Shepherd, Jack

I believe Jack Shepherd was born June Qtr. 1913, (Oldham Vol. 8d Page 1259), his birth was registered in Oldham, as was his siblings, Tom in Sept. Qtr. 1913 (Oldham Vol. 8d Page 1296) and Alice Dec. Qtr. 1914 (Oldham Vol. 8d Page 1244).   Their mother’s maiden name was Gaskell.

They were the children of Harry and Elizabeth Shepherd (nee Gaskell), who I believe married in the December quarter of 1911 (Oldham Vol. 8d Page 950).

Because they married in the December quarter, I was able to find Harry Shepherd on the 1911 census living at 730, Hollins Road, Hollinwood, Oldham, Lancashire (5 rooms).   Harry’s parent’s Albert & Alice had been married for 25 years and had 7 children all of whom had survived, Harry was age 22, single and he was a Cotton Mule Spinner (Winder).   His siblings were: – Ethel 24 and single, Charlie, 15, James 10, Emma, 8, Jack, 6 and Ernest, 3 years old.     All the children had been born in Oldham.

By the 1921 census the family, Harry & Elizabeth Shepherd (nee Gaskell), were living at 76, Turf Lane, Hollinwood, Chadderton, Lancashire.   Harry Shepherd was now 32 years and 7 months old, he was an Operative (Cotton Spinner) at Glebe Mills, Cotton Manufacturer, Hollinwood.   His wife, Elizabeth was now 30 years and 11 months old and was a Cotton Winder at Oldham Albion Cotton Spinners, Hollinwood.   Their children were Jack Shepherd, 8 years and 4 months old, Tom Shepherd, 7 years 11 months old and Alice Shepherd, 6 years and 11 months old.   All born in Oldham, Lancashire.

Jack Shepherd was a Flight Sergeant, so would have flown planes, and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission does not give a Squadron number, so I could not find anything more on Jack on nor on R.A.F., I did not know when  Jack had enlisted in the R.A.F. but according to the RAF Commands Forum, – Col Bruggy  – told me, – “Shepherd was not a Boy Entrant (Halton). His service number (512656), indicates he joined as an Aircrafthand between June 1925-March 1938, ie 505001-549999.”  Many thanks to the Forum and especially Col. Bruggy.    Any help on this would be appreciated. 

 I do not know how Jack came to live in this area, but can only surmise that he was stationed at Sealand Camp.   That may be how he met his future wife Elizabeth Morris.

The 1939 National Register for Chadderton, Lancashire, (Taken on the 29th September 1939) shows  Jack’s parents and sister Alice living at 40, Acre Street, also in the household was Elizabeth Shepherd, born 17 January 1909, her surname was crossed out and Thomas written above it with a date to the right  – 28th April 1950.   I do believe that this may have been Jack’s wife, who later, perhaps remarried.

I do not know how he died, as he died after the war had ended, so perhaps it was through his war service.    If anyone can shed any light on Jack I would be very grateful for any information, so his story can be told of his sacrifice and he will be remembered.

The marriage, after banns, of Jack & Elizabeth was on the 20th April 1935 at St. Mark’s Church, Connah’s Quay.    Jack  Shepherd was 23, a bachelor and in the Royal Air Force, his address, Sealand, near Chester, his father was Harry Shepherd, a Cotton Spinner and Elizabeth Morris, was 26 and a spinster, her address was 183, High Street, Connah’s Quay and her father Samuel Morris, an Ironworker, was deceased.    Their witnesses were Thomas Morris and Alice Shepherd, Jack’s sister.

I wrote to Lyn Davies via and this is her reply, and would like to thank her for clarifying Jack’s fate, how sad.

lyn_tinkler – May 12, 2019

Hello Mavis,

Jack Shepherd was my Grandfather, he died long before I was born when my Mother was only 9 years old. He died due to an injury he received before the war whilst manning landing lights at RAF Sealand. He was hit by the wing of a plane and was not discovered until hours later. As a result he was unable to fight during the war and died aged just 32 around 9 years later with a weak heart caused by the accident.

My Nana, Elizabeth Shepherd, his widow had to fight the then town council to get his name added to the cenotaph due to him not being killed during the war.

My Mother, Jacqueline Shepherd became Davies after marrying my Father. Tragically, she lost Jeff Conrad Davies my brother when he was just 4 months old due to a cot death. As my Nana held the deeds to Jack’s grave she buried Jeff with his Grandfather.

He was well loved as his name was put forward to be added to the WW2 War Memorial, he must not be forgotten.

Learn more about the other soldiers on the Connahs Quay and Shotton War Memorial

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