Rank or Title
Date of Birth
Date of Death
21 Aug 1915
Media files and documents
Place of Birth
World War I Address
Place of Death
War Memorial Location
Soldier or Civilian
Lieutenant Shoosmith was the son of Francis Shoosmith a Straw Hat Manufacturer of Hart Hill, Luton. He was killed on 21st August 1915, aged 21.
Lieutenant Shoosmith arrived in Gallipoli with the 5th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment on 29th July 1915 and survived the initial attack on 15th August at which his conduct was noted as being exceptional.
‘Nearly all the NCOs and men of his machine gun section were knocked out; but still, with only one man to aid him, he fought his guns with the greatest gallantry, simply sweeping the ground ahead of him and clearing the way for the advance of his comrades.
Major JE Hill …at once saw the straight of which the Machine Gun Section was reduced, and, going across to Shoosmith, he asked: “Who is to fit the gun if you get knocked out? No one else knows enough about it up here; your section is gone, and you had better show me how to do it.” The breezy answer he received from young Shoosmith was: “Oh you just pull this and press that! It’s quite simple.” And during this conversation, mark you, Shoosmith was pumping rounds into the Turks.’
Shoosmith’s company were all dead or wounded but he stayed at his gun. On the 21st August he was sent a message to report to Headquarters. On the way he was shot in the head by a sniper and died where he fell.
He was the son of Francis and Minnie Shoosmith, of Hart Hill, Luton; and his full biography can be found on the website of the Bedfordshire Regiment.
He is remembered on the Helles Memorial which stands on the tip of the Gallipoli peninsula. The obelisk is over 30 metres high and is designed to be seen by ships in the Dardanelles. It records the names of Commonwealth servicemen who served there and who have no known grave.