Sunday, September 07, 2014

618329 Pioneer William Henry Tingley, Royal Engineers

William Henry Tingley was born in 1899, his birth registered in the March quarter of that year. He appears on the 1901 census as the only son of William Henry and Jane Tingley. The family was living at No 1, Reedens Cottage, Newick and comprised: William senior (head, aged 26, a coachman), his wife Jane (aged 29) and their four children: Mabel Jane Tingley (aged seven), Annie Amelia Tingley (aged five), Margaret Elizabeth Tingley (aged three) and William (aged one).

William's Record of Service Paper (Army Form B2513) exists as a burnt document at the National Archives in London and from this we are able to tell that he enlisted with The Buffs (East Kent Regiment) on 12th June 1918. He gave his address as Reedens Cottage, Newick, his age as 18 years and eight months (which in turn places his date of birth around November 1899) and his occupation as agricultural labourer. He enlisted at Brighton and this was approved the following day at Chichester. He was given the number 26245 and posted to the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion. It was noted that he was five feet, five inches tall, had brown hair and eyes and a fresh complexion. He was vaccinated on the 18th, 24th and 28th June and appears to have remained with The Buffs for the remainder of that year.

On 14th March 1919 he was “compulsorily and permanently transferred” to the 1st Battalion and remained with them until August when he was transferred again, this time to the 6th Royal West Regiment and the Eastern Divisional Signalling Company. He was given a new number: 38561 but retained the rank of private. He was granted fourteen days’ leave between 29th August and 13th September 1919 and was transferred again on 12th January 1920, to the Royal Engineers where he became 618329 Pioneer W H Tingley. It is unclear when he was finally demobbed but he gave his home address on demob as Bank Cottage, Westmester, Ditchling, Sussex.

Medal index card courtesy of Ancestry.

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