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War Memorials on Anglesey in North Wales.

Holyhead War Casualty - Rev. Thomas Jasper Shovel

Holyhead, English Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, WWI Memorial to Rev T. Jasper Shovel

Holyhead, English Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, WWI Memorial to Rev T. Jasper Shovel

Thomas Jasper Shovel was born in Upton Cross, Linkinhorne in Cornwall in 1884, the son of grocers, Thomas and Ellen Shovel.

Thomas Jasper Shovel was ordained into the Ministry in July 1912. A notice in the times dated October 15th 1918 states that at the outbreak of war in 1914 Thomas Shovel had tried to enlist as a chaplain, but was not accepted. Instead, he carried on his ministry working at the English Wesleyan Methodist Chapel in Holyhead, later being accepted into the Royal Army Chaplains Department, and shipped to France in January 1918 as an Army Chaplain 4th Class, with equivalent rank of Captain. Thomas was attached to the 2/2nd Wessex Field Ambulance regiment and served on the Western Front. His main role - one would surmise - is to have offered comfort and say prayers for the wounded, and ultimately minister the last rites to the dying.

On the 5th or 6th of October 1918 whilst out walking with a medical officer of the field ambulance he was badly wounded by shrapnel and subsequently died. Thomas was buried at Louverval Military Cemetery in Doignies, France.

Thomas is remembered on the east wall at the Royal Garrison Church of All Saints in Aldershot, the Memorial to the Royal Army Chaplains Department. He was also remembered on just one plaque in Holyhead that I could find, that of the English Wesleyan Methodist Chapel (pictured above).

Thomas's younger brother - Ernest George Shovel - who was born in 1887 - had been a journalist with the Western Morning News before the war, subsequently enlisting into the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry regiment - he was made a 2nd Lieutenant (on probation) on the 19th of December 1916 (London Gazette 9th January 1917), and later was promoted to Lieutenant, happily surviving the war. After the war Ernest married Mary Sampson in 1920 in Cornwall and they went on to have at least three children, Stella (1921), Audrey (1923) and Monica (1926). Ernest died in the spring of 1962 aged 74, and was buried with his wife and his wife's parents.

CWGC Memorial to Rev Thomas Jasper Shovel

Commonwealth Graves Commision (CWGC) Memorial to Rev Thomas Jasper Shovel - includes a photo of the Memorial at Louverval Military Cemetery in Doignies, France.

If you know more about this story or have high resolution photographs of anyone involved, please email me here or if you want me to come and copy the photos please just let me know, I won't even have to take them away.

Holyhead War Memorials Main Page

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