Lt. Guy Elton Dingle was born on June 14th, 1895, in Brockville, Leeds County, Ontario, to William (an ex-pat Englishman) and Cordelia Dingle.


One of two known children (there was a younger sister, Dorothy b.1891), Guy grew up as a bookstore merchant's son in Brockville and was still living there, making a living as a professional musician, when he signed up in Brockville on March 6th, 1916, aged 20. Still single, he had served some militia time in the 47th Regiment by that time.


At 6' 2" (1.88m) - one of the tallest to subsequently find himself in the 4th CMR - Guy initially attested in to the 156th (Leeds and Grenville) Battalion. He sailed to the UK with the 156th BN on September 26th, 1916, though he was subsequently attached to the 147th (Grey) Battalion on December 23rd.


However, on January 1st, 1917, the 147th Battalion was dispersed into the 8th Reserve Battalion, which itself then provided resources for the 58th Battalion and the 4th CMR.


On May 15th, 1917, Guy proceeded overseas to join the 4th CMR in the field, at Villers Camp, Villers-au-Bois, France. The Regiment had been settled there in Divisional Reserve since the 13th. Guy caught up with them on May 17th.


It is worth noting that on May 26th, Pte. Clarence McCabe and eight others were killed, with a further eleven wounded, when McCabe picked up a "blind" (unexploded) shell during a baseball game. Ordnance littered the front line areas and was often picked up, either through idle curiosity during leisure times or as part of formal activities undertaken in clear-ups.


So it was on July 17th, 1917, that working parties were clearing up the area near Lens as part of salvage crew. Being part of one of these groups in the area in front of Avion, Guy had picked up and was in the process of examining a shell, when it exploded in his hand. He lost the middle and ring fingers of his left hand.


The initial injury was dealt with at a Casualty Clearing Station (CCS), although it wasn't clear to Guy whether or not his fingers were blown off or had been amputated at the CCS at the time. He did, however, undergo further surgery to complete the removal of what remained of those fingers and to extract a further, minute piece of shrapnel from the left little finger in February 1918. In the meantime he was moved to No. 58 Scottish Hospital in St. Omer, then to 2nd West General Hospital in Manchester, England, then down south to London, where he spent time at Perkins Bull Hospital in Putney.


Although the 4th CMR's records have been researched thoroughly, it appears, luckily, that Guy was the only casualty from this most unfortunate but probably avoidable accident.


Struck off strength from the 4th CMR on September 14th, 1917, due to being medically unit, Guy was invalided back to Canada, sailing home on the HS Araguaya on the same day.


Between being sent home and finally being struck off strength of C.E.F. on June 24th, 1919, Guy was transferred to the No.2 Special Services Company, on September 26th, 1917, and reallocated to other companies through the course of 1918, including the 2nd C.O.R.D and the 1st Depot Battalion, before finally being struck off strength.


It was recorded that due to his hand injuries, Guy was unable to pursue his career as a professional musician.


Guy was latterly shown to be still single, and living with his parents in Albany Avenue, Toronto, in 1921, where he was pursuing a career in advertising. He passed away, aged 81, on June 25th, 1976.






Credit and thanks for the biography go to Mike Kavanagh.