Gunner 121501 Joseph Whycherley Warren

Warren Joseph 96 359x600 Warren Joseph 96 428x600

Killed in Action on Saturday, 28th July 1917, age 30.
Buried in Grave II. A. 20. at Coxyde Military Cemetery, Koksijde, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.

Royal Garrison Artillery, 325th Siege Battery.

Son of Mary E. Warren, of 70, Great Bridge, Tipton, Staffs., and the late Walter Warren.
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: West Bromwich, Resident: Unknown.

First landed France & Flanders, May 1917.
Medal entitlement: British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Commemorated on the Salem Chapel, and St. Peter's, Greets Green memorials.
Commemorated here because he appears on a Tipton memorial.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/90579/

Genealogical Data

Birth of Joseph Wycherley Warren registered December quarter 1886 in Dudley.

1901 Census
27 Sheepwash Lane, West Bromwich, Staffs.
Walter Warren (53, Hairdresser, born Tipton), his wife May E. (45, born Sedgley), and their 7 children: Lillie (23, Dressmaker, born Sedgley), Percival (17, Apprentice Pawnbroking, born Tipton), Joseph (14, born Tipton), Minnie (11, born Tipton), Beatrice (10, born Tipton), Clifford (6, born Tipton), and Charles E. (1, born West Bromwich).

1911 Census
215a Horseley Heath, Tipton, Staffs.
Mary Warren (55, Widow, Newsagent, born Sedgley), and 6 of her 7 surviving children of 13: Lillie (32, Dressmaker, born Sedgley), Joseph (24, Haridresser, born Great Bridge), Minnie (21, Typist, born Great Bridge), Beatrice (20, Assistant, born Great Bridge), Clifford (16, Haridresser's Assistant, born Great Bridge), and Charles (11, Schoolboy, born Great Bridge).

Personal Data

Joseph attested to join the army on 15th November 1915, and was transferred to the Army Reserve on the next day. This would have been under the Derby Scheme (Group Scheme) where a man could attest, that is sign-up, and defer joining until called up under a rota system based on marital status and age. Joseph was called back to the Royal Garrison Artillery on 12th October 1916; this is later than the expected re-call date for a single man born in 1886 (Group 12 - 29th February 1916) and may have resulted from appeals against his re-call.

Joseph was a small man, 5 feet 3½ inches tall with a 32½-inch chest. His occupation was given as Hair Dresser. Joseph underwent training at Queenstown (now Cobh in the Republic of Ireland) and at Prees Heath, Shropshire. With training completed, Joseph left these shores, never to return, on 12th May 1917.

After Joseph's death his outstanding army pay and allowances was paid to his mother, Mary E. in February 1918; this amounted to £2/16/3d (2 pounds, 16 shillings and 3 pence). His War Gratuity of £3/0/0d (3 pounds exactly) was also paid to his mother, in December 1919. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that Joseph had enlisted within the 12 months prior to his death.

A Pension Card exists in relation to Joseph naming his mother as next of kin; there is no evidence that a pension was ever paid.

Joseph's brother, Percival, was to die of wounds on 11th August 1918 whilst serving with the Army Service Corps.

Action resulting in his death

Joseph enlisted with the Royal Garrison Artillery in October 1916 and trained with the 325 Siege Brigade at the Citadel in Plymouth. He embarked with 325 Siege Brigade in Southampton on 12th May 1917, landing in Le Havre on the next day.

On 23rd May, 325 Siege Brigade joined No.1 Heavy Artillery Group at Poperinge where it had recently arrived from the Somme area. They were soon in action, being part of the artillery bombardment for the attack on Messines Ridge on 7th June.

On 22nd June, 325 Siege Brigade moved to the Belgian coast, 3 miles south of Nieuport, in preparation for ‘Operation Hush’ in August 1917. Operation Hush was planned to capture the German position on the Belgian coast held since 1914. There was to be an amphibious landing just north of Nieuport and an attack by land from the south, this was intended to encircle the German coastal position.

The German defenders detected the preparation for ‘Hush’ and launched their own attack on 10th July. This was successful, causing large British casualties and the abandonment of Operation Hush.

325 Siege Brigade remained in position just south of Nieuport and continued their harassing fire on German positions. The War Diary for the 1st Heavy Artillery Group for 28th July records that 325 Siege Battery fired 200 rounds of High Explosives at trench map reference M.23.a.90.34 – M.24.a.27.51 which was a section of the German front line, approximately the location of the current day Nieuport Memorial.

The War Diary for that day also records that 325 Siege Battery had Gunner J . Warren killed, and Gunners R. Witton and D. Stewart and Acting Bombardier F. Freeman wounded. It is likely that they were the crew of a gun caught by German anti-battery fire.

Joseph is buried in Coxyde Military Cemetery, of which the CWGC says : "Coxyde (now Koksijde) was about 5 miles behind the front line. The village was used for rest billets and was occasionally shelled, but the cemetery was found to be reasonably safe. It became the most important of the Commonwealth cemeteries on the Belgian coast and was used at night for the burial of the dead brought back from the front line."

Newspaper Cuttings

Tipton Herald August 25th 1917
Information has been received that Gunner Joseph Warren, of the R.G.A., whose home is at 70 Great Bridge, was killed in action on July 28th. He joined the forces in October 1916, and after being stationed in various places for training, went to France in May last. Previous to enlisting, he was a hairdresser and newsagent carrying on the business of his father who died thirteen years ago. He was well known in Great Bridge and district, and the news of his death came as a shock to everyone. Gunner Warren was hairdresser to his Battery, and the officer who communicated the news to his home, expressed his sympathy and that of the Battery, adding that his death was a great loss to them.
Gunner Warren has two brothers still serving in France: Private Percy Warren, Motor Transport, A.S.C. (later killed in action 11th August 1918), and Gunner Clifford Warren, R.F.A.

Tipton Herald September 1st 1917
WARREN.- Gunner Joseph Warren, Royal Garrison Artillery, killed in action July 28th 1917. Deeply mourned by his mother, sisters and brothers (two still serving in France).
Mrs Warren and family (Newsagents, Great Bridge) tender their sincere thanks for letters of sympathy and kindness shown in their great sorrow.

Tipton Herald July 27th 1918
In Memoriam
WARREN - In loving memory of our dear brother Joe (Great Bridge), who fell in action July 28th 1917. Fondly remembered by Percy (in France), Minnie and niece Queenie.
WARREN - In ever loving memory of my dear sin, Gunner Joseph Warren, RGA, killed in action July 28th 1917
"My thoughts often wander
To a far off lonely grave
His name is often spoken
In the home he died to save."
WARREN - In loving memory of our dear brother, Gunner Joseph Warren, RGA, fell in action July 28th 1917. Ever in the thoughts of his sisters Lillie, Minnie, Beatrice, and always fondly remembered by his brothers Percy and Clifford (in France), and Charlie.

 Warren Percival 96 381x600 
Joseph's brother Percy, died of wounds on 11th August 1918.