Rank: Lance Bombardier
Number: 4331
Unit: B Battery, 121st Brigade ROYAL FIELD ARTILLERY
Date of Death: 30 April 1918
Age: 23
Cemetery: Arneke British Cemetery, Nord, France

Very little is known about Joseph. He was named after his father who was a stonemason by trade and married to Mary. When the Census was taken in 1901, the family was living at 85 Northgate Street, Stockport and later at 10 Spring Road. There were three children – Edith (then 8), Joseph (6) and Arthur (1).

121st Brigade was formed in the spring of 1915 but Joseph’s service number is very low, perhaps suggesting he had joined up even earlier. On 29 April 1918, the Brigade was at Reninghelst near to the Belgian town of Ypres. The unit’s War Diary, held at the National Archives, records that a “heavy hostile bombardment commenced on whole front”. Their guns went into action to break up a large-scale German infantry attack on the front lin. They kept up continuous fire from 3am to 9pm with each battery firing 2200 rounds. Seven men were killed by the German bombardment and Joseph was amongst another 12 who were wounded. He was evacuated some miles to the rear, across the border into France to one of three field hospitals at Arneke. There, surgeons would have done all they could to save him but without success.

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