Robert Sheldon

  • Robert Sheldon's gravestone. (Courtesy

C.I.F. 523321 Private Robert Sheldon, an emigrant from Wheatley to Canada, served with the Canadian Army Medical Corps in the Canadian Expeditionary Force which came to Britain from 1914 onwards. By 1918, the CAMC operated sixteen general hospitals, ten stationary hospitals, and four Casualty Clearing Stations. Doctors and medical orderlies (paramedics in today's army) had to prioritise the treatment of wounded men (triage): some could wait for emergency surgery, others could not, some were beyond it and others were injured mentally. At the height of a battle or series of battles, medical units could be overrun as hundreds of wounded were brought in. Robert died on 26 November 1918, age 60, listed as being with a CAMC TD (Training Depot), where personnel unfit for duty were posted, even as a technicality, perhaps covering hospitalisation. The Spanish ‘Flu epidemic spread through every army and population fighting in Europe and he may have been shipped ‘home' to Canada already declared unfit. He was buried in Calgary Union Cemetery, Alberta (ref. L. 43. B. 14. S. S) and commemorated in the (Canadian) First World War Book of Remembrance, p. 499.

He was born in Wheatley, according to Canadian records on 25 December 1871, but this does not match his being 60 in 1918. The Parish Records for St. Mary's, Wheatley have him baptised on 7 February 1858, as the eldest son of Charles Sheldon, farrier, blacksmith and by 1881 widower, born in 1834, and of his wife Ellen/Eleanor, nee Munt, born in 1836, both of Wheatley. In 1881 they were living on Friday Lane, and later on High Street (Cromwell House).

When Robert emigrated to Canada, it would be after 1901 when he was listed as a Wheatley blacksmith. He died at Sarcee Camp, Calgary, Alberta on 26 November 1918. He was found dead in bed having died during the night, probably of heart failure. He had nominated Mrs G. Druce as his next of kin: she was his sister Gertrude and was living in Garsington. Robert left his estate to George Druce, retired blacksmith, Gertrude's husband. See also reference to Robert in the Wheatley in a World at War chapter.

Canadian Imperial Forces
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