A Company 5th Battalion Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment)
Killed in Action during the German shelling of the trenches near Bellacourt on Thursday 20th July 1916 aged 22.
He embarked at Southampton on Saturday 22nd April 1916 and disembarked at Rouen on Sunday 23rd April 1916.
During the evening of Monday 17th July 1916 the 5th Battalion relieved the 7th Battalion Sherwood Foresters in the front line.
On the 20th July a very heavy bombardment of the front line trenches, occupied at that time by the 5th Battalion, required their reinforcement by Captain Victor Robinson and "A" Company. This was achieved within one minute of receiving the order and whilst no attack materialised one officer was killed and 18 men wounded, several of these fatally, one of those fatalities was Joseph.
Extract from the Battalion Diary
'About 12-45 am the enemy started to bombard on our whole front, concentrating on trenches 146, 147 & 148. The bombardment on these trenches was particularly severe & on CHURCH & BELLACOURT STREETS. The latter was completely flattened out for over 100 yards between the Support & front lines.
From the Bombardment our casualties were:
5th Sherwoods. Other Ranks 6 killed, 2 missing, 17 wounded.
The enemy were very quit for the rest of the day'.
Joseph is buried in the Bellacourt Military Cemetery Riviere France and also named on the Midland Railway Memorial.
Joseph was 5 foot 6 inches tall and was born in Hagley, Worcestershire, about 1894.
Son of George W, a farmer, and Eliza Maiden, of Middleford Farm, Blakedown, Hagley, Worcestershire. The farm was owned by the then Lord Cobham (Lyttelton family at Hagley Hall) so the Maiden family would have been tenant farmers.
Resident in Belper, Joseph enlisted in Stourbridge, Worcestershire in late September or early October 1914.
Before enlisting on Friday 16th October 1914 he was employed as a porter at Belper Railway Station. Before becoming a Porter in Belper Joseph worked on his fathers farm as a farmhand.
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