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WW1 Casualty: Able Seaman R/4371 Joseph Bridge -

Able Seaman R/4371 Joseph Bridge

Unit/Regiment Anson Battalion Royal Naval Division
Date of Death 30/09/1918 Age at Death 24
& Reference
Hermies Hill British Cemetery
CWGC Family Details (if shown) Birth registered Q4/1894, Prescot, Volume 8b, Page 720

Marriage to Elizabeth Eddleston registered in Prescot, Q3/1914, Volume 8b, Page 1408
Census Details 1901 Census –

The Bridge family lived at 29, Dorothy Street, St Helens, and comprised father Richard (24, a Coal Hewer), mother Elizabeth, also 24, and children Joseph (6), Margaret (2) and Jane (4 months)

1911 Census –
The Bridge family lived at 4, Dorothy Street, Nutgrove. Richard. A 34 year old Coal Dealer and his wife Elizabeth, also 34, had been married for 16 years and of their 9 children, 7 were still living. Joseph (16), Margaret (12), Jane (10), Mary (6), Ann (4), Henry (1) and 3 month old John were all at the same address.
Research Ref. No. P025

Service Details

Service Details

Born on 20th September 1894, Joseph Bridge enlisted into the Army Reserve on 9th December 1915, entering the service on 30th June 1917. He was drafted to the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) on 30th October 1917 and joined Anson Battalion of the Royal Naval Division on 17th November.

The Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (RNVR) was composed primarily of men who had no direct contact with the sea, yet signed themselves as willing to serve in the Navy in the event of War. Some of these men served at sea in the Navy proper, most usually on coastal motor-boats etc.

In 1914 the Navy had more men than available ships, so upon mobilisation at the outbreak of war, the Royal Naval Division (RND) was formed from this surplus - mainly RNVR - to augment the Army numbers. In keeping with their naval roots, their battalions were named after famous Admirals.

On 5th January 1918 AB Bridge was diagnosed as suffering from Trench Foot and was invalided to the UK on 12th January.

He re-entered the BEF on 3rd September, joining Anson on 8th September.

Anson Battalion was heavily involved in the Battle of the Canal du Nord which took place 27th September to 1st October 1918. They were involved in heavy hand-to-hand fighting on the first day at The Factory and at Graincourt Trench. On the day when Joseph died [30th September 1918] they were alongside the 190th Brigade and the Anson's particular objective was a strong point at map ref A27a.

The 190th Brigade were held up by heavy machine gun fire, however at 10.30 am orders were received to renew the attack at 1.00pm. This second attack also failed due to heavy machine gun fire, however the Anson Battalion secured all of their objectives.

In the four days of the battle the RND advanced over 7 miles. They captured 63 officers and 2100 men, 51 guns, 90 trench mortars and 400 machine guns. Their casualties were 21 officers and 328 Other Ranks killed, 83 officers and 1978 Other Ranks wounded, and 2 officers and 407 Other Ranks missing.

Including Joseph Bridge, the Anson Battalion suffered as follows; killed 1 officer and 31 Other Ranks, wounded 7 officers and 193 Other Ranks, missing 2 officers and 124 Other Ranks

Joseph was originally buried close to where he fell but in October 1919, his body was exhumed and reburied at Hermies Hill British Cemetery in France.

His next of kin was his wife Elizabeth, of 7, Yates Court, Sewell Street, Prescot.

After the war was over, the Parish Magazine reported on 27th November 1918, 'The following names to be added to the list of honour' and included 'Able Seaman Joseph Bridge, 24, of Royal Naval Division fell in action 30th September 1918, of 7 Yates Court, Sewell Street. He leaves a widow and one child'.

Joseph Bridge's grave at Hermies Hill British Cemetery

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