Looking for soldiers that served prior to WW1? Find My Past is the best resource for finding information about Victorian-era Soldiers.
By far the best resource for WW1 research. WW1 Service Records, pension papers, medal index cards and casualty information.
Search through millions of archived British Newspaper Articles to find any references to your ancestors.

Joseph Knight was born in the first quarter of 1888 in Bamber Bridge. His father was also Joseph Knight (b. 1854 in Cuerden), a farmer. His mother was Martha Haydock (b. 1862 in Samlesbury). Joseph and Martha were married at Brownedge St Mary’s in 1883, and they had 10 children: Elizabeth Ellen (1884-87), James (b. 1885), then Joseph, Francis (b. 1889), Mary (b. 1891), Elizabeth (b. 1892), Margaret (b. 1893), William Henry (b. 1895), Thomas Benedict (b. 1897) and finally Ellen (b. 1898). Joseph snr died in 1899 leaving Martha to bring up the large family. In 1911, she was living at 13 St Mary’s Road with almost all her children, most of whom were working in the cotton mills, and also her brother, Thomas Haydock. Joe Knight jnr however had moved out and was working as a farm labourer and living at Crow Trees Farm, Bamber Bridge.

Joe attested he was willing to serve in the Army on 11 December 1915. He was 27 years old and a well built man (by the standards of the time), being 5’ 9” tall, weighing 137lbs and with a 40” chest. He was called up on 9 January 1917, by which time he was living at 10 Coote Lane, Lostock Hall. He was assigned service number 203594 and embarked for France on 29 May 1917. He was posted to 1/4Bn The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment and joined them in the field on 23 June 1917.

In early June, 1/4Bn had been fighting in the trenches near Ypres but by mid June (when Joe joined them) they had been withdrawn and were billeted at Boisdinghem in France. They had marched 30kms from Bollezeele the previous day in scorching heat and were exhausted. They spend the next few days in parades and training, practising the technique of advancing behind an artillery barrage. More reinforcements joined the battalion on 25 June. The relentless training in mock-up trenches continued until the end of the month when they prepared to return to the front. They were back at Vlamertinge on 2 July and returned to the trenches east of Ypres on the Potijze Road on 9 July. Artillery exchanges and raiding parties were then the order of the day. Casualties were relatively light but the Battalion was not relieved until 21 July. During this stint in the trenches they had 13 men killed. They withdrew to camp at Poperinghe.

On 27 July, they hear news that the Germans are evacuating their front line system, apparently in anticipation of a forthcoming major assault. Within the Battalion, the countdown to the assault begins. At Valmertinge on 30 July in drizzling rain, the first platoons move forward to the trenches. They were finally back in their trenches c1ose to the Ypres-Potijze Road later that day and at zero hour (3.50am) on 31 July 55th Division launched its attack. German artillery replied at 4.15am but from 4.30am streams of German prisoners were arriving. At zero hour + 4hrs 40mins (ie 8.30am) 164 Brigade moved forward in artillery formation. “It was a dull misty morning, so there were neither aeroplanes nor balloons in the air to detect the advancing troops. As we passed over NO MAN’S LAND, companies were well shaken out into the various squares and the direction was being well kept. The enemy wire in front of this first line system was practically non-existent and provided no obstacle. The trenches appeared very badly smashed in and in places obliterated, though here and there appeared small concrete dugouts apparently still intact.” The enemy artillery was slow in responding because they apparently were unsure of the position of their own infantry, but machine guns were quickly brought to bear, although for once they had not got the range right and though bullets were flying everywhere casualties were light. At 10.10am, the brigade was again able to form up behind the artillery barrage about 200 yards ahead and move forward. It wasn’t long though before the artillery barrage became thin because the advance was beyond the range of the guns, and some snipers who had been missed by the barrage were able to frustrate the advance. By the end of the day, the Brigade had taken its objective (the Green Line, see the map below, 1/4Bn were responsible for the advance from the Black Line to the Green Line) and an enemy counter-attack had been repulsed. Casualties for 1/4Bn were 19 officers and 300 other ranks (see the list below for CWGC’s final record of those killed). 90% of the British casualties were caused by machinegun fire or snipers.

The War Diary gives a sober and critical assessment of the day’s fighting (the failure of the tanks, the lack of ammunition, the heavy burden of equipment carried by the men over a long advance) but concludes: “The 55th Division as a whole, and particularly the 164th Brigade, will ever be remembered for its share in the attack which started the Third Battle of Ypres. The 164th Infantry Brigade in particular can ever be proud of the advance from the Black to the Green line.”

Joe Knight was killed during this attack. He was 29 years old. He had arrived in France just two months previously. Joe’s older brother James will be killed fighting with the 1Bn Grenadier Guards on 30 March 1918.

Rank: Private
Service No: 203594
Date of Death: 31/07/1917
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 1st/4th Bn.
Grave Reference: VII. D. 11.
Cemetery: VLAMERTINGHE NEW MILITARY CEMETERY

Other men from 1/4 Battalion killed on 31 July 1917.

202611 PTE ROBERT ALLEN
202637 PTE RICHARD BANISTER
200189 CPL RICHARD HENRY BEESLEY
202705 PTE ROBERT BIBBY
200271 PTE THOMAS BIBBY
202794 PTE ALBERT BISHOP
22904 PTE MYLES BLACKLEDGE
201644 PTE HENRY BOND
203794 PTE W BOOTH
203564 PTE W H BOOTH
235031 PTE JOSEPH BRADLEY
203145 PTE R BREAKELL
202618 PTE CLIFFORD BULLOUGH
11186 PTE CLARENCE FREDERICK CHARNLEY
202666 PTE JAMES CRITCHLEY
202530 PTE RICHARD CROOK
202513 PTE THOMAS DAVIES
202699 CPL WILLIAM THOMAS DUXBURY
200225 CPL RICHARD EAVES
201616 CPL KENNETH VINCENT EDGAR
200388 CQMS JAMES FLETCHER D C M
202566 PTE DUNCAN FLOCKHART
201038 PTE JESSE FORSYTH
2ndLT FRANK FULLERTON
201739 PTE CHARLES LEO GERRARD
35072 PTE FREDERICK GINGER
202853 PTE JAMES GORTON
244966 PTE JOSEPH GREEN
200412 PTE EDWARD GREGSON
202656 PTE E HALLOWS
202734 PTE PETER HALSALL
202979 PTE LAWRENCE HAMMOND
202687 PTE EDWARD HANSON
200558 LCPL JOHN HARWOOD
202525 PTE ROBERT HATTON
202168 PTE HARRY HAWKARD
202610 PTE JAMES HEWARTSON HAWORTH
22717 LCPL HENRY HESKETH
200877 PTE WILLIAM HIGHAM
23246 PTE JAMES WILLIAM HOUGH
201678 PTE RICHARD IANSON
202701 CPL HERBERT JACKSON
202449 PTE ARTHUR JAGGER
202972 PTE THOMAS WOODACRE KENYON
201454 PTE ALFRED KNOWLES
35176 PTE FREDERICK GEORGE KNOWLES
202806 PTE FRED LEACH
32722 PTE JOHN LEADBETTER
203940 PTE WILLIAM LEWIS
235049 PTE BENJAMIN LOWE
201532 PTE T LOWNDES
26419 PTE JAMES MAIR
36168 PTE DAVID ERNEST MANNION
202370 PTE FRED MARSDEN
235012 PTE JAMES HOWARD MATSELL
202679 PTE GABRIEL MAY
17525 PTE JOHN McGERR
265750 LCPL ALFRED MIDDLEHURST
202663 PTE WILLIAM MIDDLEHURST
202495 PTE WILLIAM MORLEY
202934 LSJT FRED NABB
14939 PTE JOSEPH NELSON
35311 PTE JOHN EDWARD NEWMAN
202690 PTE TOM NUTTALL
202692 PTE JAMES HENRY RATCLIFFE
235043 PTE CHARLES WILLIAM ROBINSON
201027 PTE CHARLES ROWETT
245109 PTE FRANCIS JOHN SAVERY
200579 LCPL THOMAS GEORGE SEED M M
202600 PTE FREDERICK SHEPHERD
32802 PTE ROBERT SINGLETON
201048 PTE WALTER SMITH
202767 LSJT ALBERT STANFIELD
200718 PTE ROBERT SUTTON
202667 PTE GEORGE THOMAS SWIFT
31905 PTE THOMAS TAYLOR
235044 PTE AYLMER ERLING TOMLINSON
203067 PTE HARRY BRIGGS TRAFFORD
200984 SJT RICHARD HALL WARD
9226 PTE SAMUEL GEORGE WEBB
31518 PTE WILLIAM WOOD
17101 PTE JOHN WOODCOCK M M

Bill Brierley

Before taking early retirement in 2007 and returning to his native Lancashire in 2009, Bill Brierley was head of the School of Languages and Area Studies at the University of Portsmouth.Bill has researched his own family history and has developed a further interest in World War 1 especially as it impacted on the villages of Lostock Hall and Bamber Bridge, where his family originates from.Bill has also displayed his work at Lostock Hall library and contributed to other displays at Leyland Library and South Ribble Museum.
Bill Brierley

Latest posts by Bill Brierley (see all)

(This post has been visited 150 times in the last 90 days)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Set your Twitter account name in your settings to use the TwitterBar Section.
%d bloggers like this:

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close