5170 Pte John Joseph Shanley, 6th Bn East Lancashire Regt.
A pre-war reservist, John was born in Burnley, Lancashire in 1893. He was called into full time service in August 1914 and transferred to the 2nd Battalion East Lancs with whom he arrived in France on 6 November 1914. After seeing action at Neuve Chapelle, Aubers and the Somme, he returned to the UK – possibly wounded – and was transferred to the 6th Battalion.
Whilst en-route to join his new battalion (at that point serving in Mesopotamia), John was on board the troop ship SS.Cameronia sailing between Marseilles and Alexandria. On 15 April 1917 the Cameronia was torpedoed and sunk 150 miles off Malta by the German submarine U-33. 210 of the men on board were killed in this sinking, amongst them was John. Having 'no grave but the sea', John is commemorated on the Chatby Memorial, Alexandria, Egypt.
15 April 1917
Research by David O'Mara