Lindsay Merritt Inglis was born at Mosgiel, Otago, in 1894. He was educated at Waitaki Boys’ High School, where he was head prefect.
Inglis studied law at the University of Otago, and served in the Territorial Force, as lieutenant with the 2nd South Canterbury Regiment.
In April 1915, he joined the New Zealand Expeditionary Force. Serving in Egypt with the Third New Zealand Rifle Brigade, he headed to France with the First Battalion in April 1916.
During September of that year, as part of the Somme offensive, Inglis led his battalion to attack the Flers trench.
When we reached the Switch Line, a wide, deep trench, we saw that it had suffered severely from our own bombardment and, where we crossed it, contained a large number of German dead, many of whom had been killed by head wounds from shrapnel. Not a vestige of wire remained in front of the trench.
Passing wounded and dead New Zealanders and Germans, Inglis and his men pushed forward to face more enemy defences.
The company suddenly came under intense enfilade fire from machine guns sited in the edge of Flers. The unexpectedness and volume of the first burst drove everyone to shelter in the nearest shellhole and cost us five or six casualties; but a few short rushes had the company through the danger and gone without another man being hit.
Inglis skillfully led his troops against Grove Alley – a trench connecting the Flers and Grid trench systems.
Within a few seconds after the leading platoons set out, they were in sight of Grove Alley. Heavy rifle and machine gun fire broke out; sweeping them from front and flank and giving us the impression that streams of bullets were swishing past knee high. Men were bowled over in all directions.
Despite fierce German resistance, Inglis and his men continued to advance. For much of the day, he was the only surviving officer in that part of the front line.
He later recalled how the tanks – used for the first time during the offensive – weren’t of much use.
As a matter of fact, the tanks were far too slow, those old Marks. They didn't steer with the tracks, they steered with a pair of traction engine wheels like a rudder on the back and we out-distanced them.
For the last part of the attack we were supposed to be supported by four tanks because we had out-distanced the artillery barrage, but we had to just go in by ourselves across about half a mile to a thousand yards of open, flat plateau, in stubble by that time, it was, and no tanks were there. We'd passed them long ago, we couldn't wait for them.
For his efforts in stabilising the situation during the attack on the Flers trench, Inglis received the Military Cross.
He later commanded a machine-gun company, until his discharge in 1919.
Inglis went on to serve in the Second World War, and held a variety of brigade commands.
During the Crete campaign, he was General Freyberg’s Emissary to the War Office in London, where he was highly critical of Freyberg.
On Crete, he commanded the 4th New Zealand Infantry Brigade, and in North Africa, he briefly acted as Divisional Commander in Freyberg’s absence.
He was made a military CBE in 1944.
Returning to New Zealand after the Second World War, Inglis took up a position as a stipendiary magistrate in Hamilton.
He died on 17 March 1966.