Name of Researcher / Enw’r ymchwylydd: Mavis Williams
Name of Memorial / Enw’r gofeb: Connahs Quay
Name / Enw: Attwood Joseph George
Regiment/Catrawd: 16th Bn Royal Welsh Fusiliers
Service Rank and Number / Rheng gwasanaeth a rhif: Sergeant 241200 (formerly 3398)
Military Cemetery/Memorial / Fynwent milwrol: Etaples Military Cemetery
Ref No Grave or Memorial / Rhif cyfeirnod bedd: LXX1 E 15
Country of Cemetery or Memorial / Gwlad y fynwent neu gofeb: France
Medals Awarded / Medalau a ddyfarnwyd: Victory and British War medals
Date and Circumstances of Death / Dyddiad ac amgylchiadau marwolaeth:
He died of influenza and bronchial pneumonia on 29th October 1918 aged 22 in France, 13 days before the end of the War.
Joseph George Attwood was born in Staffordshire in 1896. He was the brother of John Charles Attwood who was killed in 1915 and is also listed on the memorial. The family history as detailed on census returns can be found on John Charles Attwood’s page. Follow the link.
There is a Flintshire Roll of Honour card for him at the County Archive Office in Hawarden. It was completed by his father. It gives the address Beaconsfield Road, Shotton and the regimental details above except that his rank is described as Company Sergeant Major. It says he served 2 years at the front and died from pneumonia in Etaples* where he was buried. *Etaples Taken from http://www.firstworldwar.com/atoz/etaples.htm
Joseph George Attwood in the UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 tells us that the Sole Legatee was his mother Phoebe Attwood, who was paid £37. 13s 6d on 12th May 1919.
This included his War Gratuity of £22. 10s 0d.
Joseph George Attwood’s service records have survived and are accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk . Not all of it is legible. His attestation papers reveal that he enlisted on 26th June 1915 at Flint. The records include some interesting correspondence some of which is reproduced here.
Regret to inform you your son 241200 CSM J G Attwood Royal Welsh Fusiliers is dangerously ill 26 October at 18 General Hospital Caniers France. Regret permission to visit cannot be granted.
Deeply regret to inform you your son 241200 Sgt J G Attwood Royal Welsh Fusliers died from influenza and broncho pneumonia on 29th october at 18 General Hospital Casniers France. I am to express the sympathy and regret of the Army Council in your sad bereavement
The records include correspondence between the family and the army which shows that the army ‘demoted’ Joseph George to ‘Private’ after his death which of course affected his pension. This is one of the letters that Mr Attwood wrote.
To the officer in charge of Records.
I beg to draw your attention to the enclosed form B104-82. It concerns my son Company Sergeant Major 241200 Joseph George Attwood Royal Welsh Fusiliers whom you have on your form has holding a rank of private which is a mistake. He was Sergeant Instructor at Park Hall Camp Oswestry then went out to France as Sergeant Instructor and while he was out there he was made a Company Sergeant Major. Would you kindly rectify as soon as possible and return correct form
I am yours
Their parents, according to the Flintshire Observer 14th November 1918,(Page 4 Col. 5), Mr & Mr. George Attwood were well known local workers for the English Weslyan Church and Summers’ Patriotic Fund of which Mr. Attwood is treasurer have again suffered bereavement. Their eldest boy J.C. Attwood was killed at Loos, in September 1915 and at 26 years of age left a widow and a child. Now news has been received of the death from pneumonia supervening on influenza of their son Joseph George who had attained the rank of Compnay -Sgt Major in the R.W.F. His illness was of very brief duration as he was only in hospital in France 3 days, and then died. He was a very capable lad both in the army and as a civilian and before joining up acted as organist at the Connah’s Quay Weslyan Church. He was only 19 when he joined up in June 1915. His eldest brother enlisted a month after war was declared.
Joseph George is mentioned in the book ” Soldiers Died in the Great War 1914 – 1918 Royal Welsh Fusiliers Volume 28″
Commonwealth War Graves Commission additional information: Son of George and Phoebe Attwood, of Shotton, Chester.
Joseph George is also remembered on the Hawarden War Memorial.
Thanks to Bill Tyrell, who allowed me access to the Minutes of the the Conservative Club Shotton where in a meeting on the 19th February 1915 the committee voted to give financial help to sixteen widows of the area. Mrs. ATTWOOD, Beaconsfield Road, Shotton, was one of those widows, they were each given 5/-. Please click on the link to read the names of the others who were mentioned in the minutes.