1899, Magersfontein

SHAUL, JOHN DAVID FRANCIS, Corporal, son of Sergeant John Shaul, 2nd Battalion Royal Scots (veteran of the Crimean and China (1860) Campaigns), was born at King's Lynn, Norfolk, on 11 September 1873, and educated at the Duke of York's School, Chelsea. At the age of fifteen he joined the 1st Battalion Highland Light Infantry, and served in Crete during the fighting in 1898. He served throughout the Boer War, receiving the Queen's and King's Medals with five clasps, besides the Victoria Cross. His commanding officers at Magersfontein were Lieutenant Colonel H R Kelham, CB, and Major T Richardson, DSO. Corporal Shaul was decorated with the Victoria Cross by HRH the Duke of York at Pietermaritzburg, 14 August 1901. The decoration was gazetted 28 September 1900: "J Shaul, Corporal, Highland Light Infantry. Date of Act of Bravery: 11 December 1899. On the 11th December 1899, during the Battle of Magersfontein, Corporal Shaul was observed, not only by the officers of his own battalion, but by several officers of other regiments, to perform several specific acts of bravery. Corporal Shaul was in charge of stretcher-bearers; but at one period of the battle he was seen encouraging men to advance across the open. He was most conspicuous during the day in dressing men's wounds, and in one case he came, under a heavy fire, to a man who was lying wounded in the back, and with the utmost coolness and deliberation sat down beside the wounded man and proceeded to dress his wound. Having done this, he got up and went quietly to another part of the field. This act of gallantry was performed, under a continuous and heavy fire, as coolly and quietly as if there had been no enemy near".

His regiment was next posted to Egypt and the Soudan, where he served during 1903 and 1904. He was awarded the LS&GC in April 1907, whilst stationed in India, and left the regiment in October 1909, having served for 21 years.

In 1910, he emigrated to South Africa, where he worked at the East Rand Proprietry Goldmine in Boksburg. Shortly afterwards he joined the Imperial Light Horse and became their Bandmaster. During the Great War he enlisted on 20 December 1915, and served with the 5th South African Infantry in East Africa in 1916 until invalided home with dysentery later in the year. He was discharged medically unfit on 8 November 1916, and is entitled to the British War and Victory Medals only for his war services. He is not entitled to the 1914-15 Star which he has clearly added to his group of medals for personal reasons. For 27 years he served as Bandmaster with the Boksburg Military Band which was founded in 1912 and had the honour to entertain the Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII) and Prince George (later Duke of Kent) during their visits to Boksburg.

John Shaul received the MSM in 1946, and retired from the East Rand Proprietry Goldmine in 1948. He married Ester Maria McNally at Aliwal North on 14 July 1902, and had three sons, John Richard, Francis David, and Thomas James, the last of whom died as a Lieutenant in the South African Medical Corps in September 1940. John Shaul died at Boksburg, South Africa, on 14 September 1953, just 3 days after celebrating his 80th birthday.

Shaul died at Boksburg, South Africa, on 14 September 14 1953, aged 80. He was buried in the Boksburg Cemetery.

VC (suspension bar engraved 'Corporal J. Shaul, Highland Lt. Infty.', the reverse centre engraved '11th Decr. 1899'), QSA (3) CC Witt Tr (..3 Cpl. J. F. D. Shaul, High. Lt. Infy.), KSA (2) (3113 Serjt. J. D. Shaul, V.C. Highland L.I.), 1914-15 Star (7407 Sgt. Major J. F. D. Shaul, V.C., 5th S.A.I.), BWM, bi-lingual VM (S/S.M. J. F. D. Shaul, 5th S.A.I.), 1937 Coronation privately named (J. F. D. Shaul, V.C.), Army LS&GC Ed VII (3113 Bnd. Sjt. J. F. D. Shaul, V.C. Highland L.I.), MSM GVI (3113 Sjt. J. F. D. Shaul, (V.C.) H.L.I.).

DNW Apr 06 £140,000.

Picture courtesy of DNW.

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