Frederick G Sheldon


012128, 2nd Corporal Frederick Sheldon, Royal Army Ordnance Corps, died in or near Baghdad on 18 June 1918, aged 38/39. His rank, peculiar to the Corps but since abolished, was that of a full Corporal, but carrying only one sleeve chevron. He had enlisted in Reading where he was a school teacher, a reserved occupation.

He served in Mesopotamia (today's Iraq) in an Advanced (Forward) Munitions Depot. Baghdad fell to British Forces in March 1917 along with three quarters (9,000 men) of its Turkish garrison. British and Imperial forces turned the trophy capture into a new Headquarters and supply base for the next and last phase of pushing the Turkish army back into Turkey. A railway was extended north from Baghdad to Mosul, an assault-boat force was assembled on the Tigris to move north by water, and forces moved out north-east into Mesopotamia and north-west towards the coast during 1917-18. On 30 October 1918, an Armistice was agreed by which Turkish forces had to evacuate what was left of the Ottoman Middle East and retire behind their own border.

Frederick could have been killed anywhere in the forward supplying of this final theatre of war. His body was given decent burial in the safety of Baghdad. ‘Killed by a shell explosion' is inscribed alongside his name on the family grave in St Mary's churchyard (D.367), which may indicate an accidental detonation, an RAOC occupational hazard. His body was buried in Baghdad (North Gate) War Cemetery (ref. II. H. 14).

Frederick George Sheldon was born in Wheatley in 1879/80, second son of Frederick Sheldon, master blacksmith, born in the village in 1846, and Ellen, nee Holyoake, born in Dallington, Northamptonshire in 1851. In 1891 the family were living on High Street. He was brother to Ernest and Robert George Sheldon, who fought in the war, and returned. A schoolmaster at a Council school in Reading, he was lodging as a single man and certified teacher in 1901 at 62, Watlington Street, Reading. In 1906 he married Ada Sherwood Penny of ‘Adel', Mortimer Common, Berkshire, born in Kidderminster. See also references to him in the Wheatley in a World at War chapter.

Royal Army Ordnance Corps
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