Corporal Joseph LLOYD

Royal Field Artillery
33rd Div. Ammunition Column
Service Number:
Date of Death:
18 April 1918 - Killed in Action
Cemetery / Memorial:
Memorial Reference:
Panel 4 to 6

Personal History:

Joseph was born in the June quarter 1880, the son of William (Agricultural Labourer) and Mary Jane Lloyd of 'Penygarig', Crickheath, Shropshire. He had two older brothers, Richard and William, and a younger sister, Mary Ann.  Joseph's father, William, died in the June quarter 1885, and Mary Jane remarried Joseph Downes and were later to live at Frome Lodge, Brown Edge, Buxton.

In 1891 Joseph was living in the home of his grandmother (also Mary Lloyd) with his mother (by then Mary Downes) at Stretton Road, Much Wenlock, Shropshire. (Census RG 12/2101) By 1901 Joseph was already a serving soldier (Census RG 13/851), resident at the Shorncliffe Camp, Folkestone, Kent.

In the September quarter 1907 Joseph married Annie Elizabeth Hancock in Whitchurch, Shropshire and the 1911 Census (RG 14/16041) shows them living at 16 Victoria Road, Much Wenlock, Shropshire, where Joseph was employed as a "Police Constable". At the time of his death in 1918 Joseph's mother was living at 8 Davenham Avenue, Buxton.

Military History:
Joseph's Service papers have not survived the ravages of Second World War bombing, nor does his Medal Index Card give any indication of when he entered the War. However, it is known that at the time he died he had been a serving soldier for 19 or 20 years, suggesting he enlisted in c. 1898, backed up by the 1901 Census record - see above. Records also show that he had enlisted at Buxton.

Bearing in mind his length of service, Joseph would have transferred the 33rd Division, which was not raised until 10th December 1914, sailing for France in November 1915. Alternatively, he could also have left the Army and been recalled to the Colours as a Reservist. The original artillery and Train would not accompany it; instead, it would receive the artillery that had been raised for and trained with the 54th (East Anglian) Division. The move began on 12th November and by 21st November all units had reached the concentration area near Morbecque.

It seems likely that at the time of his death Joseph's column was taking part in the Battle of the Lys, between 9th to 29th April 1918. On 11th April Haig issued his famous backs to the wall order with our backs to the wall and believing in the justice of our cause each us must fight on to the end. Perhaps more important was the arrival of reinforcements in the shape of the 5th and 33rd British Divisions, in which Joseph was serving.

Just a week later, on the 18th, Joseph was killed in action, probably during the phase of the battle known as the First Battle of Kemmel, 17 - 19 April 1918, where the 33rd Division served in Plumer's Second Army. Joseph's body was not recovered and he is now commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial. [Driver 180367 Ernest G. B. Thompson, also of the 33rd Division Ammunition Column, was killed on the same day as Joseph.]

On reporting his death, 'The Buxton Advertiser' quoted a letter from Captain H. Freeman, R.F.A., to Joseph's mother, saying in part: "... during the time he had served under his command, he (Joseph) had become universally liked by Officers, NCOs and men, and in conveying to her the sad news of his death he would like to express .. sincere sympathy ...". 

The 'Advertiser' also reported that Mrs Downes had another son who had volunteered in August 1914 and "had been out three years". [There are a number of Richard and William Lloyds, of appropriate age, who served with a variety of Regiments - without more information it is not possible to identify to which brother this quote refers.]

· I am grateful to Judy Rieck for the photo of Joseph's name on the Memorial
· The Buxton Advertiser, 4th and 11th May 1918
· Rickard, J (27 August 2007), Battle of the Lys, 9-29 April 1918

Link to CWGC Record
Cpl. Lloyd's name on The Tyne Cot Memorial
The Tyne Cot Memorial
Cpl Joseph Lloyd