4 September 1918 ON THIS DAY IN RWF HISTORY
Lieutenant J.S.M Shingler MC Died of Wounds
Lt John Shingler was commanding A Company of the 4th Battalion, The Royal Welsh Fusiliers when he was mortally wounded by shell fire. 4 RWF were a pioneer battalion. Pioneer Battalions were used to conduct light engineering tasks in and to the rear of the front line. They were often also used in Tunnelling Operations. 4 RWF was a volunteer Territorial Force battalion recruited in Denbighshire, principally from the miners of the Wrexham Coal Fields. This made them suitable for pioneer duties and they were the first of the RWF Territorial Force Battalions to be deployed overseas on operations in France. The officers seen in the attached photograph are believed to include Shingler sitting on the left of the group. Notice on this group of officer’s jacket lapels they wear the crossed rifle and pickaxe badges which denote that these officers are from a pioneer battalion. They also have a coloured patch on their arms. 4 RWF served as the Pioneer battalion for the 47th (2nd London) Division. Units in this division were identified by the colour of the patch, either Yellow, Green or Red, dependent on the Brigade within the Division and then the shape of a playing card symbol (diamonds etc) to denote the Battalion within the Brigade. Unfortunately the colour of the 4 RWF patch was not recored. Notice also the nick names for the officers in the photo which were written on the rear of the photo. Lt John Shingler’s service record is shown below. The final photograph shows John's temporary Grave in France.
Shingler J.S.M. Lt MC
John Stanley Marsh Shingler, was born at Collins Street, Melbourne, Australia, the son of Sarah Elizabeth and the late John Hilton Shingler of Scotland Street, Ellesmere. Shrops, was educated at Ellesmere College, and served with the College Contingent Junior Division, OTC. Was commissioned 2/Lt (11/11/14) to 4 RWF joining the battalion in France. Then converted to a Pioneer Battalion in Sept 1915 in the 47th London Div, he was promoted Temp Lt (2/3/16) and Lt (1/6/16).Was gazetted (20/7/16) A/Capt and while working on the trenching and tramway along the Messines-Wytschaete Ridge, he was awarded the MC 6 Jul 1917 for an action on the 11/12th Jun at Bluff Tunnels. He commanded D Coy, but lost his company in the battalion re-organization 27 Jan 1918 when his coy was split into three platoons and transferred, one to each of the other Coys in the battalion. Later he commanded A Coy (28/6/18) with the rank of A/Capt, was wounded in mopping up operations at St. Pierre Vasst Wood 2 Sept, and died of wounds 4 Sept 1918 age 25. Buried Dernancourt Communal Cemy Extension, France.
MC Citation :- For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty at a critical moment when hostile shell fire was constantly concentrated upon his platoon, who were working in a trench. He steadied and collected his men, going up and down the trench for the purpose, and showing utter disregard of his own safety while doing so. He led them then from the shelled area, afterwards taking them back to their work and completing it with success before day-light. Throughout the operation he has displayed coolness and untiring energy when employed on similar work.
MC (LG 25/8/17).