Captain (Major) John Lintorn SHORE, D.S.O., O.B.E., L.d.H., M.i.D. – (Officer Commanding ‘B’ Company)
Captured: 13 October 1914 Repatriated: 4 March 1919
Personal: Lintorn Shore was born on 6th September 1880 at Whatley House, Frome, Somerset, and was the eldest son of John Henry, J.P. (Land and Income Tax Commissioner) and Charlotte (née Saunders) Shore.
He had 7 younger brothers, Henry Alexander, George Leopold, Gerald Seymour (died aged 8 months in August 1886), Hamilton Kerby, Richard Arabin, Harry Archibald and Maurice Freeman, and 3 sisters, Grace Mary, Bertha Josephine Agnes and Frances Emmeline. [see Footnotes below]
The 1881 Census (RG 11/2400) shows the family living at Whatley House, Frome. At that time only Lintorn and his elder sisters Grace and Bertha have been born. In 1891 (Census RG 12/1969) 10 year old Lintorn was a boarder with Adam Rowley (Schoolmaster) and his wife at 20 College Road, Clifton.
In 1898 he went to Sandhurst. Lintorn was quite tall for the time at 5 ft. 10¾ ins. [1.80 m.] when he enlisted in February 1900 upon leaving the Military College.
On 24th June 1908 he married Dorothy Clara Green-Price at Discoed Church, Presteigne, Radnorshire. They had 3 children, Margaret (Peggy) Lucille (born 7th February 1911), and twins, Doryl Jean and John Richard Rodley (born 5th August 1912). In 1911 (Census RG 14/) Lintorn was serving with his Battalion in Ireland and living, with Dorothy, at 4 Limestone Road, Duncairn, Antrim.
The 1939 Register shows Lintorn living back at the family home, Whatley House, Frome, with his daughter, Bertha, and her husband, Maurice Cooke-Hurle. Though now retired, 69 year old Lintorn was described as “District Chief Warden, British Red Cross“. Dorothy died on 5th March 1963.
Lintorn died at Whatley House on 22nd December 1947. Probate Records show his estate of £15,595 16s 10d [£15595.84 – equivalent to about £540,000 today – 2020) was left to Hamilton Kerby Shore (‘Retired Major H.M. Army‘) and Doryl Jean Shore (Spinster). A further award (limited to settled land) of £31246 (about £1,100,000 today) was settled shortly afterwards.
Military Service: Lintorn and his friend, Cuthbert Matterson, were commissioned into the 1st Battalion of the Cheshire Regiment on 21st February 1900. He was posted to Secunderabad, India, where he was promoted to Lieutenant on 7th February 1901 and Captain on 19th December 1906 by which time the Battalion was serving in India.
Mobilisation on 5th August 1914 found the 1st Cheshires in barracks at Londonderry. They marched two days later to Belfast and embarked on the SS Masilia, which docked at Le Havre on 16th August.
Lintorn Shore was given command of ‘B’ Company, with Capt. C. E. Joliffe as his 2 i/c. The other Officers of the Company were Lieut. C. A. K. Matterson (Scout Officer), Lieut. A. E. Newson (Special Reserve) and 2/Lieutenant H. N. Atkinson (Special Reserve).
They entrained for Le Cateau and marched to the BEF assembly area near Mons. On 24thAugust 1914 the Cheshires fought a fierce rearguard action on the line Élouges to Audregnies.
The Cheshires were 1007 strong at dawn but their total strength that evening was 192 and Lintorn, being senior surviving officer, took command.
In “The Doings of the 15th Infantry Brigade” (page 32) by the Brigade Commander, Edward, Lord Gleichen, he has this to say about the troops that were detached from his command when he came upon them on the evening of the 24th August 1914:
“Just beyond Athis we found the Norfolks, who had been fighting at Élouges all the morning, and then we came across the sad little remainder of the Cheshires–only about 200 left out of 891 who had gone into action that morning near Élouges. It was horrible to hear of this appalling loss. Shore was the only captain left, and he was in command, with two or three subalterns only. His story was that his company had been in reserve to the other three and had gone to occupy a farmhouse as told, that he had seen the three companies extending to his right, and then lost touch with them as they advanced rapidly over the brow of the low rolling ground.
There was very heavy firing all along the line, and eventually a staff officer told him to fall back to his right rear and rejoin his battalion. This he tried to do, but he only came across a few wounded and stragglers of his regiment, who told him that the three companies had lost very heavily, including Boger (commanding) and all their officers, and that there was practically nobody left. Shore did his best to find out and help, but a general retirement took place, and he and his men were swept back with the rest. Tahourdin, Stapylton, Dyer, Dugmore, and lots of others were reported killed, and poor Shore was in a terrible state of mind.” [We now know, of course, that the Officers named had been taken prisoner, not killed in action.]
.…. a .pdf file giving Captain Shore’s full account of the Battle, written after the War. [Source: “Prison in Paradise” unpublished memoir of Major Eric Archer Jackson, 2 i/c ‘C’ Company]
Lintorn led the Battalion throughout the retreat from Mons and on Saturday 5th September, only 12 miles from Paris, they received orders for the General Advance. In the next 9 days, the Cheshires advanced 90 miles to the River Aisne, crossing on 14th September.
The Division was then disengaged, re-formed and re-equipped before taking over a sector near La Bassée Canal.
The War Diary for 13th October 1914 shows the extent of the fighting that day at Festubert: “4.45 a.m. ‘A’ Coy made dawn attack on RUE D’OUVERT without success, casualties Major Vandeleur, 2nd Scottish Rifles, Major Young, Captain Harbord, D.S.O., Lieut. Harrington, 2nd Lieut Thomas, 55 N.C.O.s & men missing, 8 N.C.O.s & men wounded.
Took up position with remainder of Battalion on the FESTUBERT – LAQUINQUE Road and entrenched. Battalion on outpost duty at night – captured 2 Uhlans.
CAPTAIN SHORE took over command of the Battalion.“
Three days later: “CAPTAIN MAHONY took over command of Battalion and brought up 2/Lieuts Napier, May, Woodhead, Carr, Anderson and 248 reinforcements.” However, on the 21st “9.30 a.m. Again attacked LA BASSEE without success. Came under heavy shell fire. 1 machine gun out of action. Battalion on outposts. Casualties: CAPTAIN MAHONY wounded, 3 men killed, 6 wounded. Battalion on outposts. ‘B’ Company went into billets. Captain Shore took over command of the Battalion.” [Captain Frederick Henry Mahony died from his wounds the following day.]
On October 22nd, the Germans attacked at Violaines where Lintorn was captured after being shot through the left lung.
The War Diary reads: “5.10 a.m. Enemy made heavy attack, and took the trenches at the point of the bayonet. Battalion retired to Rue Du Marais under very heavy fire. Manchesters came up in support. 8.00 p.m. Battalion withdrawn and went in bivouac at last E of Rue De Bethune”
“Casualties: Captains Shore, Rich, Hartford, 2/Lieuts Atkinson, Leicester, Greenhalgh missing, Captain Forster, 18 N.C.O.s & men wounded, 200 N.C.O.s & men missing including Sergeant Major.” [2/Lt. Henry Noel Atkinson, Capt. James Arthur Greenhalgh and Capt. Hugh Irving St. John Hartford were killed in action that day.]
Captain Shore was taken to a German hospital for wounded British Officers in a nunnery at Namur. While in hospital the incident of the visit of the Irish-Prussian officer, Prehen Von Scheffler-Knox, took place. He and Lintorn had been friends in Londonderry where the Prussian was a large landowner before narrowly escaping internment on the outbreak of war. Prehen was in the Prussian Guard and ADC to the General Commanding at Namur, accompanying him on a visit to the hospital. Lintorn simply called out “Good Morning Mr Knox!”.
Lintorn took a long time to recover from his wounds. He got pleurisy and was eventually sent to a POW camp in Friedburg.
(The news cutting left shows Lintorn at Friedburg: “Whiling away the hours that sometimes seem interminable …. by working out chess problems … at Friedberg where he had been since October 1914“.
ICRC put him at Heidelberg in August 1916 presumably for medical assessment for transfer to Switzerland.
His health did not improve and along with Captains E.A. Jackson, V.R. Tahourdin, Harbord and Harrington all of the Cheshire Regiment he was finally discharged on 9th December 1917 to Switzerland where he was interned in Montreux with Tahourdin. On parole, he restored his chest by walking longer and longer distances with all his old determination.
On the signing of the Armistice, he was ordered to collect British Army equipment in Switzerland, which he did to the value of £20,000 (i.e. close to £1,000,000 today – 2020). He was repatriated to the UK on 4th March 1919 where he rejoined his family at Killiney in County Kerry.
Lintorn was with the Cheshires throughout the Troubles before leaving the army in 1924 to return to Somerset. One report states that “Captain Shore would become a hate figure for local Republicans and the target of several unsuccessful attacks over the years“.
This stemmed from a raid in which: “Shore and his men pulled their lorry over in Crinken shortly after half-nine and began to make their way to the village on foot, arriving at the hall just as the meeting had ended. …. Captain Shore, meanwhile, sat at the table and began taking names. Suddenly, a shot rang out from near the front door. Willie Owens, standing next to his younger brother George, let out a moan and fell to his side. A bullet had struck him in the forehead. …. a subsequent military enquiry exonerated Shore and his men of any wrongdoing.”
In addition to his War Medals Linton received a DSO (London Gazette, 30th January 1920, p.1218), OBE in New Years Honours (London Gazette, 1st January 1923, p.7) for his services in Ireland, French Legion of Honour and two Mentions in Despatches (Oak Leaf on the Victory Medal).
Lintorn died at Whatley House on 22nd December 1947.
Lintorn’s younger brother, Staff Captain Hamilton Kerby Shore, enlisted from the Special Reserve, in the 8th Battalion, South Staffs Regiment, as a 2/Lt. on 16th December 1908.
He was promoted to Lieutenant on 19th October 1909. On the outbreak of War Hamilton was posted to the BEF in France, with the 1st Battalion, South Staffs, on 7th October 1914 and appointed ‘Acting Captain‘ on 15th November 1914 (until 14th May 1915). .
From 21st June 1917 to 10th March 1918 he served as “Staff Captain – temp.” at the War Office. During the 2nd World War he served as “Divisional Warden, A.R.P.“. He was living at the Manor House, Shepton Mallett, Somerset, with his wife, Letitia. He died in the September quarter 1967, aged 88.
Lintorn’s younger brother, Gnr. 6243 Richard Arabin Shore, enlisted with the CCAC, Canadian Casualty Assembly Centre, on 21st September 1914, but was discharged through ‘Sickness‘ on 15th March 1915.
Lintorn’s younger brother, Capt. Maurice Freeman Shore, M.C., enlisted in the 3rd Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry, before transferring to the Tank Corps. He was posted to the BEF in France on 4th August 1915.
Lintorn’s sister, Bertha Josephine Agnes married Capt. William Armitage Cooke-Hurle R.N. in the September quarter 1908.
He had enlisted as a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy on 15th January 1890. On 5th September 1915 he was made Captain of the cruiser HMS Brilliant. William was C-in-C, Leith, between June 1916 and June 1918 and died in service on 30th April 1920. He is buried in Nelson Memorial Park, Canada, Anglican Section.
Their son, Capt. 1059955 Maurice Armitage Cooke-Hurle, was killed in action on 3rd August 1944, serving with the 2nd Battalion, Northamptonshire Yeomanry, Royal Armoured Corps. He is buried in Grave XII. F. 14., Bayeux War Cemetery.
- In addition to the usual research tools I am grateful to Paddy Jackson for access to the material for his (as yet) unpublished book of his father’s experiences as a p.o.w. in the Great War – “To a Prison in Paradise”.