not know if my Grandfather kept in touch with Peter’s family. But my surviving Sherry family did not know anything about them.
Some months ago, I noticed on Ancestry that a member had one of Peter Sherry’s children in his research. I made contact and the member turned out to be one of Peter’s descendants. We exchanged a couple of messages and I shared what I knew about Peter.
It’s important to pass on research. Not everyone knows they had ancestors who fell during World War One. As time passes and generations pass on, people are easily forgotten about.
Like Peter was to my side of the Sherry family.
As I write this Blog post, Peter Sherry died 100 years ago today. This evening I will light a candle in his memory.
I am once more indebted to the members over at the Great War Forum for their help with my research to compose this Blog. I can’t thank them enough.