Benjamin Tingley was born at Chailey in early 1897, his birth recorded at Lewes in the March quarter of that year. He appears on the 1901 census as a four year old living at North Common, Chailey. The household comprised, Moses Tingley (head, aged 33, working as a boot maker), his wife Mary Ann Tingley (aged 31) and their five children: Esther Tingley (aged seven), Ruth Tingley (aged five), Benjamin, William George Tingley (aged two) and Ebenezer Tingley (aged five months).
Chailey Parish Magazine notes in October 1914 that Benjamin Tingley is serving his King and Country. In October 1915 it notes that he is a gunner serving with the Royal Field Artillery in
. His medal index card notes his regimental number
as 82017 and the medal rolls don't add an awful lot, the only point of interest being the roll for the British War and Victory medals which records his rank as signaller. France
More complete service details appear in the Royal Artillery's enlistment books, published on Findmypast. Benjamin was a regular soldier who enlisted for 3 and 9 on the 13th August 1914. He was eighteen years old and attested at Brighton. His trade, on enlistment, was noted as "cycle merchants" and Moses Tingley was given as his next of kin. He served in France between 1915 and 1917 and in Egypt between 1917 and 1919. He was finally discharged at Woolwich on 12th August 1926 with the rank of signaller and a character described as "Very Good". By this time he had been given a new regimental number: 1013273.
Chailey Parish magazine mentions three other Tingley men who served their King and country during the First World War. It is probable that these are William George Tingley (his brother), his uncle William Henry Tingley and his cousin, also William Henry Tingley.