Joseph Green

JOSEPH GREEN (1898 - 1917)

Four sons of James and Ellen Green are commemorated on the St Alban's World War 1 memorial. The 1891 Census shows us that tailor John and silk piecer Ellen were living at 22, Hayes Yard, off King Edward Street. They then had two daughters and three sons. In 1911 they were living at the same address with five sons.

Joseph, the youngest son of James and Ellen, was born in June 1898. Eighteen year old Joseph enlisted in Macclesfield on 20 October 1916, giving his profession as a 'bobbin hand'. His "Descriptive Report on Enlistment" describes Joseph as standing five foot five inches tall, with a slight goitre and scoliosis (a curvature of the spine from side to side).

Initially joining the 2/5th Battalion, Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, Joseph served at home until 29, May 1917.On 29 May 1917, Joseph set sail from Folkestone for France, arriving the same day at Boulogne. The following day, he was transferred by train to Etaples, in the Pas-de-Calais department; at the time, Etaples was the main depot and transit camp for the British Expeditionary Force in France. On 16 June, Joseph was posted to the 1/4th Battalion and, two weeks later, moved to the Field.

Joseph was 'Killed in Action' on 31 July 1917, the first day of The Battle of Ypres. Historian Paul McCormick, of, describes what the 1/4th Battalion faced that day:

"...That morning, at 03:30 hrs the British opened up a heavy artillery barrage on the enemy. Later, the 1/4th Bn, part of 164th Brigade were tasked to seize and secure Gheluvelt-Langemarck line. Mid-way into their advance towards the objective, casualties began to get particularly heavy, owing to enemy sniper, machine-gun fire and shelling from two sides. A number of Officers had also been killed. The Battalion continued to push forward and succeeded in securing their objective by 11:40 hrs. The line was held up until around 14:30 hrs, until the enemy successfully counter-attacked and forced the Brigade to fall back. Casualties had been high, just over fifty men from 1/4th Bn killed; and another 250 wounded or missing during the attack this day."

After the Armistice, Joseph's body was exhumed from its resting place in an unmarked grave - probably from a battlefield north-east of Ypres - and reburied at the New Irish Farm Cemetery, West Vlaanderen, Belgium.

On enlisting, Joseph had named his sister, Mary, as his next-of-kin. However, within Joseph's Service Records there is a letter which indicates his medals were sent to his brother Arthur. "The Concentration of Graves - Burial Returns" form that details the removal of Joseph's remains to the New Irish Cemetery notes he had no effects to be forwarded to Base. The means of identification of Joseph's body is given as the address "32, Hayes Yard, King Edward Street, Macclesfield, Cheshire"; there is no indication how this address came to be found with Joseph.


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This website honours the WWI casualities of St Alban's Catholic Church, Chester Road, Macclesfield

StAlban's WWII war dead