James Albert SHEA

SHEA, James Albert

Service Number: 3507
Enlisted: 10 August 1915, Claremont, Tasmania
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 52nd Infantry Battalion
Born: Hobart, Tasmania, January 1897
Home Town: Battery Point, Hobart, Tasmania
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Clerk
Died: Killed in Action, Pozières, France, 4 September 1916
Cemetery: Courcelette British Cemetery
Courcelette British Cemetery, Picardie, France
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Hobart Roll of Honour
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World War 1 Service

10 Aug 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Claremont, Tasmania
10 Nov 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 3507, 12th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1,

--- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '10' embarkation_place: Melbourne embarkation_ship: HMAT Ascanius embarkation_ship_number: A11 public_note: ''

10 Nov 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, 3507, 12th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Ascanius, Melbourne
4 Sep 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 3507, 52nd Infantry Battalion, Battle for Pozières , --- :awm_ww1_roll_of_honour_import: awm_service_number: 3507 awm_unit: 52nd Australian Infantry Battalion awm_rank: Private awm_died_date: 1916-09-04

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James was a bright young man born Hobart January 1897 to Frederick Thomas Shea  and Lillian May Shea (nee Green).  The family lived at Battery Point Hobart.  James had seven siblings.

James was a Clerk at Risby's Timber Mill, Hobart.  People kept hounding him to 'serve his country, not hide behind a desk', as they put it.  Some even put a white feather on his desk. They should've minded their own business.  James was only just over 18 years of age at enlistment.  He embarked HMAT Ascanius, from Melbourne, 10 November 1915, with the 12th Infantry Battalion.

James did not want to go to war, he was a Roman Catholic, and didn't believe in war, but was pressured to seek consent from his parents.  His mother refused as she already had two sons at war.  His father gave in and signed the papers.  His mother told the father she would never forgive him if James were killed or severely injured at the war.  His serving brothers, Leslie James Shea Service No 2049, and Vernon Reginald Shea were sailing home on one ship for leave but did not get back in time, they were going to tell him never to sign up, and explain how horrendous this war was.

When James was killed 4 September 1916, Pozieres/Mooquet Farm his mother Lillian, Father Frederick and family were heartbroken.

James was awarded the UK Silver War Badge 1914-1920, Royal Horse Field Artiliary Badge No 327511.  His possessions namely one electric torch, an ID Disk,  Metal wrist watch & strap, 4 hankerchiefs and two Alabaster stones are all that  were returned to his parents.  No body to bury, no grave to attend, it is in  the British War Cemetery at Courcelette, France. 

There is a tree in his honour in the Hobart  city councils'  Soldiers Memorial Avenue, Hobart Domain, and his name on a plaque in the Hobart City Council foyer.

His mother was granted 30/- per fortnight pension from 22 June 1917 for a short period.  His mother and some siblings moved to Sydney to live.

James was my maternal great uncle.