Thomas Benjamin SHAW


SHAW, Thomas Benjamin

Service Number: 3609
Enlisted: 22 July 1915, Melbourne, Victoria
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 14th Infantry Battalion
Born: Collingwood, Victoria, 1893
Home Town: Collingwood, Yarra, Victoria
Schooling: Cambridge Street State School
Occupation: Brass finisher
Died: Killed in Action, France, 3 July 1916
Cemetery: Brewery Orchard Cemetery, Bois-Grenier
Grave number IV E 44
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour
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World War 1 Service

22 Jul 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 3609, Melbourne, Victoria
5 Jan 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 3609, 24th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
5 Jan 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 3609, 24th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Afric, Melbourne
31 Mar 1916: Transferred AIF WW1, Private, 14th Infantry Battalion
3 Jul 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 3609, 14th Infantry Battalion

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Biography contributed by Robin Shaw

"...3609 Private Thomas Benjamin Shaw, 24th Battalion from Collingwood, Victoria. A 22 year old brass finisher prior to enlisting on 22 July 1915, he embarked for overseas with the 8th Reinforcements from Melbourne on 5 January 1916 aboard HMAT Afric. On arrival in Egypt, he transferred to the 8th Battalion and then to the 14th Battalion, 4th Australian Division under Maj Gen H. V. Cox and embarked with the latter to the Western Front. He was killed in action in the Bois-Grenier sector, France on 3 July 1916 during trench raiding prior to the Battle of the Somme. His brother, 4789 Private Joseph Shaw served with the 21st Battalion on the Western Front and returned to Australia in April 1918..." - SOURCE (


Enlisted 22 July 1915
Initially assigned to 2 Company, 4th Depot Battalion, Broadmeadows. Presumably in basic training at Broadmeadows for about 5 months
9/12/15 - assigned to 8th Reinforcements to the 24th Battalion
5/1/16 – Embarked HMAT Afric at Melbourne, exact date of arrival in Egypt unclear
24/2/16 – proceeded via Zeitoun (NZEF camp outside Cairo) and proceeded to Australian camp at Serapeum (on Suez Canal south of Ismalia) & taken on strength 8th Battalion
7/4/16 – Taken on strength 14th Battalion at Serapeum
1/6/16 – Noted to have joined BEF (British Expeditionary Force) at Alexandria (all AIF troops were part of the BEF, a term that referred to all British & Commonwealth forces in France & Belgium). Embarked HMAT Transylvania
8/6/16 – disembarked Marseilles, taken by rail to Bailleul, France about a 60-hour journey. Appears to have been with B or C Company, both of which disembarked on that day along with battalion HQ.
17/6/16 – marched with elements of the 14th Battalion about 8km from Bailleul to Fort Rompu (on the Armentieres road by the River Lys about 5 km north-west of Bois-Grenier). They were now in the battle zone.
4th Brigade (incl 14th Bn) in reserve 18-19/6/16 – provided fatigue parties etc
21/6/16 – 3 platoons of the 14th Bn entered the lines alongside 19th Bn to gain experience in the front trenches
27/6/16 – 3 more platoons of the 14th entered the lines
28/6/16 – Rest of the 14th Bn entered the lines to relieve the 19th. B, C and D Companies held the front and support lines, A Company in reserve.
The 14th Battalion War Diary states that they held a front running from at track running south from ‘Burnt Farm’ to Grand Flamengrie Farm. La Flamengrie Farm was marked on trench maps and exists today on Chemin de la Patinerie south east of Bois-Grenier.
29/6/16 – Rearguard troops from Marseille rejoin 14th Bn.
2-3/7/16 – Trench raid by selected men of A Company of the 14th Bn on the German lines. Notes by Lt-Col Dare, Commander of the 14th, indicate that Pvt Shaw did not participate in the raid.
3/7/16 – Heavy German artillery and mortars opened on the 14th lines in response to trench raid. Concentrated on D Company section of the line. Infantry probes followed but were mostly repulsed with help of 19th Bn Lewis guns. Overall the 14th took about 40 casualties and the D Company section of trench (section 57) was demolished. It is possible that Pvt Shaw was one of those 40, but it is not clear.
Date of death recorded as 3/7/16 but not reported until 5/7/16.
Date unknown – Buried at Brewery Orchard Cemetery Bois-Grenier – Rev John Lelean Cope, Chaplain to 14th Bn officiated. Burial was formally reported 27/7/16.