SHELBOURN, Robert George
- Born: 2 Jul 1899, Denton, Lincolnshire, England
- Marriage: BURTON, Gladys on 23 Mar 1929
- Died: 12 Jan 1990, Queen Elizabeth Hospital Woodville South Australia at age 90
- Buried: Centennial Park, Adelaide SA
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Births Sep 1899
Shelbourn Robert George District: Grantham Vol: 7aPage: 470
The 1901 UK census shows Robert with his parents and siblings at Grantham, Lincolnshire, England
George Shelbourn 34 - Head Mar Ironstone Miner born Grantham, Lincolnshire
Emma Shelbourn 30 - Wife Mar born Osbournby, Lincolnshire
Charles Shelbourn 10 - Son born Denton, Lincolnshire
Bertha M Shelbourn 7 - Dau born Denton, Lincolnshire
Lily M Shelbourn 6 - Dau born Denton, Lincolnshire
Ivy E L Shelbourn 4 - Dau born Denton, Lincolnshire
Robert G Shelbourn 1 - Son born Denton, Lincolnshire
Private Robert George Shelbourn served his country in World War 1 or the Great War as it is often known.
He served in the West Riding Regiment - 39607 and Durham Light Infantry - 81854 and the Training Reserve Battalion. He as awarded the Victory Medal and the British War Medal. The images in the photo gallery are a guide as to what Bob's medals look like. The medals varied slightly depending on when they were awarded.
Bob was not formally discharged from the army until 31 March 1920.
His Certificate of Service (not issued until 16 February 1950) states that he joined Durham Light Infantry on 26 September 1917 and he was discharged after serving 1 year and 152 days (his active service with Durham Light Infantry would have ended in late February 1919) and that he served as a "Class Z Army Reserve" for 1 year and 35 days. I am unclear if this service was after his time with Durham Light Infantry of before but suspect it was after.
Bob's Certificate of Service was not issued until 1950, after he brought his family to Australia. It states his character as "Very Good".
Family oral history says he enlisted at 15 (see the word's of Rex Shelbourn below) but I am yet to establish the exact details of his enlistment which I assume was first in the Training Reserve Battalion and then the West Riding Regiment. It is not at all clear where he served with the West Riding Regiment or why he was redeployed to Durham Light Infantry (Soldiers were sometimes redeployed to another battalion or regiment when their own suffered high numbers of casualties) - the regiment did see active service in France. I wish I had been interested enough to know what questions to ask him before he died. CW Sept 2007
WWI British Army Record Rolls
Pte Robert George Shelbourn 39607 and Durham Light Infantry - 81854 was awarded the Victory Medal 0/1/103B Roll 27 Page 5200 and the British Medal Roll 27 Page 5200.
The details below are from Wikipedia:
"49th (West Riding) Infantry Division
This military division was formed on April 1, 1908 as the West Riding Division in the Territorial Force of the British Army.
In 1915, it was designated the 49th (West Riding) Division and given the White Rose of York as its insignia. The division fought during World War I in France."
The regiment fought at the Somme in 1916.
During the first world war there was 4 brigades; 146th (West Riding) Brigade, 147th (2nd West Riding) Brigade, 148th (3rd West Riding) Brigade & Pioneers. Only the battalions of 147th served as The Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment).
"Battalions from the regiment had served in most land conflicts involving British forces since its formation. The regiment was engaged in many of the greatest battles of World War I (the Battle of Mons, the Battle of the Somme, the Battle of Passchendaele, and the Battle of Cambrai".
Memoirs of the life of Robert George Shelbourn
The account of the life of Robert George Shelbourn was written by his son Rex Shelbourn in 2005.
"Robert George Shelbourn born on July 3rd 1899 at Denton Lincolnshire-He left school and started work at Denton hall estate under his father (who was head 'Wagoner' as his father had been before him) at the age of 12 years --- After around twelve months he left the estate and started work with Appelby-Frodingham in a new ironstone quarry which they opened at Colsterworth. (The birthplace of Isac Newton)
At the age of 15 he enlisted in the army (Lincolnshire Rifles) and served on the 'western front' mainly in France, The major period of his service was as a 'sniper' and he was one of a very small number of these solders to survive the war and return home when hostilities ceased. (The information in the above paragraph was told to me by 'Uncle Harry Beecham' many years ago because Dad would not talk about his war service in France).
After returning from the war he resumed work with Appelby-Frodingham in the ironstone quarry's where he remained until moving to Skegness in 1944.
Bob had two sisters and two brothers, Eric who married Eva Burton (sister to his wife Gladys) and produced three children-Donald whom I believe lives in the south of England. Jill who moved to Australia but unfortunately passed away in her early twenty's, and April who I am afraid I don't remember anything about.
His other brother Story married a 'pure bred gypsy' lady and more or less cut himself off from the rest of the family until the 39/45 war started when Bob gave him a job in the quarry's and he moved up from London to Sewston (the next village to Bob). It was a very unhappy time for Story and his wife Rose as they were 'shunned' by the local villagers because of Rose's ancestry, and the fact that Story did not volunteer for military service.
Bob's two sisters were named Ivy and Lily, one married and one remained single and I have no knowledge of either of them having children.
Bob's father worked on the Denton Hall estate until sometime in the 1920's when he suffered a complete breakdown and as was the norm in those days he was placed in the asylum at------------ where he remained for the rest of his life. I am not absolutely certain but I believe that he is buried in the Denton Church of England cemetery.
Bob's mother passed away in the mid 1930's and is buried in the Denton Church of England cemetery
Bob only spoke to me once about his father and his illness and that was on the night before he left for Australia with the rest of the family.
I arrived back at my base in the south of Wales from east Berlin mid afternoon and was called into my C O's office (Dad's friend Flt Lieutenant Birchmore) and told to go straight to Stan Brewers in London as dad and the rest of the family were leaving for Australia early next morning, this was the first I had heard of the move and believe me it was some shock.
We stayed up most of the night talking, I can remember that Bob was upset about the type of 'work' that I was involved in with the RAF and he urged me to get out of it telling me that it would haunt me for the rest of my life as his army service had him. He also told me that I must wipe the whole of my service time from my mind as he had attempted to do, that night he also told me that an aunt 'Maud' or great aunt' Maud had visited his Mother and Father in Denton and because she was from the 'Peeler' family none of the other family's in the village or the nearby villages would associate with his fathers family from then onwards, and he was certain that I would be treated in the same manner if people learned of my 'job' with the RAF.
This was the only time that Bob had spoken to me at all about his family background but after the family moved to Australia I often spent a few days of my 'leave' time with Aunty Emily (mother's sister) and I did attempt to find out more about Bob's family history, but other than the fact that the 'Denton' Shelbourn's had been shunned in Denton and the adjacent villages after their family had been connected to the 'Peeler' family was all that she could help me with."
BT Phone Books
1937show RG Shelbourn, Hilltop Farm, Wyville - Stroxton 208
1939 show RG Shelbourn, Hilltop Farm, Wyville - Great Ponton 208
1947 shows RG Shelbourn, 56 South Parade, Skegness - Skegness 645
The ashes of Robert George Shelbourn are interred at:
Acacia Court Gardens
Licence Number: 218592
Licence Expiry Date: 10.05.2014
Robert married Gladys BURTON, daughter of James Richards BURTON and Rose Hannah DOLBY, on 23 Mar 1929. (Gladys BURTON was born on 23 Sep 1903, died on 25 Aug 1989 in Queen Elizabeth Hospital Woodville South Australia and was buried in Centennial Park, Adelaide SA.)
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Marriages Mar 1929
Burton Gladys Shelbourn Grantham 7a841
Shelbourn Robert G Grantham 7a841