Private 24388 Joseph Bishop

Killed in Action on Sunday, 24th March 1918, age 37.
Commemorated on Bay 5 and 6 of Arras Memorial, Pas De Calais, France.

11th Bn., Cheshire Regiment. 75th Brigade of 25th Division.

Born: West Bromwich, Enlisted: Ellesmere Port, Resident: Unknown.

First landed France & Flanders, 26th September 1915.
Medal entitlement: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Commemorated on the Tipton Library Memorial.
Commemorated here because he appears on a Tipton memorial.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/741016/

Genealogical Data

Birth of Joseph Bishop registered June quarter 1880 at West Bromwich.

Census attribution provided by family member.
1891 Census
12 Ryder Street, Greets Green, West Bromwich, Staffs.
Joseph Bishop (30, Iron Puddler, born West Bromwich), his wife Emma (27, born West Bromwich), and their 5 children: Joseph (10, Scholar, born West Bromwich), William (8, Scholar, born West Bromwich), Eliza (6, Scholar, born West Bromwich), Gertrude (4, born West Bromwich), and Sarah (7 months, born West Bromwich).

1901 Census
Cannot find trace of the Bishop family.

1911 Census
3 Grove Row, Toll End, Tipton, Staffs.
Joseph Bishop (29, Canal Boatman, born West Bromwich), his wife Caroline (26, born Tipton), and their only child: Elizabeth (6, born Tipton).

Personal Data

This man is commemorated on the Tipton Library Memorial, initially he could not be identified. The 'Staffordshire Roll of Honour' records Pte J Bishop, Cheshires, this man is the only J Bishop killed with the Cheshires.

After Joseph's death, his widow Caroline received his outstanding army payments of £25/15/3d (25 pounds, 15 shillings and 3 pence) in August and October 1919. This included his War Gratuity of £18/10/0d (18 pounds and 10 shillings), the value of the War Gratuity suggests that Joseph had enlisted in August 1914.

Action resulting in his death

The German Spring Offensive (Operation Kaiserschlacht) began on 21st March 1918. The 11th Cheshires were at Bihucourt, 2 miles north west of Bapaume, when the attack started. Twenty four hours later, they were in a defensive position south of Morchies, north east of Bapaume. By the evening, the British line was withdrawn.

At 8am on the 23rd, the Germans renewed their attack and the 11th Cheshires formed a defensive flank along the main Bapuame - Cambrai road. Throughout the day neighbouring troops retired, and by 5.30pm it became imperative that the Cheshires still holding the road also withdraw. They had withstood continual attacks all day and had inflicted heavy casualties on the enemy, but had also taken many casualties, especially from low flying aircraft which had bombed and shot up their position. It is understood that about half the Battalion did not receive the orders to withdraw and were taken prisoner. Certainly by the end of the day, there were only 100 men who reported to the new withdrawn line.

The remnants of the 11th Battalion took up a position east of Sapignies at about 1.30pm on the 24th March. The trenches were full of men from many different units. During the evening, they were relieved from the combat zone.

Amongst the dead was Joseph Bishop, recorded as having been killed in action on the 24th, although accurate record keeping must have been difficult. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Arras Memorial.

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