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Serjeant 15368, 11th East Lancashire Battalion.

Killed in action on 1st or 2nd July 1916, age 24.

Buried in Euston Road Cemetery, Colincamps, France.

Former student of science.


 

Bernard (known as Ben) Ingham was born 1892 in Brierfield, Lancashire. Originally a cotton weaver working in Burnley and living with his elder sister, by 1910 he had gained a position as a junior draughtsman with engineering company Kendal and Gent Ltd. of Belle Vue, Manchester and he moved to Gorton, and later lived in Reddish. From 1910 through to 1912 took a number of science courses in the evening at Manchester Technical College.

When the war broke out and Kitchener called for his 100,000 volunteers, one of the units raised was 11th (Accrington Pals) Battalion, East Lancashire Regiment. One of its Companies was made up of men from Burnley and Brierfield and it appears Ben returned home to enlist with the Pals as he is attested as living with his sister in Burnley on his enlistment forms. After serving in Egypt at the end of 1915 the battalion was withdrawn and sent to France to take part in the Battle of the Somme. On 1st July 1916 the Pals were launched into the disastrous attack on Serre. Their role was to take 4 lines of German Trenches and open up the way to Serre. However their supporting barrage had failed to cut the barbed wire or knock out the German batteries. The result was the Pals suffered devastating casualties from artillery counter fire, but some managed to break through as far the German second line of defences. After this they faltered and failed to penetrate the German 3rd line instead being forced under heavy enemy pressure and mounting casualties to withdraw to their start line. Some time during the action Ben was killed.