|Regiment||Rank||Service No||Place of Birth||Date of Death||Age||Burial|
|3rd Worcesters||Private||22335||Dudley||27 May 1918||28||Soissons Memorial, France|
Birth of Joseph Stanton registered September quarter 1889 in Dudley.
19 Parkes Hall Road, Woodsetton, Coseley, Staffs.
James Stanton (42, Coal Miner, born Sedgley), his wife Mary (37, born Sedgley), and their 5 children: James (19, Coal Miner, born Sedgley), Amelia (14, Scholar, born Sedgley), Alice (9, Scholar, born Sedgley), Sarah (3, born Sedgley), and Joseph (2, born Sedgley).
12 Turley Street, Parkes Hall, Woodsetton, Coseley, Staffs.
James H. Stanton (54, Coal Miner – Hewer, born Sedgley), his wife Mary (48, born Sedgley), and their 5 children: James (27, Coal Miner – Hewer, born Sedgley), Sarah (14, born Sedgley), Joseph (12, born Sedgley), John (8, born Sedgley) and Maud (6, born Sedgley).
5 Turley Street, Parkes Hall, Woodsetton, Coseley, Staffs.
James L. Stanton (67, Coal Miner – Hewer, born Coseley), his wife Mary (57, born Coseley), and 4 of their 6 surviving children of 13: James (36, Coal Miner – Hewer, born Coseley), Joseph (21,Engineman’s Fireman, born Coseley), John T. (19, Miner, born Coseley) and Maud (16, Works at Home, born Coseley).
The Commonwealth War Graves and ‘Soldiers Died in the Great War’ resources did not give positive proof that Pte 22335 Joseph Stanton was the J Stanton on the Woodsetton memorial. The final proof was provided by ‘Soldier’s Effects’ on ancestry.co.uk which shows that Joseph’s siblings shared the monies owing to him at the time of his death. The siblings were James, Mary Maud, Amelia Richards, Alice Hughes and John T., these match the siblings on the various census returns.
Cause of Death
The 3rd Worcesters were in 74th Brigade of 25th Division, and had been heavily involved in attempting to halt the German advance during their 1918 Spring Offensive. they had been involved in the Battles of St Quentin, Bapaume, Estaires, Messines, Bailleul, 1st Kemmel, 2nd Kemmel before moving to the Fisme in the Champagne region in May 1918. This had been a quiet region since 1917 so was to have been the chance to recuperate, but the Battle of the Aisne was about be unleashed.
At 1am on 27 May 1918, a heavy German bombardment with gas and high explosive hit the entire area between the front line on the River Aisne and Fismes. The infantry attack began three hours later. the 25th Division was instructed to hold the second line of defence. By 10am, all three Brigades had come under orders of the 21st, 8th and 50th Divisions respectively, which by now were fighting for their lives north of the river. By mid-day the Germans had broken through and crossed the Aisne: the units of 25th Division were thrown piecemeal into action. They were all but destroyed. The remnants of many units were temporarily joined into composite units, fighting a withdrawal as the enemy pressed on many miles. Casualties suffered in this action between 26 May and 14 June amounted to 4338 officers and men, of whom 2511 were missing.
The 27th and 28th May were particularly bad days for the 3rd Worcesters, with 55 men killed on the 27th and a further 11 on the 28th. Joseph, like most of his comrades killed on this day, has no known grave and is commemorated on the Soissons Memorial.