Samuel George and William Shingler were both born in Toxteth Park, in Liverpool, in 1893 and 1895 respectively, to parents Thomas William and Phoebe Eliza Shingler (nee Hazelhurst). Their fortunes during the First World War differed, however.
By the 1901 census, the family had moved to Wolverhampton and were living at 25 Sweetman Street. The brothers and their parents were joined by two sisters, Lucy and the newborn baby “N. K.”, and their grandfather, William Hazelhurst. The 1911 census has the family at 191 Sweetman Street, and “N.K.” has become Doris Annie. By this date, Samuel is working as a clerk in a brassfounders, and William is a machinist.
The older brother, Samuel, enlisted on 12 November 1914 in the 3rd North Midlands Brigade of the Royal Field Artillery (regmt number 1571), by which date he was living at 80 Riches Street. He later moved to the 3rd Sec. 59th D.A.C. (regiment number (821011). By March 1917 he had been promoted to Corporal. His service records survive at the National Archives and give some details about his time during the Great War. This includes the fact that he was caught altering the Camps Leave Roster to show that he had returned from leave in the United Kingdom on 23 April 1918, when he had in fact returned on 23 July 1918! By the time he was demobilised in 1919, his address had changed again to 224 Waterloo Road. In 1918 he married Esther Worrall in Wolverhampton, and they went on to have four children (Lilian M., Ernest W., Dorothy J. and Reginald) between 1920 and 1932.
His younger brother, William, also enlisted in the Royal Field Artillery (number 696466), but his military records do not survive, apart from his Medal Card. He was killed in action on 6 July 1917, and he is commemorated at the Erquinghem-Lys Churchyard in France.
Both men are listed in the Newhampton Road Wesleyan Church Roll of Honour 1914-1919, and their entries read as follows:
S. George Shingler: Enlisted in November, 1914, in the Royal Field Artillery, attaining the rank of Corporal. Served in France and Belgium and won the General Service and Victory Medals. Demobilized in June, 1919.
William Shingler: Enlisted in November, 1914, in the Royal Field Artillery. Served in France and won the General Service and Victory Medals. During a night air raid on 6th July, 1917, was killed while asleep by bomb concussion, and buried in Erquinghem Cementery, near Armentieres