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Joseph Hindle was born in April 1896 and was baptised on 10 May, 1896 at St. Thomas`s Church in Preston. He was the son of John and Sarah Ann Hindle (nee Melling).

Joseph`s parents married in Preston in 1890 and the 1911 Census notes that they had had fifteen children since they married but eight of those children had died by 1911. They were living at 13 Gladstone Street in Preston at the time but only four of the children were living at home with them, John (1894), Alice (1898), Matilda (1901) and Frederick (1906).

Joseph was living away from home in 1911 and working as a farm servant for James and Margaret Cox on their farm in Longton just a few miles away from Preston.

On the 17 September, 1912 Joseph enlisted into the Army along with his pal James Garstang. Unfortunately there are no service papers for Joseph so information is a bit limited. However, at some point he was posted to the 1st Battalion and allocated the number 10574. He went with the 1st Battalion to France disembarking on the 12 August, 1914.

Joseph served alongside his pal James Garstang and in July 1917 they were both awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for their part in the actions of 10th-11th July that year.

Extract from the Battalion War Diary – 10th July, 1917

“About 6 a.m. on the 10th July the enemy commenced a heavy bombardment of the front system – the river, Nieuport-les-Bains, and the back areas, Coxyde and Coxyde-les-Bains. This increased during the day and about 7.25 p.m. the enemy successfully attacked, taking our trenches up to the east bank of the river. The two battalions in the front line were practically annihilated. An advance party, totalling four officers and thirty six other ranks, which went up to the left battalion in the early morning of the 10th, was present during the attack, and of these only two men returned.

The Battalion occupied the trenches on the west bank of the Yser as the front line, `A` and `B` Companies being in front and `C` and `D` in support. After the attack the bombardment slackened slightly, but it was not until five the following morning that it really ceased. About 8 o`clock in the evening the enemy`s aeroplanes dropped bombs on Rinck Camp, which was occupied by details of the Battalion, and one man was killed and an officer and six other ranks were wounded, the officer and one of the men being attached. Total casualties for the day were four officers and thirty four other ranks missing, three officers and twenty eight other ranks wounded and two men killed”.

Extract from The Battalion War History – 11 July, 1917

The following day (11th) was spent reorganising the defence but about half past eight that night three men of the King`s Royal Rifles swam across from the enemy`s side of the river to report that there were still some twenty men on the further bank. As soon as this became known 23983 Private Higson who was one of the battalion scouts, secured a rope and swam across the Yser with it closely followed by Captain H.A. Pallant, M.C. R.A.M.C. who was attached to the Battalion. The pair were responsible for bringing over the men who were not able to swim or who were exhausted. All twenty of the King`s Royal Rifles were safely brought across.

By the 31 July, 1917 the 1st Battalion had been moved to Clipon Camp about one mile northwest of Mardyck village.

The entry in the 1st Battalion War Diary for this date reads;

“31.7.17 – 10440 L/Cpl Garstang and 10574 Pte Hindle awarded D.C.M. for conspicuous gallantry as Linesmen on July 10th and 11th in maintaining communications with new front line on West Bank of Yser”

Joseph`s D.C.M. Citation reads as follows:-


After the news of the awards reached the families and friends back in Preston the local paper the Preston Guardian published further details which also included a photograph of Joseph. The article also mentions Joseph`s pal James Garstang.


Joseph was presented with his award by the Mayor of Preston, Alderman Cartmell on the steps of the Town Hall in Preston on 29 December, 1917. The Preston Guardian published an account of the ceremony.


Joseph`s pal James Garstang had received his medal ribbons on the 25 August, 1917 from General Rawlinson during an inspection of the Division at Clipon Camp.

After the war ended Joseph eventually returned home to Preston and on the 18 January, 1919 he married twenty two year old spinster Jane Nelson in St. Aidan`s Church in Bamber Bridge. The marriage details record that Joseph`s occupation was still a soldier so he hadn`t been discharged from the Army when he married Jane.

As well as his Distinguished Conduct Medal Joseph also received the 1914 Star and British War and Victory Medals.

Joseph Hindle died at the Chestnuts Sanatorium in Ribbleton, Preston on the 24 March, 1960 just a short while before his 64th birthday.

Author`s note:
Four other men also received awards for their actions on the 10th-11th July, 1917
Captain H.A. Pallant – D.S.O.
23983 Private Higson – D.C.M.
Military Medals – Private Shannon and Private Sutcliffe

Janet Davis
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