Images and information courtesy Christine Shackell.
Born: 1897, Whitton, Suffolk.
Died: 28th October 1915; age 19; Died of Wounds.
Enlistment Location: Ipswich.
Date of Entry Therein: 30th May 1915 – France.
Rank: Private; Service Number: 12532
Regiment: Suffolk Regiment, 7th Battalion.
Medals Awarded: Victory, British War & 1915 Star.
Relatives Notified & Address: Son of Samuel & Maria Shemming, of 10, Grove Cottages, Henley Road, Ipswich.
1901 Grove Cottages, Henley Road, Ipswich.
Bertie was 4 years old and living with his parents & brothers.
Samuel Shemming, 41, a Brickmaker, born Hoxne, Norfolk.
Maria Shemming (nee Leftly), 43, born Brockdish, Norfolk.
Sydney George Shemming, 16, a Labourer in Iron Warehouse, born Scole, Suffolk.
Stanley Robert Shemming, 13, a Labourer on Fram, born Ipswich.
1911 Grove Cottages, Henley Road, Ipswich.
Bertie was 14 years old, an Errand Boy – Grocer. He was living with his parents & paternal uncle.
Samuel, 52, a Brickmaker.
Robert Shemming, 54, a Caretaker – Church, born Hoxne, Norfolk.
Transcription of the letter from the Chaplain who performed his burial service:
All Saints Day Nov 1st 1915
Dear Mrs S
We laid the earthly remains of your boy to rest in the beautiful little Cemetery close to the Old Norman Church belonging to this village.
The Union Jack covered the coffin as it was brought to the grave. There were flowers from the Sisters, and the French soldiers (some of them) who joined the guard gave some too. There were about 30 other soldiers present. We said a prayer among the other prayers for you who were not able to be present with us. The “last post” sounded on the Bugle concluded the service. So there remains the earthly body of your dear boy, till the Resurrection morning, but his spirit is in Paradise we hope, wherein we hope you will meet him later on. The bright spirit which peeped courageously from his eyes has now gone to be at rest.
The Sisters tell me that he recovered consciousness within a short time of his death to say “Goodbye, I am going”. Later on he said “Good Gracious”. I have wondered whether he said that in surprise because of his peep into the next world. You may like to know that I referred to your boy in a Sermon yesterday. I didn’t mention his name. I was speaking of the bright leaves on the trees in the Autumn of the dying year said that the short Autumn of you boy’s life – his suffering bravery born with courage and unselfishness were like those bright beautiful leaves.
But we can bear the Autumn and Winter because of the other Spring which will follow and so we hope for another Spring and God does give it – the joyful Resurrection. Meanwhile your boy’s spirit is not dead but is living and waiting and at peace
God bless and comfort you
Yours very truly
Suffolk Regiment, 7th Battalion: