Cricketing doctor who lost his life on battlefield at Ypres

A bronze tablet was erected in his memory by the medical profession of Lancaster and district on the outer wall of the Royal Lancaster Infirmary, unveiled December 2 1915 by Dr G. R. Parker, senior member of the medical profession in Lancaster.
A bronze tablet was erected in his memory by the medical profession of Lancaster and district on the outer wall of the Royal Lancaster Infirmary, unveiled December 2 1915 by Dr G. R. Parker, senior member of the medical profession in Lancaster.

Frank Miller Bingham was an English doctor, all round sportsman and army officer who was killed in the First World War.

As a cricketer, he played for Derbyshire in 1896.

He was educated at St Peter’s School, York, and qualified as a doctor at St Thomas’s Hospital.

Frank Miller Bingham.

Frank Miller Bingham.

Bingham made one first class appearance for Derbyshire, against Marylebone Cricket Club during the 1896 season.

He made 17 runs, batting in the lower order. He also played rugby union for Blackheath FC and Middlesex.

He was in practice at Alfreton for four years and then went to Lancaster.

He was born on September 17 1874, at Alfreton, the second son of Doctor Joseph Bingham, of Alfreton, Derbyshire.

Lindow Cottage, Lancaster where Doctor Bingham lived in 1911.

Lindow Cottage, Lancaster where Doctor Bingham lived in 1911.

Frank was educated at St Peter’s School, York, and St Thomas’s Hospital Medical School.

Having qualified, he took charge for about four years of a large practice in Blackwell, Alfreton, Derbyshire, associated with the Blackwell Collieries, which had been, since the collieries were sunk, under the control of his father.

Subsequently he lived at Brookhouse, Caton, near Lancaster, and was for five years in partnership with Doctor Scott at Hornby.

From 1911 he was in partnership in Queen’s Square, Lancaster, with Dr G. R. Parker and Dr C. W. Dean, as Parker, Dean and Bingham, living at Lindow Cottage, Lancaster (he was in practice at Caton and Lancaster for ten years).

He was captain of Caton Cricket Club for many years and in 1907 took them through an unbeaten season and one of the scorecards from that year shows his prowess with the bat.

The game was against Morecambe 2nd at Caton and reported in the Lancaster Guardian on June 29 1907.

Frank was run out for 94 and no other player on either side scored more than eight runs.

He was now 33 years of age and would play on for two more seasons but appears to have stopped playing by the time he returned to Lancaster in 1911 to begin a new partnership in Lancaster.

On July 31 1909 the Caton versus Hornby game was reported in the Lancaster Guardian and the two doctors in partnership professionally were against each other on the cricket field at Hornby.

What great delight Doctor Stott must have felt when he bowled Frank Bingham for eleven runs albeit in a losing cause.

An enthusiastic territorial, he preferred to serve as a combatant than as a military doctor: Lieutenant, 5th King’s Own (Royal Lancashire Regiment) Territorial Battalion, November 1910; Captain, 1914; Company Commander, May 1914; acting second in command of his battalion, 1915.

After the severe fighting around Ypres in Flanders in the first two weeks of May (Second Battle of Ypres), he received three days home leave and, on the day after his return to the front, was killed in action May 22 1915.

He had been reconnoitring some new trenches that his battalion was to occupy the following day, and as he and other officers were leaving, before daybreak, they came across a man half buried by the side of a trench which had been blown in.

He insisted on stopping to dig the man out himself, which took some time, and it was daylight before all had begun to leave the trenches.

The party was seen by the Germans, and he received a bullet through the heart which killed him instantaneously.

He was buried on the edge of a wood at the front, but his grave was subsequently lost in the fighting, and he is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial.