Click here to return to the main site entry page
Click here to return to the previous page
Researched by Donna Aitken and Jacky Lawrence
Dennis Wilding Shouler
Dennis wearing his soldier's uniform sometime during WW1.
Dennis in his WW1 uniform

Dennis Wilding Shouler was born on Christmas day 1896 to Alfred Shouler, a shoemaker, and Harriet Eliza Shouler (nee Fisher) in Wollaston.  Alfred and Harriet were both born in Weston Underwood, Buckinghamshire and the 1901 census shows Alfred, Harriet and Dennis living in Howard Road, Wollaston along with a daughter, Constance Dorothy, born 1901. By 1911 the family have moved to Rushden and the census for that year shows them at 54, Sartoris Road with another son, Leslie Frank born in 1905. 

In 1910, when Dennis was 14, he joined the Co-operative as a grocer’s assistant.

On 22nd June 1915 he joined the Territorial Forces and was immediately attested for military service in the Northamptonshire Regiment in the rank of Private, regimental number 201150. At the time he enlisted he was 5’ 6¾" tall with brown hair and still living at 54 Sartoris Road.

From 22nd June to 14th November 1915 he was in the UK, then from 15th November 1915 to 8th July 1919 he served in the Mediterranean, in the Balkans. In 1919, after the war had ended, he was in Egypt. The picture on the left shows him with other soldiers, presumably awaiting discharge, in front of the Pyramids.

On 19th April 1917 he was wounded slightly and a later medical report records he has ‘two bullet scars in right leg’ and is 5ft. 8ins tall. He was appointed unpaid L/Cpl on 30th July 1918 but was admitted to hospital on 22nd August 1918 as a Private.

On 6th August 1919 he was discharged with the rank of Private due to sickness (malaria) with a weekly pension of 12/- (degree of disablement was 30%). He was awarded a Silver War Badge which was given to servicemen from WW1 who had been discharged on medical grounds. The sterling silver lapel badge was to be worn only on civilian clothes and was awarded to stop White Feathers being handed out.

Dennis returned to civilian life and went back to work for the Co-op. In 1921 he married Frances May Balls and in the 1925 Electoral Roll they were living at 43 Crabb Street.

The Co-op in High Street South with Dennis on left

Dennis became a manager at the Co-op at the young age of 22 and managed various branches. For the last 21 years of his service he was manager of the Birchall Road branch and was known as ‘Boss’ Shouler.

The Birchall Road Co-op

He retired in December 1961 and was described as ‘The best manager that the Rushden Co-operative has ever had.’ At that time he was living at 15 Upper Queen Street.

Dennis died on 14th November 1982.

Click here to return to the main index of features
Click here to return to the People & Families index
Click here to e-mail us