The story of James Malcolm Fleming Shaw

Born 25 September 1880 in Warkworth. James’s parents, William and Marion Shaw, lived at “Burnside”, Pohuehue. On his enlistment in 1917 he was living in the Waikato and described himself as a self-employed farmer and butcher. Although not married he stated that he had three dependants. These would appear to be the widow and sons of his brother who died 1914 in the Waikato. This could explain his location on enlistment. He also took care to write a will before he left New Zealand.

James was admitted to a field hospital in France 24 January 1918 where he died of a brain haemorrhage 4 February 1918. He was buried in Wimereux Communal Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France.

The main beneficiaries of his will were one of his sisters and his two nephews. However, gaining probate was a long and complicated process due to his army death certificate showing his name as just “James Shaw” leaving the family to prove that this was in fact James Malcolm Fleming Shaw. His plaque was sent to his father and was discovered some years later in a creek on the family property in Pohuehue.

James Shaw. Bronze plaque. Warkworth Museum Collection

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