Private 17244 Joseph Coley

Coley Joseph 96 439x600

Died France & Flanders on Tuesday, 25th December 1917, age unknown.
Buried in Grave III. J. 10. at Dernancourt Communal Cemetery Extension, Somme, France.

747th Area Employment Company, Labour Corps.
Formerly 17244 & 372616 South Staffordshire Regiment.

Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Tipton, Resident: Unknown.

First landed France & Flanders, 25th May 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/36790/

Genealogical Data

Marriage of Joseph Coley and Emma Ada Hartshorn registered in March quarter 1897 in Dudley.

1901 Census
5 Leech Street, Tipton, Staffs.
Joseph Coley (28, Coal Miner, born Tipton), and his wife Emma (25, born Newcastle upon Tyne).

1911 Census
12 Railway Street, Horseley Heath, Tipton, Staffs.
Joseph Coley (37, Coal Miner, born Tipton), his wife Emma (34, born Newcastle upon Tyne), and their 4 surviving children of 7: Joseph (9, born Tipton), Emma (7, born Tipton), Nellie (5, born Tipton), and Elijah (2, born Tipton). A further child, Hilda, was born in December quarter 1914.

Personal Data

Joseph landed in France in May 1915 serving with the South Staffs Regiment. He was most likely wounded or sick and deemed not fit for front-line service, and so was transferred to the Labour Corps.

After Joseph's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £12/8/3d (12 pounds, 8 shillings and 3 pence); this was paid to his widow, Emma A., in May 1918. His War Gratuity was £13/10/0d (13 pounds and 10 shillings), this was also paid to his widow in November 1919. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that Joseph had enlisted in December 1914, about the time of birth of his last child, Hilda.

Action resulting in his death

Joseph Coley died on Christmas Day 1917. His Soldier's Effects papers records that his death was due to "chronic myocarditis". This is an inflamation of the heart muscle, most frequently from a viral infection.

Joseph is buried in Dernancourt Communal Cemetery Extension. As the 56th Casualty Clearing Station was located at Dernancourt at this time, it is almost certain that he died there.

Newspaper Cuttings