Joseph REDFERN
Rank: Staff Quartermaster Sergeant
Number: 21063
Unit: 6th (Inniskilling) DRAGOONS
Date of Death: 15 January 1918
Age: 32
Cemetery: Le Cateau Military Cemetery, Nord, France

Joseph had been born in the parish of St Mary's C of E Church, Stockport and his parents lived at 9 Waterloo Road. As a boy, he joined the army as soon as he was old enough. When war was declared in August 1914, he had already served 12 years and had risen to the rank of sergeant.

The Dragoons were in Muttra (now Mathura, Uttar Pradesh, India) and did not arrive on the Western front until 14 December 1914. As the fighting developed into the attrition of trench warfare, there was a decreasing need for mobile cavalry units and they would usually find themselves fighting as infantry. At some point, Joseph was promoted to the above senior non-commissioned officer rank. He would have responsibilities for the unit's stores and supplies.

The town of Le Cateau was in German hands from 1914 until October 1918. It is reasonable to assume, therefore, that Joseph was taken prisoner at some point. He is recorded on the CD-ROM "Soldiers Died in the Great War" as having "died". This normally suggests a death from natural causes or accident, rather than as a consequence of the fighting. Most prisoners were sent to camps in Germany so, for Joseph to be buried in France perhaps suggests that he had only been a prisoner fof a short time. This may have been during a German counter-attack at the Battle of Cambrai in early December which would have been the last time that the Dragoons saw major action.

   
           
   
     
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