14605, Sergeant, Joseph CROMPTON, M.M.
Aged 24

2nd Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
Died of his Wounds on Wednesday 2nd October 1918.

Born in Newmarket in Q1-1894 [Newmarket 3b:525], 2nd son of Joseph and Elizabeth CROMPTON, (née Warren) of 12 Field Terrace Road, Newmarket.

1901 census...Joseph [7] was at 12 Field Terrace Road, Newmarket with his father Joseph[36], stableman born Manchester; his mother Elizabeth [4], born Exning, and his sisters Annie [13] and Millie [11] born Exning and Ethel [2] born Newmarket, and his brother Willie [9] born Newmarket.
His father died in 1909.

1911 census...Joseph [17],a bakers assistant, was at 3 Kimberley Terrace, Field Terrace Road, Newmarket with his widowed mother, brother William and sister Ethel. There were new siblings, Gladys[10]; Kathleen [2] and Edward [7]; Walter [5].

His entry in "Our Exning Heroes reads:
Crompton, Joseph: Born in Newmarket, 1894 and educated at St. Mary's Boys' School, and worked for Mr. W. Cook, confectioner. When war broke out he joined up, on September 1st, 1914, in the 8th Suffolks, and was afterwards, when in France, transferred to the 2nd Suffolks as a Sergeant. He was only in training in England about six months before going to France, and took part in nearly all the big battles, and won the Military Medal at Glaucan Wood.
He was a member of the Congregational Church, and when a boy attended their Sunday School.

Late September/early October 1918 the battalion were involved in the Battle of Cambrai in the Flesquieres-Rumilly-Seranvillers area
From the 26th September to 10th October 1918 the 2nd Battalion, Suffolks was involved in several costly encounters with the enemy. On the night of 26-27 September the 2nd Suffolks crossed the Canal de Nord. The canal was dry, as it was still under construction, with steep brick sides and could only be negotiated with the help of ladders. During this crossing two companies came under artillery and machine gun fire. On the morning of the 27 September the battalion took part in the capture of the village of Flesquieres. The casualties in this action amounted to 150. On the 30 September the battalion moved up to trenches between Ribecourt and Marcoing in readiness for an attack on Rumilly on 1 October. This was a day long battle in which the casualties amounted to 180. On the 6 October the battalion moved to Masnieres in readiness for an attack on the village of Seranvillers on the 8th. It is not possible to ascertain exactly when Sgt Crompton was wounded.

According to "Exning Heroes" he had been awarded the Military Medal at Glaucan Wood ( which must surely be Glencorse Wood). Consulting the Suffolk Museum, Glyn Thomas then explained the 8th battalion were in action there at the time, and the 8th was then Joseph's battalion. He, with many others, was transferred to the 2nd battalion when the 8th was disbanded in February 1918. His award of the MM was gazetted 16th October 1917 (one of 15 of the battalion that day) and it is almost certain he won it on 31st July 1917.

He died at 34 Casualty Clearing Station, Grevillers

His medals - photo courtesy of Suffolk Regiment Museum,Bury St. Edmunds, who hold them

© Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Joseph is buried in Grevillers British Cemetery, France. Ref:XV.E.5
and also commemorated on the Roll of Honour of the Congregational Church, Newmarket
and is also commemorated on the Roll of Honour in St Philip & St Etheldreda's Church, Exning Road.

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details