Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Family trees and military relatives

Being a long time military history nut, I have often wondered if I had any relations  who had taken part in either of the world wars...

Sadly due to a somewhat scattered family due to earlier sepatations, relocations and remarryings, I had only ever had easy access to my fathers side of the family. 

This had revealed a largely humble honest folk, indentured to the land, during these conflicts, working as farmers on the land, or miners under it. Nothing terribly exciting there though clearly important roles keeping the home country functioning.

I had heard that my maternal grandfather was a mechanic in RAF, but knew little more than that. 

Having moved my own little family to the other side of the world, from UK to NZ, I had further lengthened the tenuous links to my past...

Then just today I received a letter from my mums half-sister; Elaine, who was able to provide some fascinating information.

It turns out, her father, my grandfather, Leonard George Ingram was indeed a mechanic in the RAF, having joined the RAF in 1942 aged 18. As part of one posting he was linked to glider borne troops including those that landed around Arnhem, during Operation Market Garden.

Later, after the war in Europe ends, he is then posted to Okinawa, and thence on to Singapore, being involved in the rounding up of remaining Japanese troops in both locations. 

After his posting to Sinapore he is demobbed. 

And then, the next generation back to Leonards father: George Henry Ingram. 

A very young George joins the Royal Navy in 1916, aged about 18 years old. From that time on he serves on several ships and bases including Impregnable, Collingwood, Vivid, Defiance, Centurion and The Hood, famously sunk engaging the Bismark in the Battle of the Denmark straight. Thankfully he had been posted to another ship before that engagement!

He leaves the Navy in 1922 invalided out due to hearing problems caused by gunfire during the war. 

So there we go. I now feel I have a definite bloodline link to services personnel who served in both WWI and WWII, and I must admit it makes these conflicts in history just seem that little bit closer, a little bit more real, more tangible...


  1. Fascinating read Scott and great to fill in the missing links, something I really need to do for my own family.

  2. Such an interesting family tree makes you feel proud!

  3. Really interesting! My Uncle Keith was one of the glider-borne troops at Arnhem - he could have met your grandfather!

    In the last year I have discovered two relations from the Swedish part of the family who were in the army - one was killed at Gallipoli and the other was in the Danish Army during the second Schleswig War in 1864!


Please feel free to comment on my blog. It is always nice to get feedback.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...