BORN BARTON 1895. SON OF THOMAS ENDERBY LING (1867-1909) AND KATE EMILY SMITH (1861-1905), OF 12 FLEETGATE, BARTON UPON HUMBER, NORTH LINCOLNSHIRE. BEFORE THE WAR HE WAS EMPLOYED AS A POLISHER (1911 CENSUS) AND WAS AN EMPLOYEE AT THE CYCLE WORKS, LIVING AT 82 HIGH STREET, BARTON. DESCRIBED AS 5 FOOT, 5 INCHES TALL, 112 LBS WEIGHT, 33-35 INCH CHEST, GOOD PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT.
HE ENLISTED AT HULL CITY HALL ON 07/09/1914. JOINED THE 11TH HULL PALS. SERVED IN EGYPT. TRANSFERRED TO FRANCE ON 08/03/1916. APPOINTED LANCE CORPORAL, IN THE FIELD, ON 27/06/1916. KILLED AT OPPY WOOD ON 03/05/1917, AGED 21. HIS ARMY EFFECTS WERE DIVIDED BETWEEN HIS BROTHER ERNEST WHO WAS SERVING ON “HMS BROKE”, IN THE ROYAL NAVY AND HIS SISTER DOROTHY.
The attack on Oppy Wood, part of the Battle of Arras, was a significant battle for the East Yorkshire Regiment and particularly for the city of Hull. All four Hull Pals battalions were involved on 3 May and all suffered heavy casualties, with 40% of those present killed or injured. 2nd Lieutenant Jack Harrison, a local teacher and rugby player with Hull FC, won a posthumous Victoria Cross for his bravery in rushing a machine gun position to protect his platoon. His body was never found.The village of Oppy in France had been in German hands since October 1914 and was part of a formidable defensive system including trenches, dug-outs and thick barbed wire defences. During the Battle of Arras, which began in April 1917, the British tried to take Oppy. The first attack was a failure. A second attack was partially successful. The third attack on 3 May, known officially as the Third Battle of the Scarpe, was again unsuccessful with significant loss of life. The troops were ordered to attack at 3.45am, rather than at dawn, and the defending Germans could easily see the line of British soldiers clearly lit by the full moon. The British continued to attack Oppy and were finally successful the following year. The City of Hull Memorial at Oppy was unveiled in 1927 and commemorates the men of the Hull Pals who were killed on 3 and 4 May 1917.