Shore A

Private 25308 Arthur Shore, 10th Battalion Yorkshire Regiment


Killed in action 1st July 1916

Arthur Shore was born in 1898 in Stokesley. He was the son of William Shore (otherwise known as Rafferty), a general labourer, born in North Clifton, Nottinghamshire and Elizabeth Hardy Carter, born in Stokesley. The couple were married in Stokesley in 1870

The Rafferty/Shore family1 are first recorded in Stokesley in the 1861 census when William was living there with his father, John Rafferty, a hawker from Ireland, and his mother, Anne, a milliner from Derbyshire. At various times the family was known as Rafferty and at others as Shore, with even Arthur’s grandfather, John, changing his surname from Rafferty to Shore. By the 1901 the name Shore seems to have become the preferred choice, as everybody in the family appears under that name in the census.

At this time Arthur was living with his family in West Row, Stokesley. His father was at that time working as a domestic gardener and Arthur was three years old and the youngest of the children of the marriage then in the house. He was, however, actually one of 18 children, all registered under the surname Rafferty, 3 of whom died in childhood: The full list comprised John Shore Rafferty (born 1871), Annie Shore Rafferty (1873), Mary Rafferty (1874), Elizabeth Rafferty (1876), William Rafferty ( born 1878 died 1880), Thomas Rafferty (1879), William Rafferty (1881), George Rafferty (1883), Joseph Rafferty (1884), Ellen Rafferty (born 1885 died 1889), Margaret Rafferty (born 1887 died 1887), Sydney Rafferty (1887-twin of Margaret), Margaret (1888), Charles (1890), Ellen (1892), Frederick (1894), Arthur Shore Rafferty (1897), and later Wilfred Rafferty (1901). Even for the time, it was a huge family!

Notably for the future, Arthur's 20 year old brother William was also in the house, listed as a 'soldyer on Furlough'.

In 1911, the family was living in North Road in the town, and both Arthur and his younger brother Wilfred were at school. Two of Arthur's brothers were registered as whinstone miners, while Fred at 18 years of age was an apprentice bricklayer.

According to the Book of Remembrance, Arthur was a choir boy - see photograph, right - and he tried to enlist before he was legally old enough. In 1915 he had six older brothers already in uniform and the famous General Kitchener poster was everywhere, with the pointing finger and the legend 'Your King and Country need you'. The young Arthur Shore was probably one of the two million men swept up in the tide of patriotic fervour that it helped to generate. Arthur eventually succeeded in enlisting in Middlesbrough as Private 25308 in the Yorkshire Regiment. He was still only 17 years old, and would have known by that time of the death of his brother William.

Some six months after enlisting, his training completed, Arthur was sent to France in June 1916. Two short weeks later, Arthur Shore was part of the attacking forces on 1st July 1916, the first day of the Somme Offensive, a day on which British and Allied losses were catastrophic. Private Arthur Shore fell, one of 60,000 casualties that day, near Thiepval. The capture of this village was one of the original objectives of 1st July, but it was finally captured only at the end of September 1916.

Private Arthur Shore was barely 18 when he was killed, and he was awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal. He was one of 7 brothers who enlisted, and the second of them to die. He has no known grave but is commemorated on the Pier and Face 3A and 3D of the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme – as is John George Skeen

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