Museum of the Manchester Regiment
The Men Behind the Medals

Henry Ingram

Henry Ingram :

Henry Ingram : Crimea Medal with clasps 'Alma', 'Balaklava', 'Inkermann', 'Sebastopol'

Crimea Medal with clasps 'Alma', 'Balaklava', 'Inkermann', 'Sebastopol'

Henry was born on the 21st May 1824 in London. We don't know anything about his family or early life.

We don't know when Henry first joined the Army, but by July 1852 he was serving as a Quartermaster Sergeant in the 63rd Regiment of Foot. The Quartermaster was responsible for maintaining and issuing equipment and supplies to the soldiers in their unit, and the Quartermaster Sergeant assisted him in this job.

When Quartermaster Joyce retired Henry was commissioned as an officer and replaced him on the 16th July 1852. He gained the rank of Honorary Lieutenant. At the time the 63rd Regiment was stationed in Dublin, Ireland.

The Crimean War broke out in October 1853, and Britain and France declared war on Russia in March 1854. At first the 63rd Regiment was not intended to take part in this fighting, but in June it was ordered to prepare to go to war. Henry arrived in the Crimea, then in Russia but today part of the Ukraine, in September 1854.

Henry and the 63rd Regiment played a minor role in the Battle of the Alma on the 20th September. They then moved to Cathcart's Hill, where they joined the siege of Sevastopol. The Russians attacked these forces at the Battle of Balaklava on the 25th October. Henry was present for this battle, which ended in a Russian victory and led to a much larger battle on the 5th November, at Inkerman.

The Russians were again the attackers, but the 63rd Regiment were ordered to counterattack. After vicious hand to hand fighting the Russian attack was defeated and they were forced to withdraw.

The winter of 1854-55 was harsh, and the British soldiers were poorly equipped. Warm clothing and shelter were in particularly short supply, and this meant that far more soldiers died of disease or exposure than were killed by the Russians. By late 1854 most of the 63rd's officers had been taken ill, which meant those left worked under even more pressure. We don't know whether Henry ever fell ill, but he could not be of much help to his fellow officers because a Quartermaster was not entitled to command soldiers unless it was an emergency.

The British and French continued the siege of Sevastopol throughout 1855. They launched a final attack on the city on the 8th September 1855 and had captured it by the next day. Henry took part in this attack. He was also involved in the capture of the Russian fort of Kinburn in October.

Paymaster Thorp retired on the 7th December, and Henry was appointed to replace him. Thorp was one of the officers who had been unwell during the previous winter. He 'had been left on board ship, sick, with his clerk'.

In his new job Henry was responsible for keeping the regiment's finances in order. He ensured the soldiers were paid in full and on time and that the 'muster lists', which kept track of how many men were serving with the regiment, were kept up to date.

The Crimean War ended in February 1856, and the 63rd Regiment left the Crimean Peninsula on the 6th May. They were heading for Halifax, in Nova Scotia, Canada. When Henry left the Crimea he was one of only 8 officers and 45 soldiers who had never left the regiment at any point during the war.

Henry sailed aboard HMS Andes to Constantinople, now called Istanbul, and arrived there on the 7th May. By the 11th he was in Malta and changed to HMS Himalaya. This took him the rest of the way to Canada and he arrived on the 2nd June.

Living conditions by the end of the Crimean War were better than in 1854, but even so, when the soldiers arrived in Halifax they did not look very smart at all. The town made them welcome though. Henry and the other officers were given rooms in the Halifax Hotel when they arrived.

On the 4th August 1858 Henry married Anna Maria Cochrane in Halifax. We don't believe they had any children. He was promoted to the rank of Honorary Captain on the 27th January 1860, and continued as Paymaster.

The 63rd Regiment role in Canada was to act as a garrison to guard against unrest in the population, as well as being able to defend against a possible American attack. Today this would be unthinkable, but just 10 years earlier there had been tension over the position of the Canadian border and before that Britain and America had fought in the War of 1812.

The regiment moved from Halifax to London, in what is now Ontario, during 1861. The American Civil War had broken out shortly before this, and there was a great deal of tension between Britain and the United States. The 63rd Regiment was stationed close to the American border so that they would be well placed if war did break out. They moved to nearby Hamilton on the 30th May 1864.

The 63rd returned to the UK in August 1865. They moved around the country until by November 1867 they were stationed in Dublin. Henry had been promoted to Honorary Major on the 16th July. In 1870 the regiment was told that it would be sailing to India that September. On the 14th Henry transferred to the 2nd (The Queen's Royal) Regiment of Foot. We don't know whether he was too old or unwell to serve in India, whether he didn't want to leave the UK again, or whether this was a coincidence.

Henry became Paymaster to the 2nd Battalion of the 2nd Regiment. He was based at Raglan Barracks in Devonport near Plymouth, Devon for most of his time with them. They moved to Athlone in County Westmeath, Ireland at some point in late 1873. Henry and Anna lived at B House in the Field Officer's Quarters of the barracks there.

Henry died in B House on the 9th February 1874. He was 49 years old. By April Anna had moved to 5 Southby Terrace in Peckham, Surrey (now in the London Borough of Southwark).

In 1881 Anna lived at a school on Chesham Place in Brighton, Sussex. She worked there as the housekeeper. She died in Sidmouth, Devon on the 5th October 1889. She was 60 years old.

As well as his Crimea Medal, Henry was also awarded the Turkish Crimea Medal for his Army service.

Museum of the Manchester Regiment
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Heritage Wharf
Ashton-under-Lyne
OL7 0QA

Telephone: 0161 343 2878
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Trustees of the Manchester Regiment Museum & Archive and Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council