Corporal John David Francis Shaul

Highland Light Infantry

11th December 1899
Corporal John David Francis Shaul VC

     At the battle of Magersfontein, December 11th 1899, when the Highlanders were mown down by the terrific rifle-fire of the Boers, Corporal Shaul's bravery and humane conduct were so conspicuous that, not only was he noticed by his own officer, but even those of other regiments remarked upon it. At one critical time he was specially prominent in encouraging his men to advance across the bullet-swept open ground, setting them a splendid example by his own behaviour. He was in charge of the stretcher-bearers—a very important duty—and was most conspicuous in dressing the wounds of the injured. In one case he went to a wounded man, and, with the utmost coolness and deliberation, sat down by him and attended to him, in spite of the hail of bullets which kept raining around him. He continually went from one man to another, wherever he could mitigate suffering.

     Sergeant Shaul is the son of Sergeant John Shaul, 2nd Batt. Royal Scots, who served his country in the Crimea and in China, 1860. He was born at King's Lynn, Norfolk, September 11, 1873, educated at the Duke of York's School, Chelsea, and at the age of fifteen joined the First H.L.I., with which he served in Crete during the fighting in 1898. He fought in South Africa from the commencement to the end of the Boer War, receiving both medals and five clasps. His commanding officers at Magersfontein were Lieutenant-Colonel H. R. Kelham, C.B., and Major T. Richardson, D.S.O., and the Victoria Cross was presented to him by H.R.H. the Duke of York at Pietermaritzburg, August 14, 1901.



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