Joseph HALLWORTH
Rank: Private
Number: 15435
Unit: 8th Battalion South Lancashire Regiment
Date of Death: 25 May 1916
Age: 22
Cemetery: Aubigny Communal Cemetery Extension, Pas de Calais, France

Joseph was born in Hazel Grove, the son of David (a coal hewer) and Dora Hallworth of 1 Queens Road. The 1901 Census records him, at 7, as being the eldest son. His other siblings were Sarah (9), Gladys (3) and Stanley (1). He was probably named after his Uncle, Joseph Hallworth, who was living with the family and also worked as a coal hewer.

Joseph also worked as a collier until he enlisted at Hyde into the Cheshire Regiment (service number 17437) on 12 October 1914. He was transferred to the South Lancashires, whilst still in the early stages of training and, no doubt, when overseas with the newly formed 8th Battalion in September 1915.

Towards the end of May 1916, Joseph and his comrades were in trenches near the French village of Neuville-St -Vaast, when he was badly wounded by a grenade. He was evacuated to a field hospital (30th or 42nd Casualty Clearing Station) at Aubingny-en-Artois - a journey of some 19 kilometres on today's roads, taking just over quarter of an hour. With the condition of the wartime roads and the need to be stretchered for considerable distances, it probably took several hours for Joseph to reach the military surgeons who could do nothing to save his life.

His officer later wrote to the family "He was always cheerful, bright and willing and never shirking any duty, nay, more, volunteering for duty when not his turn to benefit any comrade. I feel his death more also as I am aware that the shot which mortally wounded him was meant for myself. We were in an advanced post......Private Hallworth was on sentry duty about two yards from where I was sniping. I told him that he would be better a little further away because of the possibility of retaliation. He declined, saying he must be close to his machine gun. I moved to another post. Within five minutes, a rifle grenade came over and exploded about a yard from him. A fragment just missed his helmet and struck him near the temple. He became unconscious and passed peacefully away on the 25th. His comrades, both in the gun section and platoon, are very sorry to lose him. He died gloriously and nobly, right at his post - a true soldier's death".

Further information about Joseph, including a photograph, is available in the book "Hazel Grove to Armageddon" by John Eaton.

   
           
   
     
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