Captain Frederick William Kershaw

Frederick William Kershaw was born in Manchester on April 18, 1885. His father was in the management of a Cotton Mill and by 1911 Frederick was living in Marple with his parents and he was working as a buyer.

He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the 9th Manchester Regiment on June 28, 1910 (Gazetted July 26, 1910) and promoted to Lieutenant on March 4, 1911.

He sailed with the battalion to Egypt and served with them through their training and preparations for action. On November 4, 1914 he was promoted to Captain, while serving in Egypt. Captain Kershaw landed with the Battalion in Gallipoli on May 9, 1915 as second in command of “A” Company.

He is mentioned in the personal diary of 2/Lt. Charles Earsham Cooke:

June 20. Sunday. Capt. KERSHAW arrived today and looked very pale. I don’t know if I did mention it but he landed and did not come in the first night owing to a very bad septic throat and has taken 6 weeks at Malta and Alexandria, lucky fellow in a way. Very nervous at first of course as I dare say we all were. Fancy, it seems very funny to us of course, but he would not realise it, asked me for a cigarette! I had been in the place for 6 weeks!! Funnily enough I had one! We had only been in the trenches 18 days then!!!

There is little mention of him in the Battalion war diary but the 126 Brigade war diary states that he reported sick, and was subsequently medically evacuated to hospital in Malta, on November 9, 1915 and regimental records show that he did not rejoin the Battalion until March 3, 1916 in Egypt. On May 19, 1916 he was able to take 44 days leave in the UK returning on July 2. He remained with the Battalion in Egypt throughout 1916 and managed to get two day’s leave in Cairo in February 20-21, 1917 just before they shipped out the France.

In France he attended a six day course of instruction in trench warfare along with his C.O. Lt-Col. DR Wade. Shortly after that he attended an 8 day course of instruction for Company Commanders in Montigny from April 6-14. In June he attended a school for Lewis Gunners and from July 11-22 took leave in the UK. In October he has hospitalised for 8 days due to sickness and upon his return almost immediately attended another course of instruction. From Nov 17th to December 3rd he took leave again in the UK. A month after his return he was briefly assigned for duty to 1st Corps Headquarters for 4 days. On the 14th February, 1918 he was assigned for duty in the UK and remained there until his return to France on November 15, 1918, rejoining the Battalion on December 22, 1918.

On February 21, 1919 he proceeded to the UK for demobilization but did not resign his commission until February 1921 and was granted the rank of Major .

Major Frederick William Kershaw died on March 24, 1981 in Surrey. He was 95 years old.