NOBLE, Joseph Stanley

16564, Private, Joseph Stanley NOBLE
Aged 22

11th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
Killed in Action on Saturday, 1st July 1916

Joseph Stanley NOBLE was born in West Wratting (Linton Q4-1893 3B:500) son of Edith Amy NOBLE. His mother married George Edwin KNIGHTS in 1895.

1901 census...Aged 6, he was at Padlock, West Wratting with his mother (now Edith Amy KNIGHTS)[24] born West Wratting and her husband George Edwin KNIGHTS [27] farm labourer born Whittlesford.

1911 census...Aged 16, now recorded as KNIGHTS, a domestic groom, he was at High Street, Balsham with parents (father now chimney sweep) and grandmother Sarah PLACKITT [68] born West Wratting

George KNIGHTS died in 1912 and his mother married Percy BONESS in 1920, of 124 Fitzroy Street, Cambridge.

Joseph enlisted at Linton

The worst day in British military history, 60,000 casualties, around 20,000 of them dead.
The 11th Suffolks were part of 34th Division, as yet untried in battle, in the front of the attack opposite La Boiselle. At 7.28 a mine containing 60,000 lbs of ammonal was blown, creating a crater (Lochnagar crater) 55 feet deep and 220 feet across. 2 minutes later the attack began, the 11 Suffolks following the 10th Lincolns advancing on a line through the centre of Bailiff Wood. The Germans however were in great strength in La Boiselle and as the Suffolks advanced they immediately came under heavy machine gun fire. The lines of men were quickly reduced to groups of 3 and four and by 8 am the battle was decided. Hundreds lay wounded, a pitiful few had managed to reach the German wire. Occasionally a man rose and tried to get forward, only to fall again. Even those few who did reach the parapet were quickly despatched by flame throwers.

Of all the battalions in the battle of Albert, the 11th Suffolks fared worst, with very nearly 700 casualties (a battalion is nominally just over 1,000 men).

The 11th Suffolk suffered 188 killed on the 1st July, 147 of them have no known grave.

Joseph Noble is commemorated on the Thiepval memorial, pier/face 1C/2A

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

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