Private 16420 Joseph Black

 Black Brothers Walsall Town Hall
Brothers Joseph and William Black, commemorated in Walsall Town Hall.

Killed in Action on Saturday, 1st June 1918, age 22.
Commemorated on Panel 32 to 34 of Pozieres Memorial, Somme, France.

18th Bn., Lancashire Fusiliers. 104th Brigade of 35th Division.

Son of Joseph and Elizabeth Black.
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Darlaston, Resident: Walsall.

First landed France & Flanders, 29th January 1916.
Medal entitlement: British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Not commemorated on any Tipton memorial.
Commemorated here because identified as Tipton on 'Soldiers Died in the Great War'.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/853009/

Genealogical Data

1901 Census
28 Cleton Street, Tipton, Staffs.
Joseph Black (36, General Labourer, born Tipton), his wife Elizabeth (33, born Coseley), and their 7 children: Alice (11, born Tipton), Amy (8, born Tipton), William (6, born Tipton), Joseph (5, born Tipton), Nellie (3, born Tipton), Alfred (2, born Rowley), and Sarah (1, born Tipton).

1911 Census
247 Darlaston Road, Pleck, Walsall, Staffs.
Joseph Black (47, Brick Carter, born Tipton), his wife Elizabeth (42, born Coseley), and their 10 surviving children of 11: Alice (21, Bolt Screwer, born Tipton), Amy (18, Warehouse Girl, born Tipton), William (16, Bolt Heater, born Tipton), Joseph (15, Sorter in Bolt Works, born Tipton), Nellie (13, School, born Tipton), Alfred (12, School, born Rowley), Sarah (11, School, born Tipton), Eva (6, School, born Darlaston), Ethel (2, born Walsall), and Hilda (1 month, born Walsall).

Personal Data

Joseph is the brother of William Black, they are in the same Battalion and with adjacent Army Numbers. Their names are commemorated on the walls of Walsall Town Hall.

The 18th Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers was initially a Bantam Battalion for men less than the 5' 3'' required for other infantry Battalions. By the end of 1916 the quality of Bantam replacements became sub-standard; in common with the other Bantam Battalions, replacements from then on were average conscripts. As Joseph Black died after 1916, normally it could not be assumed that he was a Bantam by height, however as his brother William joined at the same time and was killed in 1916, we can failry assume that he was a 'real' bantam.

The 'Soldiers Effects' papers shows that Joseph's outstanding army pay and allowances of £16/18/7d (16 pounds, 18 shillings and 7 pence) was paid to this mother and sole legatee, Elizabeth, in October 1919. His War Gratuity of £19/10/0d (19 pounds and 10 shillings) was also paid to his mother in October 1919. This suggests that Joseph enlisted in approximately August 1914.

Action resulting in his death

From 35th Divisional history.
On 1st June the 104th Brigade attacked Aveluy Wood with the south-west section as objective. At 3.25am a barrage was put down on the edge of the wood and a smoke-screen covered the southern flank. At first the attack was successful, the western edge of the wood being occupied. By 5.30am the 18th Lancashire Fusiliers were on the final objective.

About midday the enemy counter-attacked and the troops in the wood were gradually forced back. The 18th Lancashire Fusiliers had to withdraw across the open to Heathcote's Bank.

67 men of the 18th Lancashire Fusiliers were killed on 1st June 1918. Joseph has no known grave and is commemorated on the Pozieres Memorial.

Newspaper Cuttings