Private 18836 Joseph Eades

Died at Sea on Wednesday, 17th November 1915, age 18.
Commemorated on the Hollybrook Memorial, Southampton, Hampshire, United Kingdom.

9th Bn., South Staffordshire Regiment (Pioneers). Pioneer Battalion of 23rd Division.

Son of Joseph and Alice Eades, of 1, House, 2 Court, New Cross St., Tipton, Staffs.
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Tipton, Resident: Unknown.

First landed France & Flanders, 24th 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/2894485/

Genealogical Data

1901 Census
4 House 5 Court, New Cross Street, Tipton, Staffs.
Joseph Eades (23, Bundler at Iron Works, born Tipton), his wife Alice (22, born Tipton), and their 2 children: Joseph (4, born Tipton), and Robert (1, born Tipton).

1911 Census
1 House 2 Court, New Cross Street, Tipton, Staffs.
Joseph Eades (34, General Labourer, born Tipton), his wife Alice (32, born Tipton), and their 7 children: Joseph (13, School, born Tipton), Robert (11, School, born Tipton), Emma (9, School, born Tipton), Maud (7, School, born Tipton), Florrie (5, born Tipton), May (3, born Tipton), and John Thomas (4 months, born Tipton).

Personal Data

On 11th November 1915 Joseph Eades was admitted to No. 3 Casualty Clearing Station at Bailleul having previously been treated at No. 69 Field Ambulance. He was recorded as having suffered a Gun Shot Wound to the head. He stayed only one day as on the 12th November he was moved on Ambulance Train No. 3 to one of the larger hospitals on the coast. After further treatment he was put onto the Hospital Ship 'Anglia' for transport back to England. An unfortunate move.

After Joseph’s death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £7/12/5d (7 pounds, 12 shillings and 5 pence); this was paid to his father, Joseph, in April 1916. His War Gratuity was £3/0/0d (3 pounds exactly), this was also paid to his father in August 1919. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that Joseph had enlisted in the previous 12 months.

His mother, Mrs Alice Eades, was awarded a Dependant's Pesnion of 8/6d (8 shillings and 6 pence) per week. This was converted to a Life Pension from 1924.

Action resulting in his death

According to family legend, Joseph Eades had been wounded in France and his tongue had been "blown out", and was being returned to England.

On 17th November 1915 the Hospital Ship 'Anglia' was returning to Dover from Calais with 390 injured officers and soldiers, their doctors and nurses, and 56 crew. At around 12:30 pm, one mile east of Folkestone, the 'Anglia' struck a mine laid by the German submarine UC-5, and quickly began to sink.

Numerous ships came to her aid, but it took the 'Anglia' just 15 minutes to sink. The total loss of life is not known precisely, but estimates vary between 120 and 164 personnel - including 25 of her crew - who were either killed by the explosion, or by drowning. Amongst them was Joseph Eades whose body was not recovered, and he is commemorated on the Hollybrook Memorial, Southampton.

From Fifty Years of Sheffield Church Life 1866-1916 by The Rev. W. Odom:
One of our Church Lad's Brigade lads, a communicant member of Heeley Church, had a miraculous escape when the hospital ship, 'Anglia' was sunk in the Channel, and seventy-two lives lost, November 17th, 1915. This we give in his own graphic words:

"I was aboard the hospital ship 'Anglia'. We left Boulogne at 11 a.m., and all went well until we sighted the cliffs of Dover. It was then 12.40 p.m. About a minute later a very loud explosion occurred. We knew what that meant. Everybody did what they ought not to have done: run about and do all sorts of things. Meanwhile the ship took a very nasty tilt; the front part was already under water. Everybody rushed for the boats, but alas they did not know how to manipulate one until two of the seamen went up, and lowered one full. There was a bad swell on at the time, so half of them got tipped out into the water. As far as I remember there was only this one boat lowered. Coming towards us at full speed was a gunboat. She ran right alongside of us, and some of the lucky ones managed to jump on to her as she went by. She came back, and floated about twenty or thirty yards away, and anybody who could swim, swam to it. Of course, there was a great many of us who could not swim, so we stuck to the ship, and watched those who could. The ship gave another nasty tilt, and she now had her stern high in the air. Well, I managed to get a life-belt, and slipped this on. I thought if I could not swim I would float. It was a terrible sight to see the wounded men crawling up the gangway on to the deck, lying there to go down with the ship, some with legs off, others with arms off. We could not help them. As luck would have it I saw a lot of life-belts in a cabin, so I started dashing these out to them. Meanwhile, another boat had come quite close, and started picking some up. She managed to save quite a lot, when, just as she was breaking all records, up she went. In my opinion we were both torpedoed."

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