Awarded Military Medal in September 1918
When James William Clingan was born on 17th June 1894 in Nyngan, New South Wales, his father, James, was 24 and his mother, Amelia, was 17. He was married twice, first to Ruby May Ellick in 1915 in Sydney and then Ettie Amy Searle in 1935 in New South Wales. He died on 31st July 1954 in North Sydney, New South Wales, at the age of 60, and was buried in Rookwood Cemetery, New South Wales.
Studio portrait of James William Clingan pre-World War One
On Sunday 29th and Monday 30th September 1918, Ron’s great uncle, James William Clingan took part in the Battle of St. Quentin Canal where Allied forces attacked and broke through the Hindenburg Line at the Canal de Saint-Quentin in France. He was awarded the Military Medal:
‘For conspicuous courage and devotion to duty. As Regimental Stretcher Bearer this man showed extraordinary coolness & bravery in collecting the wounded under heavy machine gun & shell fire on September 29th & 30th 1918 and he continued to work so during the following days the Battalion was in the line. He went from shell hole to shell hole looking for wounded and collecting stretchers and getting the American wounded away to the Aid Post. His coolness and bravery in the way he marshalled and organised volunteer stretcher bearers under fire & got the wounded to the Aid Post helped in a great measure to overcome a critical situation & resulted in the saving of many lives by removing men who would probably have died from exposure.’
Source: ‘Commonwealth Gazette’ No. 115 – Date: 10th October 1919
Military Medal as awarded to James William Clingan and AWM painting of Stretcher Bearers