The Sheard family originated from Yorkshire. John's parents, Edgar and Ethelina, had both been born in Batley and his older sister, Lilian, was born in Leeds in about 1891. By the time of the 1901 Census, the family had moved to Stockport and was living at 466 Hempshaw Lane. John had been born locally about a year before.
The Battle of Amiens had started on 8 August and the Allied armies were now relentlessly advancing. There would be no more defeats although there was to be hard fighting over the final Hundred Days of the War.
The Regimental History notes that the Battalion took over a section of the front line near the village of Henin on the night of 27/28 August. At 12.30pm, they attacked towards Riencourt with "C" and "D" Companies leading the attack; "A" in support and "B" in reserve.
"The attack opened inauspiciously owing to the contact aeroplane receiving a direct hit from a shell shortly after the start." The History continues its account recording that the first objective was reached without significant opposition and, at 1.50pm, the advance continued towards Hendicourt.
Here, four small parties entered the village, but were met with heavy machine gun fire and artillery shells. The King's men quickly withdrew. By now the King's were mixed up with troops from other units and it was clear that further advances were not going to be made that day. The men began to consolidate their gains. Throughout the rest of the day and night, they were heavily shelled until they were relieved about 1pm on the 19th and it was during this time that John was killed.