Private 28027 Joseph Henry (Harry) Woodhouse

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Killed in Action on Sunday, 6th May 1917, age 21.
Buried in Grave IV. D. 6. at Railway Dugouts Burial Ground, Ieper, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.

8th Bn., North Staffordshire Regiment. 57th Brigade of 19th Division.

Younger son of Mr & Mrs Sam Woodhouse, of 17 Hopkins Street, Burnt Tree, Tipton, Staffs.
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Dudley, Resident: Tipton.

First landed France & Flanders, December 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/491002/

Genealogical Data

Birth of Joseph Henry Woodhouse registered December quarter 1895 in Dudley.

1901 Census
9 Hopkins Street, Burnt Tree, Tipton, Staffs.
Samuel Hopkins (36, Cow Keeper, on own account, born Tipton), his wife Lavinia (39, born Tipton), and their 4 children: Helena (19, born Tipton), William (10, born Tipton), Joseph H. (5, born Tipton), and Alice M. (4, born Tipton).

1911 Census
17 Hopkins Street, Burnt Tree, Tipton, Staffs.
Samuel Hopkins (46, Cow Keeper and Milk Seller, born Tipton), his wife Lavinia (49, born Tipton), and 4 of their 5 surviving children of 7: William (20, Milk Seller, born Tipton), Joseph H. (15, Packer's Assistant at Edge Tool Works, born Tipton), Alice Maud (14, born Tipton) and Lilian (8, born Tipton).

Personal Data

After Harry's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £1/18/4d (1 pound, 18 shillings and 4 pence); this was paid to his father, Samuel, in August 1917. His War Gratuity was £3/0/0d (3 pounds exactly), this was also paid to his father in October 1919. Harry had enlisted in June 1916.

Action resulting in his death

On 2nd May 1917, the 8th North Staffs took over about 1000 yards of front line in the Left Sub-Sector of the Hill 60 Sector. This was about 1000 yards South-East of Zillebeke and ran through Armagh Wood.

The days up to 6th May were recorded as being “quiet”, but on 6th May the War Diary records “Enemy artillery active. Considerable increase during the past 24 hours otherwise nothing unusual.” On that day, 2 men of the 8th North Staffs (Privates Woodhouse and Olney) were killed in action.

The report in the Tipton Herald dated 26th May says that Harry Woodhouse was killed by a piece of shell whist he was on sentry duty. Harry is buried in Railway Dugouts Burial Ground.

Newspaper Cuttings

Tipton Herald 26th May 1918
Private Harry Woodhouse.
Private Harry Woodhouse, who was in the 8th North Staffordshire Regiment, the younger son of Mr and Mrs Sam Woodhouse, of 17 Hopkins Street, Burnt Tree, Tipton, has also given his life for his country. He enlisted in June 1916, and went out to France in December, but had only been in the trenches 5 weeks when he was admitted to hospital suffering from trench feet. He had only come back to the fighting line the day before he was killed. He was 21 years of age. His old school chums and friends of Burnt Tree very much regret his death, and much sympathy is felt for his bereaved parents, sisters and brother.
The Captain commanding Private Woodhouse's company writes to say that he was hit by a piece of shell, and was killed at once. He was doing his duty as a sentry, and was at his post when he died. His platoon officer conveyed his sincere regret at the loss of Private Woodhouse.
The Chaplain also writes:- "You will mourn his loss much, but he is gone for evermore from the horrors and miseries of war. He did his duty. He was faithful unto death, and we know the glorious promise for such fidelity."

Tipton Herald 11th May 1918
WOODHOUSE. In ever loving memory of Harry, youngest son of Mr and Mrs Woodhouse, Burnt Tree, who was killed in action in France, May 7th 1917. Always in the thoughts of his mother, father, sisters and brothers. "A greater love hath no man than this, that a man lays down his life for his friends."