Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

There is very little documentary evidence to indicate that Stuart McShane had a direct connection to Portsmouth, but there is enough to justify the inclusion of his name on the Guildhall Square Cenotaph.
At the last census prior to the outbreak of the Great War, the McShane family were recorded as living in Dover, Kent where Stuart's father Peter was serving as a Mess Steward. Peter had been born at Wigtown, Scotland in 1862 and he married Eliza Jane Willshire at Barton Regis, Gloucestershire in 1890. Eliza had been born at Bridport in 1863. Peter's posting at Dover must have lasted some time as all three of their children were born there. The second born was Stuart Norman (b. 1899, 2nd qtr.).
At the outbreak of the Great War Stuart Norman was only 15 years of age and by then was probably attending St. Jude's School, though the exact date the family moved to Portsmouth is unknown. He must have enlisted in the Hampshire Regiment as soon as they would accept him as by early 1917 he was with the regiment in Iraq where he died in February. The CWGC records his age at the time as being just 17 years; they also state that he was born in Portsmouth, contrary to the evidence from the 1911 census.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission lists (CWGC) Private Stuart Norman McShane, (202299), 1st/4th Battalion, Hampshire Regiment, died on 25/02/1917. Buried at Amara War Cemetery, Iraq (Grave Ref: XVII. J. 5.). Son of Peter and Eliza McShane, of 24, Brougham Rd., Southsea, Portsmouth. Born at Portsmouth.
Stuart Mcshane is remembered on the St Jude's Church WW1 Memorial and the Cenotaph in Portsmouth. He is not listed in the 'National Roll of the Great War'.
Tim Backhouse
July 2014