Joseph O'DONNELL
Rank: Lance Corporal
Number: M2/113742
Unit: 40th Brigade ARMY SERVICE CORPS
Date of Death: 3 August 1918
Age:
Cemetery: GezaincourtCommunal Cemetery Extension, Somme, France

Nothing is known about Joseph's life except that he was born in Stockport and was living there when he enlisted into the Army at Manchester.

There is also a mystery about Joseph's military service. His unit designation, as above, is as recorded by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. However, 40th Brigade of the British Army never served in France and was in the Middle East when Joseph died. Had he become ill, he would have been evacuated to nearby hospital facilities in Egypt or Malta, not to France.

Similarly he does not appear to have served with the Army Service Corp's 40th Company, which was in Italy at the time. Due to the cost restrictions on this project, his on-line Medal Index Card, at the National Archives, has not been examined, but this may indicate his actual unit.

What can be said, with some certainty, is that the "M2" prefix to his service number indicates he was part of a Mechanised Transport supply unit (motor lorries, rather than horse drawn wagons) and that this was attached to the 2nd New Army, formed in late 1914. The inclusion in the prefix of the New Army number ceased in November 1916, so it can be assumed that Joseph enlisted sometime between November 1914 and November 1916. He died of natural causes whilst at 3rd Canadian Stationery Hospital then based at Gezaincourt.

   
           
   
     
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