Rank: Private
Number: 43710
Date of Death: 27 September 1918
Age: 26
Cemetery: Vis-en-Artois Memorial, Pas de Calais, France

Alfred Crossley and Amelia Ellen Dixon had married in the early 1890’s at St John’s Church, Dukinfield. By 1901, they were living at 7 Lincoln Street, Portwood and had two sons – Joseph and Harry.  Nothing is known of Joseph’s life before he joined the army.

He enlisted at Stockport and was assigned to the Welsh Regiment (service number 28470). This seems to have been for training purposes only and, before he went overseas on active service, he was transferred to the South Wales Borderers (45645). At some point, perhaps after recovering from illness or wounds, he was transferred again , this time to the Bedfords.

After several days in reserve camp, the Battalion received orders to move towards the front line once again, ready to undertake an attack. They were in position opposite the village of Beauchamps by late on the 26 September. The next day, the Battalion’s War Diary records that they “went over the top” at 7.52am and captured all their objectives in the village. However, in the afternoon, the Germans heavily counter-attacked with much use of grenades and this forced the Bedfords out of the village and they took up a defensive position in a sunken road. 19 men were known to have been killed and a further 20 were unaccounted for at the end of the day. Joseph’s body was never recovered and identified.

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