JOSEPH BENNETT 

Rank: Private
Service Number: 25636.
Regiment: 9th Bn. Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry
Formerly: Machine Gun Corps
Died of wounds Wednesday 27th March 1918 Age 31County Memorial Poynton
Commemorated\Buried ST. HILAIRE CEMETERY, FREVENT
Grave\Panel Ref: V.B.8
France

64th Brigade, 21st Division, V11 Corps, 5th Army 

 

Frevent was a place of some importance on the lines of communication during the First World War. The 43rd Casualty Clearing Station was posted there from April to June 1916, part of the Lucknow Casualty Clearing Station , the 6th Stationary Hospital from June 1916 to the end of August 1918, and the 3rd Canadian, 19th and 43rd Casualty Clearing Stations in the summer of 1918. The great majority of the burials in the cemetery were carried out from these hospitals.

Husband of Gertrude. Father of 1 son Albert.

Son of Issac and Hannah of Grahams Cottage Poynton.

The 1901 census has Joseph living at 36 Park Lane with his mother and father and 3 brothers Vincent ,Samuel, and George.

 By 1911 he was married living with his family in Smallthorne, Staffordshire, his occupation was shown as a collier’s loader

GERMAN SPRING OFFENSIVE SPRING 1918

In the early days of March, 1918 the 9th Service Battalion K.O.Y.L.I was in divisional reserve at Guyencourt , northern France. The forward trenches were being manned by the 62nd and 110th Divisions. These lines from the front to the rear were known by the colours Red (Front line) Brown, Green, and Yellow.The Battalion’s work was varied and a considerable time was spent cable burying and repairing trench lines They even had time to grow vegetables in a allocated 2 acre plot.

At the front lines enemy raids were increasing and captured prisoners were talking about a great German offensive .On March 19th  in anticipation of an attack the Battalion moved up to positions in the Brown line. On a foggy morning on March 21st a massive bombardment and enemy attack fell upon the Red front line trenches. The 9th K.O.Y.L.I in the second line could see nothing of what was happening in front of them, but by the intensity of the the barrage it was obvious a major attack was in progress .By the 22nd the bombardment of the 2nd trench line had become much heavier  and the Germans had now advanced to Epehy. By mid afternoon enemy attacks became more intense and by late afternoon the Battalion had withdrawn to the Green line the losses had been very heavy . The following morning (23rd) there was a thick mist at dawn undercover of which the Germans had launched a further attack, they were stopped 30yards from the K.O.Y.L.I.’s trenches.The Germans sent in a second attack soon after and this was again broken up. Fighting continued through-out the day ,and by 9pm the order to fall back under the cover of the fog was given The Division was on the run and over the next few days a general retirement commenced. Along the whole line fighting continued with the Germans on the offensive. Early on the morning of the 27th the Battalion reached Mericourt where troops from the 3rd Australian Division passed through and took up the line in advance.The Germans came to a halt and began to dig in. Over the period 21st to the 27th of March, 96 men of the 9th K.O.Y.L.I. Were killed or died of wounds. It is not possible to say exactly when Joseph was fatally wounded but he succumbed to his wounds on the 27th at the 6th Stationary Hospital in Frevent.

The inscription on Joseph's grave says ;

”Duty nobly done at rest”

 Cheshire County Memorial Project would like to thank Phil Underwood for compiling this page on Joseph.
© Cheshire County Memorial Project
2016