Christopher Shelton


Christopher Shelton
Karen Jarvis’s Great Uncle; Joe, Max, Jasmin & Annie Jarvis’s Great Great Uncle

Christopher-SheltonChristopher Shelton was born in Burton Joyce, Nottinghamshire on the 13th July 1896. The family moved to Hoby in 1914 and he found a job as a Railway porter in Syston and later at East Langton.

louisa Shelton (nee barker) Glebe Cottage Hoby

Glebe Cottage Hoby

On the 8th November 1915, or possibly 8th December his service record states both dates, he signed up at Leicester (10th Battalion) under the Derby scheme. Under the terms of this scheme, men would only be called up when necessary and they could go back to their usual occupations in the meantime and make arrangements. They were also promised a degree of choice into which regiment they were sent and at some point, Christopher asked for a Navy transfer, eventually ending up in the Royal Naval Division. The RND, although fighting in the trenches alongside the army, continued Naval traditions and therefore instead of a private, Christopher was an able seaman. He signed his enrolment documents into the Navy at Blandford on 17th April 1917, giving his home address as: The Cottage, Hoby.

I do wonder if Christopher enlisted as a result of the recruitment fair that came through Hoby in early December 1915, it seems possible. Interestingly his Navy forms are signed by H.B Pollock, who was very high ranking in the RND. Usually these form-filling tasks would have done by a much lower ranking official and I did wonder if this might be connected to Admiral Beatty helping out local men.


Christopher arrived in France on the 5th July 1917 and the next day joined the base depot in Calais. After a period of training he joined his battalion at the front line on the 28th August 1917 along with 121 other reinforcements. At that time the battalion were holding the line in rotation in the Gavrelle-Oppy sector, north-east of Arras.

In August 1918, on the outskirts of Achiet-le Grand, he suffered a “mild” gun shot wound to his neck and was hospitalised in France. After the armistice Christopher remained in France until February 1919 and was demobilised at Barrowby Camp, Grantham. Christopher returned to Hoby and married Irene Boulter, a Hoby girl, in 1922. They had two daughters and later lived at Great Glen. Christopher Shelton died in 1967.2015-05-05_121219

There were several families called Shelton living in Hoby during the First World War but my Sheltons were not related to any of them.

During the First World War my grandad’s sister, Annie, worked at Brooksby Hall when it was a convalescent hospital for wounded sailors run by Mrs Beatty. Annie met her future husband Charles Rusk there. He was recovering from an injury he had received in the Battle of Jutland.

The original exhibition display: Christopher Shelton

See also Hoby Roll of Honour and 63rd Royal Naval Division.