INGRAM, John

NAME:  John INGRAM                                                                                       

SERVICE NO:  3304

YEAR OF BIRTH: 1869

PLACE OF BIRTH:  Landsborough

DATE OF ENLISTMENT: 2 July 1915

PLACE OF ENLISTMENT:  Melbourne

AGE AT ENLISTMENT:  42 years, 11 months

UNIT: 57th Battalion (late 5th Battalion, 11th Reinforcement)

EMBARKED:  11 October 1915

TROOP SHIP:   HMAT A71 Nestor

FATE:  Died of Wounds – France – 1 December 1916

John Ingram was born to Elizabeth Mason and an unknown father in 1869, the same year Elizabeth married Edward Ingram. They lived at Landsborough and several more children were born in the following years.  In 1908, John was still residing in Landsborough, presumably with his widowed mother and working as a miner. In 1910, on a hot night, Elizabeth Ingram’s home caught fire. John was sleeping outside on account of the heat and raised the alarm but couldn’t get into his mother’s room because of the flames.  Elizabeth died in the fire.

In June 1915, the maximum age for enlistment increased from thirty-eight to forty-five. At the time John was forty-six, however, the following month he enlisted in Melbourne, giving his age as forty-two and eleven months.  His next of kin was his sister Margaret, married to Frank Hudswell.  Her address at the time was the Construction Works, Hamilton, Victoria. That was possibly the railway construction works.  John left Australia with the 5th Battalion, 11 Reinforcement on 11 October 1915 bound for Egypt.

John arrived at Tel El Kabir, Egypt on 7 January 1916 and transferred to the 57th Battalion the following month.  By 23 June, John with the 57th Battalion was in France.  John was wounded on 24 November from a bullet to his skull near Gueudecourt, France.  He was moved to the 38th Casualty Clearing Station then on to the 8th General Hospital by Ambulance Train.  John died of his wounds on 1 December 1916 at the No. 8 General Hospital at Rouen (below).

THE NO. 8 GENERAL HOSPITAL, ROUEN FRANCE. Image courtesy of the Australian War Memorial https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/A03235/

When it came to contacting family regarding John’s death, the Defence Department tried Hamilton but with no luck. They contacted Reverend Foyster of the Hamilton’s St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church and he advised Margaret had moved back to Landsborough. When they located Margaret, the department asked if there were older siblings they could communicate with. Margaret explained her old siblings lived in Western Australia and neither she nor John had not seen them for around twenty years.  On 11 April 1917, John and Margaret’s brother David was killed in France while with the 46th Battalion.  In July 1918, it was found John Ingram had bequeathed £80 each to the St John’s Church Landsborough and the Presbyterian Church. 

A tree was planted for John along Hamilton’s Anzac Avenue.

ONLINE RESOURCES

Australian War Memorial – 57th Australian Infantry Battalion Unit Diary

Australian War Memorial – Red Cross Missing and Wounded Files – John Ingram

Australian War Memorial – Roll of Honour – John Ingram

Australian War Memorial WW1 Embarkation Roll – John Ingram

Commonwealth War Graves Commission – Bois-Guillaume Communal Cemetery – John Ingram

Discovering Anzacs – WW1 Service Record – John Ingram

Newspaper Articles from Trove – John Ingram

The AIF Project – John Ingram