No.23778, Private, Joseph MIDDLEDITCH
Aged 20

7th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
Killed in Action presumed on Wednesday, 9th August 1916

Joseph Middleditch was born in Castle Camps (Linton Q2-1896 3B:501), baptised in Castle Camps on 31st May 1896, son of John and Rosetta MIDDLEDITCH (née BARRETT).

1901 census...Aged 5, he was in Castle Camps with his father John MIDDLEDITGH[47] bootmaker born Helions Bumpstead; his mother Rosetta [44]; brothers Samuel [21] farm labourer and William [14] a herd boy; sisters Annie [15], Emily [11], Kate [10] and Martha [7]. All the children were born in Castle Camps. His brother Alfred Barrett-Middleditch has not been found in this census and he also had sisters Lydia and Mary.

His father apparently died in 1901 (LUTON Q3)

1911 census...15, a butcher's boy, he was in Castle Camps with his widowed mother and sister Kate. Their address after his death was 9 New Row, Castle Camps

His eldest brother Alfred Barrett-Middleditch was killed serving in France in the Middlesex Regiment in 1916 see here

He enlisted in Linton.
from Lt Col Murphy's "History of the Suffolk Regiment: In the August of 1916 the Pozieres area witnessed the severest fighting as British and Australian troops pushed doggedly towards Thiepval along the route of the old German Second Line. A series of parallel trench lines was pushed out from Pozières towards Thiepval and by the 8th August 7th Suffolks and other troops of 12th (Eastern) Division occupied the fifth line of trenches - Fifth Avenue or Ration Trench. Here they were subjected to repeated and fierce German flammenwerfer (flamethrowers)and bomb attacks, the War Diary reporting..... " 2am - Hostile fire becomes very intense and enemy assaulted Ration Trench unsuccessfully. 5am - Attack renewed and about 70 yards of Ration Trench captured by the enemy."
Later that evening and on into the early hours of the next morning the trench was retaken, the Regimental History recording ..... " Capt Isham's company attacked with great dash and gained an additional two hundred yards."

The Suffolks lost 52 men killed on 9th August 1916, of which only 8 have known graves, the rest are named on the Thiepval Memorial

He fell with a chum from Castle Camps, Richard Rawlinson see here

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

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

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