Thursday, 23 June 2016

The story of Private John William Ingham of the CEF and a thank you to all those in Canada who helped in the research

Now the story of John William Ingham of the 46th Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force has taken yet another unexpected twist.*

The family grave of Mr & Mrs Ingham
He enlisted in 1916 was wounded at Vimy Ridge the following year and was buried in Southern Cemetery in south Manchester.

But he had died of his wounds in Sheffield at the Wharncliffe War Hospital and was brought back to Manchester because his wife lived in Longsight.

The Wharncliffe War Hospital was established in April 1915 from what had formerly been the South Yorkshire Asylum. 37,000 patients were to pass through the hospital during the war, and over 200 are commemorated on its Roll of Honour.

And there is an entry for John William Ingham, which I came across on that excellent site Wharncliffe War Hospital.**

What I was not prepared for was when I followed the link I came across his gravestone which is in Southern Cemetery and sits away from those of his comrades in the CEF.

I have Dean Hill and Stuart Reeves to thank for the image and it does help take the story a little further.**

I now know from the research by Linda Wisking and Melisa Dolan that he settled in Canada in 1910 giving his previous occupation as a “carter” and his intended one as “farmer.”

That said I am puzzled by the 1916 census which has him and all those on the page as living on Front Street, Yorkton, Saskatchewan. But I am sure someone in Canada will be able to shed light on my confusion.

Southern Cemetery, 2014
And this co-operation is what has made possible the story and points to the willingness of people to follow up leads and dig deep into the records.

It would seem that Private Irving had also been regarded by the authorities as a valuable asset given that his papers are stamped “British Bonus Allowed” which was commission paid by the Canadian government's Immigration Branch to steamship booking agents in the United Kingdom for each suitable immigrant who purchased a ticket to sail to Canada.”***

Not that the immigrants saw the bonus.

Detail of the Irving family gravestone
.But at least I have cleared up why he enlisted in the CEF and did not return to volunteer for the British armed forces because by the April of 1916 he was a Canadian national.

There is still the issue of why his family did not join him but perhaps they would have had not the war intervened.

Location; Southern Cemetery, and Saskatchewan

Picture; the grave of Private Ingham © Dean Hill and Stuart Reeves and Southern Cemetery from the collection of Andrew Simpson

* Looking for more British Home Children in Southern Cemetery,

**Wharncliffe War Hospital,

*** Terminology and Abbreviations, Library and Archives Canada,

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