LING, Mark

No. 24994, Private, Mark Allen LING
Aged 31

8th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
Killed in Action on Tuesday 26th September, 1916

Born in Burrough Green on 1st May 1885, baptised at Burrough Green on 8th August 1885 [Newmarket 3b:537] son of Samuel and Lavina LING (née CARTER) later of Westley Cottages, Landwade Road, Exning.

1891 census...At Westley Cottages,Landwade Road, Exning were Mark [5] with his father Samuel [41] Agr.Labourer born Kedington, his mother Lavinia [34] born Gt Thurlow, brothers Charles [15] Agr Labourer born Gt Thurlow, Henry [13], Agr.Labourer born Gt Thurlow, Frederick [2] born Hundon and Walter [5 months] born Hundon, and his sisters Jessie [9] born Burrough Green, Ethel [7] born Gt Bradley, Agnes [4] born Burrough Green, and a lodger George Taylor.

1901 census...At North End, Exning were Mark [15] a sewerage labourer but now born Gt Bradley, with his father and mother, sister Ethel [17] brothers Walter and Frederick and a new sister Alice [9] born Landwade, plus the same lodger.

1911 census...Still at North End, Exning were Mark (back to being born in Burrough Green) Newmarket Council worker, his parents, sister Jessie (domestic servant), brothers Frederick and Walter, both labourers and sister Alice who is a dressmaker.

"Soldiers Died" has him born in Hundon, but it was his 2 younger brothers who were born in Hundon. The ladies mentioned below, Mrs. Hazzard, was his younger sister Alice and Mrs. Wilson was his elder sister Ethel. It seems likely his elder sisters Adia and Clara died before 1891 and sister Agnes is not found after 1901

Mark's entry in "Our Exning Heroes" reads as follows:

Ling, M.   8th Suffolks
Mark Ling lived at Landwade with his sister, Mrs. Wilson; he was also brother to Mrs. Izzard, living at the end of Oxford Street.
He joined the Army on March 2nd, 1916, and received his training in different places. He went out to France on July 23rd the same year, and about two months afterwards, on September 26th, was killed instantaneously during an advance, being shot through the head. He was thirty-one when he died.
One of his friends, who always wrote his letters for him, writes as follows:"We all miss him very much, as he was always cheerful and liked by all his pals. I am sure you have all our sympathy."
Before enlisting he worked for the Newmarket Urban Council.

Engaged in the fight for Thiepval, on the 26th September 53 Brigade ( 8th Suffolks on right and 10th Essex on left) with zero hour fixed at 12.35 pm had as their objectives 1st the Schwaben Trench, 2nd Zollern and 3rd Medway Trench and part of the Schwaben Redoubt. "A" and "D" companies were assault companies with "B" and "C" in support. All morning the enemy position was shelled. As soon as the barrage started the whole battalion moved forward, the two rear companies striving to get north of the Hindenburg Trench at the earliest possible moment as that was where the enemy barrage generally fell. This worked well , "C" Coy gaining the original British front line without a single casualty. Within six minutes Joseph Trench had been taken and six minutes later the Schwaben Trench, together with a large number of German prisoners. Within the hour the leading companies had reached and taken their 2nd objective. Here they halted until the assault started on the final objective, not to the liking of the 8th Suffolks. At 2:15 pm the attack resumed and desperate fighting began. After pushing on a further 250 yards the advance was held up by heavy machine gun fire from both flanks. One small party reached a point well in advance of the battalion and started to dig themselves in under heavy fire from Medway and Bulgar Trenches. They hung on until 6:30 pm albeit with heavy casualties. Before midnight the position was consolidated and several pre arranged strong points established.
Of the 21 of the battalion killed that day, 14 have no known grave

No Known Grave
Mark is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, France...Ref: panels 1C and 2A

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