Private Joseph Green

10121 6th Bn., Leicestershire Regiment who died on 29 September 1916

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Family History

Joseph Green, the fourth child of Albert and Annie Green (nee Worral), was born at Coventry in 1894. He was one of ten children, his siblings being, Nellie (1889), Albert Edward jnr (1890), Annie Agnes jnr (1891),  Victor (1896), Frederick (1899), Violet (1903), Reginald (1906), Ethel (1909) and Alfred (1910).

In 1891, a year after their marriage Albert and Annie were living at 18, Osborne St ‘part of Burley’s Lane’, Leicester and Albert was described as a cycle maker. As was his brother Thomas who was living with them and the two eldest children at the time.

By 1911 the family had moved to 3 Victoria St, Bilton, Rugby. Although this was a 6 roomed house it also housed Thomas Green 74 the grandfather of the family.  At that time Joseph’s family was still much involved in cycle manufacture. Joseph’s occupation was a cycle part stamper, his older brother Albert was a cycle plate polisher while his older sister Annie was a cycle chain maker. Albert Snr though was, by now, employed as a general labourer at a cement works.

The Old Lock House, Belgrave.

Two more views of the Old Lock House, Belgrave

At some time between 1911 and 1914, the family moved to The Old Lock House, Belgrave, Leicester and thereafter to Woodbury Street, Belgrave and then to 3 East Street, Oadby which was their home in 1919.

This advert appeared in the Leicester Mercury on Wednesday 5 August 1914.

 

Military Service

Enlisting on 14 August 1914, Joseph was one of Leicester’s earliest volunteers. His attestation papers state that he had previously served in the 4th Warwickshire Territorials. He was described as being 5’3” with grey eyes and auburn hair. He had tattoos of a woman’s head, an anchor and butterflies on one arm and a horseshoe and a woman on the other.

From the recruitment station Joseph would have reported to Glen Parva Barracks, South Wigston where the first units of Kitchener’s New Army (K1) were being formed into the 6th (Service) Battalion Leicestershire Regiment. In September they left for Badajos Barracks, Aldershot to begin basic training.

Leicestershire Regimental Barracks, South Wigston

 

On 28 July 1915 Joseph embarked for France. His military record shows that on 24 August 1915, he was deprived of two days’ pay for misconduct in the field but no further details are given. The 6th Leicesters, now part of the 110th Brigade spent the rest of 1915 in the Bois-au-Berles/Monchy Sector. In September 1915 the area was relatively unscathed by war. David Kelly’s memoir, ‘39 Months with the Tigers’ recalls, “My chief memory of that golden autumn and hard winter in the trenches south of Arras is one of peace-peace that is in comparison with what came after. There was little shelling from either side…trench raids had not become an obsession, and casualties were few”.

Berles-au-Bois by John Singer Sergeant.

On 25 September 1916 the 6th Leicesters were in second line support for the 8th and 9th Leicesters advancing on Gueudecourt. Fighting continued with heavy shelling and sniping from the enemy until 27 September when the village was secured. The war diary of 29 September notes, “At 9pm the (6th) Battalion was relieved by the 7th Leicestershire Regt. The relief was complete by 11.30pm. A certain number of casualties were caused to both Battalions by enemy’s bombardment of village and its approaches.” Sadly Private Joseph Green was one of these.

 

Memorials

Private Joseph Green is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial along with 72,195 servicemen killed on the Somme who have no known grave. He is also remembered on the Oadby War Memorial.

Joseph was awarded the 1914-15 Star and the Victory and British War medals

 

Other Family Members

Joseph’s older brother Albert was taken prisoner whilst serving with the 1st Battalion South Staffordshire Regiment and died at Poznan Old Garrison, Poland on 22 October 1918.

Frederick served with 1st Battalion Royal Guernsey Light Infantry from February 1917 until he was discharged from the army following a bout of influenza in January 1919.

Victor Served in the Royal Navy from August 1916 until he was demobbed on 24 November 1919.