Eric Sherlock (1915-82)

Eric William Sherlock was born on the 25th November 1915 in St. John's, Sevenoaks, Kent. His parents were William Sherlock and Elsie Maud Sherlock (nee Long). William was a groom, later a gardener, and went on to serve in the First World War in the Army Veterinary Corps. Eric was baptised on the 16th January 1916 at St George's Church, Weald, Sevenoaks.

Eric had considerable experience working with young people before joining the ministry. He worked for Surrey County Council as Careers Adviser to the Education Committee and for a time was a probation officer. He also worked in a Dr. Barnardo's Home.

Eric moved to Cheltenham from Sevenoaks in 1936 and took an active part in the work of Toch H, serving in Tewksbury and Winchcombe, whilst working a a member of the clerical staff for the Cheltenham District Council.

He moved again, this time from Cheltenham to Thornbury in 1939 and had only been there a fortnight when war broke out and he was called to the Colours, being then in the ranks of the Gloucestershire Hussars (Territorial Force). When commmissioned he was sent to the 5th Battalion Sherwood Foresters as a lieutenant. On the 15th February 1942 he was reported missing in Malaya, at the fall pf Singapore, later to be discovered a prisoner of war in the hands of the Japanese. He was held prisoner in Singapore, Malaya and Thailand.

He was released on the 2nd of September 1945. His mother receiving a communication from him, from Bombay, saying that he was safe and not ill, "but needs rest, good feeding and a little treatment before starting home".

In 1948 Eric married Geraldine M. Harger in Battle, Sussex. They had 2 children, Helen M. (born 1950), and Philip W. (born 1952) both born in the Battle district of Surrey.

Eric went on to study at Worcester Ordination College and was ordained Deacon at Exeter Cathedral on the 15th June 1966. He was then appointed curate of the parish church of Highweek, Newton Abbot, Devon.

On the 14th August 1968 Eric applied to become a member of the Burma Star Association. He was then living at the parsonage in Donington-on-Bain in Louth, Lincolnshire.

In 1971 Eric became Vicar of the united benefices of Hoxne and Denham. Whilst in Hoxne he was a staunch member of the British Legion. He left Hoxne in 1974 having stayed there for three and a half years.

Eric and his wife retired to a bungalow in Bolstone, a small hamlet near Hereford. It was there, in April 1982, that they both sadly committed suicide. Their daughter had already emigrated to Canada and their son and his family, currently living in Bangor, County Down, Northern Ireland, were about to move to Canada as well. Eric and his wife apparently could not stand the thought of their family splitting up.