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Thomas Shaw
Born June 1899
Died 2 March 2002 (aged 102)
Place of birth Belfast, Ireland now (Northern Ireland)
Place of death Bangor, County Down, Northern Ireland
Allegiance Flag of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom
Service/branch Royal Irish Rifles
Years of service 1914; 1916–1919
Battles/wars World War I

Thomas Shaw (June 1899 – 2 March 2002) was the last known Irish World War I veteran. He served for the Royal Irish Rifles after joining up in 1916 and fought in battles such as Passchendaele.


Shaw was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in June 1899. He first enlisted as a rifleman at 15 in 1914 and went into battle, but was sent home after his brother, a military policeman, met him by chance while in France. In 1916 he joined the 16th battalion of the Royal Irish Rifles and fought in battles such as Messines and Passchendaele. He stayed in Germany as part of the Army of Occupation for six months after the war ended and returned home in April 1919.

During World War II he was in charge of meat rations in Belfast. In 1942, he married his girlfriend Nell; they spent the last 12 years living at sheltered accommodation in Bangor, County Down. He died on 2 March 2002 at the age of 102 and was buried in Clandeboye cemetery in Bangor.

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