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joseph calderleyJoseph Calderley was born in Bolton in 1892. He was the son of Henry Calderley b.1858, a brick maker, and Ellen Calderley née Worthington b.1857.

Henry and Ellen appeared on the 1881 Census living with their cousin’s family at 1 Whittaker Street, Bolton.

On the 1891 census Ellen was living (without Henry) at 1 Adam Street, Bolton with daughters Hannah b.1882, Ellen b.1886 and May b.1889.

On the 1901 Census Ellen was listed as widowed and living at 75 Commission Street, Bolton with daughters Hannah, Ellen, Margaret Ann (May) and son Thomas b.1895.

Joseph first appeared in the 1901 Census as the adopted son of John and Ann Gregory of 36 Reservoir Street, Bolton and again at the same address in 1911 as the adopted son of either Mark Gregory (John and Ann’s son) or Mary Ellen Bromley (their daughter) and her husband George Bromley.

In 1911 Joseph was employed as a forge hand (castings filer) in an iron works.

At his Army medical examination Joseph Calderley was recorded as being 5′ 3 1/8″ tall and having a fair/pale complexion, grey eyes and light brown hair. He was tattooed with “several dots” on his forearm.

Joseph’s actual mother, Ellen, lived until 1925 and wrote to the Army asking for information about her son when he was posted as missing at Gallipoli.

He had enlisted in the Army at Bolton on 27th August 1914 and began training for service overseas. Joseph departed for service overseas with the 6th Battalion of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment on 15th June 1915 and less than two months later was involved in the action at Chunuk Bair. Following the battle he was reported to be missing. One year later, with no more news about his fate received he was presumed to have been killed in action on the day of the Battle, 9th August 1915.

Bolton Journal and Guardian 8 December 1916
Pte. JOS. CALDERLEY, Loyal North Lancashire Regt., is officially reported to have perished in Gallipoli, although nothing definite as to his actual fate has been heard since August, 1915, when he was posted as missing. Previous to enlisting at the outbreak of war, he resided with his mother at 36, Reservoir-st., Bolton, and worked at Messrs. Walmsley’s forge. Aged 23 he is on the Rolls of Honour at Christ Church and St. Mark’s.

The official despatch states;

“The two battalions of the New Army chosen to hold Chunuk Bair were the 6th Loyal North Lancashire Regiment. The first of these arrived in good time and occupied the trenches. Even in the darkness their commanding officer, Lieut-Colonel H.G. Levinge, recognized how dangerously these trenches were sited, and he began at once to dig observation posts on the actual crest and to strengthen the defences where he could; but he had not time given him to do much.

The second battalion, the Wiltshires, were delayed by the intricate country; they did not reach the edge of the entrenchment until 4am, and were then told to lie down in what was believed, erroneously, to be a covered position. At daybreak on Tuesday 10th August, the Turks delivered a grand attack from the Chunuk Bair Hill-Q against these two battalions, already weakened in numbers, though not in spirit, by previous fighting.

First our men were shelled by every enemy gun, and then, at 5.30am, were assaulted by a huge column consisting of no less than a full division, plus a regiment of three battalions.

The Loyal North Lancashire men were simply overwhelmed in their shallow trenches by sheer weight in numbers, whilst the Wiltshires who were caught in the open, were literally almost annihilated. The ponderous mass of enemy swept over the crest, turned the right flank of our line below, swarmed round the Hampshires and General Baldwin’s column, which had to which had to give ground and were only extricated with great difficulty and very heavy losses.

Towards this supreme struggle the absolute last two battalions from our general reserve were now hurried, but by 10am, the effort of the enemy was spent. Soon their shattered remnants began to trickle back, leaving a track of corpses behind them, and by nightfall, except prisoners or wounded, no live Turk was left upon our side of the slope.”

Joseph’s cousin, William Shepherd Calderley, was killed on the same day at Chunuk Bair, Gallipoli. Both men are remembered on the Helles Memorial.

calderley helles

Joseph’s other cousin (William’s brother), Pte Robert Calderley, was also killed in action in France.

Rank: Private
Service No: 12094
Date of Death: 09/08/1915
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 6th Bn.
Memorial: HELLES MEMORIAL

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This article has been reproduced with kind permission from the DBBC young roots heritage project. The young people identified and researched the the servicemen pictured in a 1916 Bolton Journal and Guardian supplement who were killed at Gallipoli. You can visit their website by clicking on the DBBC logo.
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One Response to 12094 PTE. J. CALDERLEY. L.N.LAN.R.

  1. Trevor Lester says:

    The Calderleys are related to my family via my sister in law, who was a Shackle by birth. The names of the fallen brothers are also enscribed on the family gravestone in Heaton Cemetery in Bolton and on the Roll of Honour at Oxford Grove Primary school where they were both pupils

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