SKELTON - IN - CLEVELAND
"WE WILL REMEMBER THEM"
4281/15653/244253 Private JOSEPH WILLIAM FORSTER.
1/5th Battalion, Cheshire Regiment.
Died, aged 33, on the 8th of September 1916.
Born at Skelton in Cleveland.
Son of Ralph and Ellen Forster, of 3 Park St, Skelton-in-Cleveland, Yorks.
Husband of Esther Forster, of 5 Forbes St, Stockport, Cheshire.
Thiepval Memorial. Somme.
1901. Joseph, aged 18, was living at 3 Park St, Skelton and working as an apprentice Watch-maker.
His father, Ralph, aged 42, worked as a Deputy in the Ironstone mines. He had been born in Pinchinthorpe N Yorks.
His mother, Sarah, had been born in Bilsdale, N Yorks.
He had two younger brothers, Alfred 13, a stable boy and Wilfred aged 9.
1911 census. Joseph is married, living at 73 Prospect St, Huddersfield, Yorks and working as a Jeweller, Shop Assistant.
His wife Esther, age 26, was born in Sleights, N Yorks. No children are listed.
Address in Stockport is where she was living at the time the Commonwealth War Graves Commission created the Memorials after the War.
The 1/5th (Earl of Chester's) Bn were formed in Chester in August 1914
They landed at Le Havre in February 1915 and were attached to the 14th Brigade, 5th Division.
Joseph's Medal Card shows that he was not awarded the 1914/15 Star.
The date when he joined his Battalion in France in 1916 is not known.
In 1916 the Division fought in the Battles of the Somme, which lasted from the Artillery bombardment of late June into the winter.
The massive bombardment at the end of June 1916 and the July advance continued with a series of offensives into the winter of that year.
The advance stalled for some weeks at the line shown on the map for 15th September.
Joseph must have died on the 8th September 1916 defending the trenches that had been captured in the build up to the next British offensive, the Battle of Flers Courcelettes, which started on the 14th
Joseph has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial which bears the names of over 72,000 Commonwealth soldiers.
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