Lance Sgt. D. Shields


UNIT: 6th Yorkshire Regiment


STATUS: Killed in Action

DATE OF DEATH: 22nd August 1915

CEMETERY OR MEMORIAL: The Helles Memorial, Gallipoli

AGE: 40

Lance Sergeant Shields was born in Kirkcaldy, Fifeshire and he enlisted in Richmond, though his home address at the time was No.4 Malpas Terrace, Northallerton. He was married and his wife was called Elizabeth J. Shields, and they had five children, 4 sons and one daughter.

He had already served in the Army during the Boer War, where he fought with the Coldstream Guards. When War broke out he re-enlisted and was immediately given the rank of Lance Sergeant and appointed as a Drill Instructor. There is some evidence that he may have been promoted to full sergeant when the battalion sailed for Gallipoli in 1915, but the official army records do not appear to confirm this.

Although the official records give his rank as Lance Sergeant, his name is included amongst those of the "other ranks" on the Northallerton Memorial. This is because his son, John, a private who was killed in 1918 is also named on the memorial. Clearly the family, or perhaps those who organised the memorial, did not feel it would be right to separate father and son and therefore their names appear together in the "other ranks" list.

He was killed at Gallipoli during what was destined to be the last major attack of the campaign. He was killed whilst attempting to capture an area of high ground at the edge of the Suvla Bay Plain which was known to the troops as the ' W Hills ' because of a distinctively shaped group of trees which grew on them. The attack began during the early afternoon on 21st August in swirling fog, and stifling heat and was a complete failure.Heavy fighting continued for several days after the main attack, and it was during this continued fighting that Lance Sergeant Shields is presumed to have lost his life, aged 40. Sadly his body was never identified and he is commemorated on the Helles Memorial to the Missing.