No.18603, Lance Corporal, Ben MINGAY
Aged 33

11th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
Killed in Action on Thursday, 24th October 1918

Ben CLAYDON was born in Stetchworth, baptised Stetchworth April 4th 1886, and apparently registered as Ben MINGEY(Newmarket Q4-1885 3B:525), son of Mary Eliza CLAYDON.

1891 census...Aged 5, Ben CLAYDON, he was at High Street, Stetchworth living with Thomas MINGAY [43] general labourer; his mother Mary E CLAYDON [39]; brother Herbert CLAYDON [12] sisters Emma CLAYDON [9], Alice H CLAYDON [3]and Mary E CLAYDON[9 months] and cousin Richard CLAYDON [15]. All recorded as born in Dullingham. The ages of the children match those in next census, but the adult's ages do not. In the 1881 census Mary CLAYDON is recorded as the niece of Thomas MINGAY

1901 census...Aged 15, agricultural labourer, living at Gypsy Hall, Dullingham with his father ? Thomas [49] agricultural labourer, born Dullingham; his mother Mary Eliza [42]born Dullingham; brother Herbert [22] horseman on farm, born Dullingham; sisters Alice [13] born Stetchworth, Mary [10] born Stetchworth ; Katie [6] born Dullingham and Annie [1] born Dullingham,and brothers John [8]and Moses [4] both born in Dullingham.

1911 census...Aged 25, farm labourer, living at Back Lane, Burrough Green with his parents Born Dullingham Ley, brother Herbert born Dullingham Ley, sisters Emma and Alice both born in Stetchworth, brother John, born Gypsy Hall, Dullingham, sisters Kate and Annie, born Gypsy Hall, Dullingham, brother Frank (Moses?) born Gypsy Hall, Dullingham, brother Thomas [8] born Gypsy Hall, Dullingham, cousins Leslie MINGAY [3] and Edward MINGAY [1] both born Newmarket Union. His mother had born 10 children and all were surviving.

No registration of a marriage between MINGAY or MINGEY and CLAYDON has been found within the time scale, the name change seems to have taken place between the 1891 and 1901 census. Ben fought and died as MINGAY

He married Margaret SMITH in Burrough Green on 19th October 1912. She is recorded by CWGC as living in Great Abington.

He enlisted in Newmarket.
The 11th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment were brought into the line in the battle of the Selle on 24th October 1918. At 4 am they attacked over the river Ecaillon and within 2 hours had taken all their objectives, together with 110 prisoners, some trench mortars and machine guns. Shortly after, the brigade on their left, having been held up outside Vendigies, the enemy vigourously counter attacked, forcing them to form a defensive flank. Touch with the left was not re established until the evening. The enemy withdrew from Vendigies, under pressure, at nightfall.
The battalion lost 36 killed that day.

Ben Mingay is buried in Vendegies Cross Road British Cemetery, Bermerain, France - grave A:3

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details