Rank or Title
Date of Birth
Date of Death
30 Dec 1918
Media files and documents
War time / or Pre War occupation
Place of Birth
World War I Address
Place of Death
Soldier or Civilian
Harold Ernest Shepherd was a Lieutenant in the Royal Field Artillery, and was part of the teaching staff at Biscot Camp. He died in Dover Military Hospital of influenza (pneumonia) on December 30th, 1918, a week after he had been admitted. His wife had travelled from Luton to be with him.
Harold was a primary school teacher, so he was ideally suited to work in the education department at Biscot. He had been on duty at Dover in connection with the repatriation of prisoners of war.
He married Elsie Marie Caspers, daughter of Berlin-born hairdresser Carl Caspers, of 11 Alexandra Avenue in Luton in June 1917. They had a five-month-old son, Bryan Joseph O'Neill Shepherd.
Harold was born in Stoke Damerel in Devon, the son of retired dockyard worker Rowley George, and Mary Shepherd. At the outbreak of war, Harold was a single man living at home with his father and family in Lambeth.
A funeral with full military honours was held at Luton General Cemetery, Rothesay Road, on Thursday, January 2nd, 1919. The body had been brought from Dover two days previously and was deposited in front of the High Altar at the Roman Catholic Church in Castle Street overnight on the Wednesday. Requiem Mass was conducted by Fr O'Connor in the presence of relatives and also nuns from Luton's Dominican Convent.
The coffin was borne from the church by six officers from Biscot Camp and placed on a gun carriage drawn by six horses. The funeral escort, consisting of a detachment of R.F.A., presented arms as the coffin, draped in a Union Jack, was placed on the gun carriage and taken in procession to the cemetery, where it was met by Fr Boleau, of the Dominican Convent. Three volleys were fired at the graveside and the Last Post was sounded by trumpeters of the R.F.A.