Patrick Ormond Shiel is reported to have been missing about the time of the fall of Singapore in February 1942, and has since been presumed dead.

He was a student at the New Zealand University and received his mining training at the Otago School of Mines from 1923 to 1926, of which he was made an Associate in Mining in 1931. From 1927 to 1931 he held the position of assistant mining engineer to Mr. J.B. David of Singapore, where he was engaged in testing alluvial tin areas in the Kinta Valley under Mr E.P. Hargraves.

His work was interrupted by ill-health until June 1933, when he made examinations and reported on areas in New Zealand for Industries, Ltd., and Rotomanu Prospecting Syndicate for a few months. He also did some testing and reporting in 1934 for Krasom Tin Dredging Co., Ltd., on alluvial gold and tin areas in Siam, and in September of that year rejoined Mr. J.B. David of Singapore as a mining engineer.

Since 1934 he had been in charge of prospecting and boring operations and survey work on Wolfram, tin and gold areas in Malaya and Siam. His Forces record is not known, but he is reported to have been attached to the Royal Air Force after the Japanese attack on Singapore.

Mr. Shiel was elected a Student of the Institution in 1927 and was transferred to Associateship in 1935.

Vol. 56, Trans I.M.M., 1946-47, pp.624-5

Email from Robert B. Rawlinson:

Patrick Shiel was my Uncle and his wife (my aunt) was Brownie. As a member of a well-known Dunedin family, Patrick attended St Ignatius College, Riverview, Sydney. His two brothers attended Xavier College in Melbourne.

She told me years ago that her husband was seconded to the Royal Navy as a lieutenant, and that, because he had an explosive ticket, that among his duties was the destruction of military installations including oil tanks and the causeway between Malaya and Singapore. I also believe he was involved in helping to repel the initial Japanese attack across the narrow straight by pouring petrol on the water and igniting it. Those involved in this exercise were, I understand, rounded up after the surrender of the British and slaughtered. That this happened to my Uncle I have not been able to verify. I was also told by my Aunt that he was observed preparing to board a RN ship this also has not been confirmed. No further information after this report with regard to his fate. His wife after remarrying in Singapore, resettled in Cashmere, Christchurch N.Z. in 1963. She died of lung cancer in 1969.

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