Carl Shrewsbury

1892 - 1915

Carl was brought up by his single mother, and studied with Oxford University’s St Catherine’s Society, not at a college. His entire battalion was wiped out by German machine gun fire.

Mother’s surname

Carl Brammell Shrewsbury was born in 1892 at Rawtenstall, Lancashire. He was given the surname of his mother, who never married. Her father was a Wesleyan Methodist minister, so this was a difficult and embarrassing situation.

Studied with St Catherine’s

One of Mary’s sisters and her husband, another Wesleyan minister, seem to have offered a home to Mary, and in 1901 Carl was living with them all in Islington. At the 1911 census he was 19 but still a school student, visiting John Lewis Paton, the High Master of Manchester Grammar School. Perhaps some ‘cramming’ was taking place, as he became an Oxford student that year. He did not join a college but took the cheaper option offered by the St Catherine’s Society, living in approved lodgings in the town.

 Machine gun fire

In March 1915 Carl joined up, becoming a Second Lieutenant in the 5th Battalion of the Lincolnshire Regiment. He landed in France in July, and may immediately have been involved in the German liquid fire attack at Hooge. On 13 October, in the Battle of Loos, his unit was one of the first to go over the top in the attack on the Hohenzollern Redoubt. They met with entrenched German machine gun fire, and were wiped out in less than half an hour. 97% of the battalion have no known grave. Carl, leading his platoon, died aged 23. He is remembered on the Loos Memorial and on the St Catherine’s Society war memorial.

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