Pte Ingram Eric James

  • Date of birth: 14/02/1894
  • Place of birth: Gisborne, Gisborne, New Zealand
  • Date of death: 04/10/1917
  • Place of death: Berlin Farm, Belgium
  • Cause of death: Killed in action (K.I.A.)
  • Age: 23
  • Profession: Farmer
  • Country: New Zealand
  • Rank: Private
  • Service number: 33548
  • Enlistment date: 16/09/1916
  • Enlistment place: Warkworth, Auckland, New Zealand
  • Last known unit: Wellington Regiment, 3nd Bn.
  • Force: New Zealand Expeditionary Force

Memorial

Additional information

Eric James Ingram – a farmer from the Whangaripo Valley in Auckland - served in the 3rd Battalion of the Wellington Regiment, part of the 4th Brigade of the New Zealand Division.

On October, 4th 1917 the 3rd Wellingtons participated in the Battle of Broodseinde. The New Zealand Division’s frontage was about two thousand yards, and the German defences were to be penetrated to a depth of about one thousand yards. The 1st and 4th Brigades of the New Zealand Division were to attack side by side, the 4th Brigade being on the right. The 4th Brigade’s task was considered to be the more difficult one, as the brigade it was to capture the hamlet of ‘s Gravenstafel and Abraham Heigts. The brigade’s final objective was a line running from Tyne Cottage to Marsh Bottom.

Zero hour was at 6 a.m. The 4th New Zealand Brigade started its advance with the 3rd Auckland and 3rd Otago. They took Dochy Farm and Riverside with relative ease. Otto Farm put up more resistance, but eventually fell and the brigade moved on to the first objective in front of Abraham Heights, which they consolidated. The attack was continued by the 3rd Canterbury, on the right, and the 3rd Wellingtons on the left. Eric’s battalion moved along the ‘s Gravenstafel road, through the hamlet’s ruins and assisted in capturing dugouts near Korek, who were holding up troops of the 1st Brigade. When ‘s Graventafel had fallen the barrage halted for a whole hour, in order to reorganise the attacking parties. In reality, however, the troops lost their only decent means of cover. Consequently the troops lying in the open suffered heavy casualties, due to the relentless machinegun fire. When the barrage restarted the troops advanced once more, meeting only slight resistance. The 3rd Wellingtons captured and consolidated Berlin and Waterloo Farms, while the 3rd Canterburys captured the fortified Berlin Wood.

Eric, 23, was killed on the 4th of October 1917. Eric has no known grave and is remembered on the Tyne Cot Memorial New Zealand Apse in Belgium and at the Matakana War Memorial in New Zealand. Eric had two brothers, Ralph, born in 1895 and Robert, born in 1888. They also joined up. Eric and Ralph both served with the 21st Reinforcements. The oldest brother Robert became very ill with Malaria and spent months in hospital. He survived and returned to New Zealand. Ralph also survived, although he was badly wounded in September 1916.