2105A Seaman Robert Edward Ingham.

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Royal Naval Reserve.

Robert Edward McKay Campbell Ingham, was born at 136 Latham Street, Kirkdale, Liverpool on 29 March 1885. The Medal Roll (ADM 171/122) at the National Archives, Kew, shows that he was entitled to the 1914 Star and bar, British War and Victory Medals for service with the Anson Battalion at the defence of Antwerp 19 September 1914. The medals were issued to his widow Mrs. M. F. Ingham on the 24 November 1919 whilst living at 87, Cockeril Street, Liverpool, Lancashire. His ship, the "Laurentic" was lost off the coast of Northern Ireland on the 25 January 1917 the following account outlines her brief history - "White Star Line's RMS Laurentic was sunk off Lough Swilly in the far north of Ireland and had been carrying 35 tons of gold ingots stowed in its second class baggage room, worth at the time a staggering £5 million sterling the equivalent today (2008) of in excess of £250 million. The 14,892-ton liner had been built in 1908 by the famous shipbuilders of Belfast, Harland & Wolf, for the White Star Lines transatlantic crossings. RMS Laurentic was requisitioned by the admiralty as a troop carrier early in the war and transported thousands of Canadian troops to Europe, and then a year later converted to an auxiliary armed cruiser. It was in the very last manifestation when she set out from Liverpool on 23 January 1917 bound for Halifax, Canada that would bring so much attention to the ship in the years that followed. The delivery of the £5 million would be to pay for munitions although that secret cargo would never arrive to its destination. After a brief stop at Lough Swilly on the 25 January Laurentic ran into a minefield laid only a few days previous by the German Submarine U-80. The "Laurentic" struck two of these mines, one of which exploded adjacent to the engine room leaving the stricken liner without power. Accounts of the event vary as to the true loss of life, however of the 722 men aboard 354 were either drowned or died of the bitter exposure of the January weather. With such a colossal amount of government revenue lost it was not long before the wreck was located and an extraordinary salvage attempt began. During the same month of her loss Lieutenant - Commander G.C.C. Damant was summoned to an urgent meeting with the admiralty and was given the task of recovering the lost gold. Selected as a man with a reputation as an experienced and efficient naval diver and somebody whom had carried out a string of successful and dangerous operations. By September 1917 Damant and his team of divers working in twenty three fathoms had recovered £800,000 worth of gold from the wreck. Little did Damant realize when he met at the admiralty offices that he was about to begin a seven year salvage epic to recover the gold. To this day the quantity of gold that was recovered from the wreck stands as the greatest amount ever recovered from a sunken shipwreck. Damant's salvage is well documented and the story of the recovery appears in almost every treasure book ever published. The Laurentic now rests at a depth of 120ft of water".

Commemorated on the Plymouth Memorial.

Robert was aged 31 at the time of his death and was the husband of Mrs. Margaret Fisher Cors Ingham. Information regarding Robert Edward Ingham is by courtesy of his granddaughter Marjorie Ingham Bennett of Southport, Lancashire.