Joseph Edward REYNOLDS was born in the June Quarter of 1921, the only son of Joseph & Maggie Reynolds (nee Beaven). His parents, Joseph & Maggie had been married on the 26th June 1912 in the Parish Church, Hope, Flintshire:-
Joseph REYNOLDS, 26, Bachelor, Grocer’s Assistant, Bannel, Pennyfford, William REYNOLDS, Railway Servant & Maggie BEAVON, 27, Spinster, Lower Mountain, William BEAVON (Deceased), Market Gardener. (After Banns).
Witnesses:- Henry Thomas ASBURY & Ann Jane REYNOLDS.
Joseph Reynolds is seen on the 1911 census living at The Bannel, Mold, Flintshire, with his family. His father, William Reynolds, 55, was head of the household and a Platelayer (Railway), his mother was Mary Reynolds, 55, and they tell us that they had been married 26 years and 2 children had been born to them and were still living. Their only son , Joseph Reynolds, 25, was a Shop Assistant and was single. Their only daughter, Ann Jane Reynolds, 23, and single was a Domestic. They had all been born in Hawarden according to the census, although on the 1891 census, William had been born in Pentrobin, Flintshire and the others born in Bannel.
Maggie Beaven is also seen on the 1911 census, living with her parents at Lower Mountain, Hope, Nr. Mold (5 rooms). Her father William Beaven, 65, is head of the household and he was a Farmer, born in Hawarden, Flintshire. Her mother, Elizabeth,63, tells us that they had been married for 42 years and 10 children had been born, but sadly 1 died. Maggie, 25, was single and a Farmer’s daughter assisting Dairy Work. Both Mother and daughter had been born in Hope, Flintshire.
I can find nothing else about the family leading up to 1939, except the birth of Joseph Edward in 1921 when he was born in the June quarter of that year (Flintshire (Mold) HAW/27A/77).
The 1939 National Register (Taken on the 29th September 1939) shows the family living at Haford Owen Hope,Wrexham, Penyffordd, Hawarden, Flintshire, Wales. This address is rather confusing as Penyffordd is in the Parish of Hawarden, Flintshire, but close to the border with Wrexham, so I don’t know how the authorities managed to put Wrexham in the address, but that is how “Find my Past” have transcribed it. This source gives us dates of birth, which is helpful. Joseph Reynolds had been born on the 8th of December 1885 and was described as a Small Farmer. Maggie Reynolds had been born on the 14th June 1885 and as most married women on this register ,who did not have a job, was described as doing “Unpaid Domestic Duties.“ William S. Reynolds had been born on the 25th April 1913 and was a Clerk (Builders & Public Works Contractor). Joseph E. Reynolds had been born on the 7th March 1921 and was an Agricultural Labourer.
I do not know anything about Joseph’s early or teenage years but on the above register he was not yet in the Forces. Any information would be gratefully received.
So we know that when war broke out on the 3rd September 1939, Joseph Edward was not in the war, but as he was 18 he would have to get involved.
Your Country needs you. – On the day Britain declared war on Germany, 3 September 1939, Parliament immediately passed a more wide-reaching measure. The National Service (Armed Forces) Act imposed conscription on all males aged between 18 and 41 who had to register for service.
Joseph may have already enlisted but was waiting for orders, I don’t know, so again any information would be appreciated. But he was to find himself in the 3rd Bn. of the Monmouthshire Regiment.
The 3rd Battalion was mobilised at the same time as the 2nd Battalion as part of the 159th Infantry Brigade, alongside the 4th Battalion, King’s Shropshire Light Infantry and the 1st Battalion, Herefordshire Regiment, part of the 53rd (Welsh) Infantry Division and trained alongside it in Northern Ireland and England. In May 1942 the battalion, together with the rest of the 159th Brigade, were transferred to the 11th Armoured Division and trained for another two years before, on 14 June 1944, the battalion landed in Normandy, just eight days after D-Day. They spent several weeks attempting to break out of the bridgehead in the vicinity of Caen as part of Operation Goodwood and Operation Bluecoat*. On 5 August they were nearly surrounded by enemy forces on Bas Perier Ridge and suffered heavy casualties and were reduced to half strength, forcing them to temporarily amalgamate with the 1st Battalion, Royal Norfolk Regiment of the 185th Brigade, of 3rd Division, which was temporarily attached to the 11th Armoured. It was during the fighting that eventually lead to Corporal Sidney Bates, of the 1st Royal Norfolks, being posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross.
*Joseph Edward would probably be fighting in these operations. (See below)
Reinforced, the battalion advanced after the retreating German forces, passing through Belgium and taking part in the liberation of Antwerp in early September 1944. They moved into the Netherlands as part of the force protecting the flanks of the airborne troops that had landed in Operation Market Garden. The commanding officer of the battalion, Lieutenant Colonel Hubert Gerald Orr, was killed on 25 September 1944 at Sint Anthonis along with the Commanding Officer of the 3rd Royal Tank Regiment. In November 1944 they took part in the Battle of Broekhuizen (also known as the Battle of the Venlo Pocket).
In February 1945 they broke through the Schlieffen line after which they were withdrawn to Belgium where they were re-equipped for the advance into Germany. In April 1945 they crossed the Rhine into the Teutoburg Forest where they had the task of clearing the road to Ibbenbüren. The battalion encountered very heavy resistance and failed to achieve its objective. Corporal Edward Thomas Chapman was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions during this action.
Such were the battalion’s casualties (40 killed in action, 80 wounded) that it took no further part in the conflict and was replaced in the 159th Brigade by the 1st Battalion, Cheshire Regiment. The battalion was transferred to the 115th Independent Infantry Brigade. It was disbanded in January 1946. Throughout the whole campaign, the battalion had suffered 1,156 casualties, including 67 officers, 25 killed, and 1,089 other ranks, with 242 (of 267?) of them paying the ultimate price.
Operation Goodwood order of Battle.
The 3rd Monmouthshire Regt. was part of the 159th Infantry Brigade
Operation Goodwood was a British offensive in the Second World War, that took place between 18 and 20 July 1944 as part of the battle for Caen in Normandy, France. The objective of the operation was a limited attack to the south, from the Orne bridgehead, to capture the rest of Caen and the Bourguébus Ridge beyond. At least one historian has called the operation the largest tank battle that the British Army has ever fought.
Goodwood was preceded by Operations Greenline and Pomegranate in the Second Battle of the Odon west of Caen, to divert German attention from the area east of Caen. Goodwood began when the British VIII Corps, with three armoured divisions, attacked to seize the German-held Bourguébus Ridge, the area between Bretteville-sur-Laize and Vimont and to inflict maximum casualties on the Germans. On 18 July, the British I Corps conducted an attack to secure a series of villages to the east of VIII Corps; to the west, the II Canadian Corps launched Operation Atlantic, synchronised with Goodwood, to capture the Caen suburbs south of the Orne River. When the operation ended on 20 July, the armoured divisions had broken through the outer German defences and advanced 7 mi (11 km) but had been stopped short of Bourguébus Ridge, only armoured cars having penetrated further south and beyond the ridge.
While Goodwood failed in its primary aim, it forced the Germans to keep powerful formations opposite the British and Canadians on the eastern flank of the Normandy beachhead and Operation Cobra, the First US Army attack which began on 25 July, caused the weaker German defences opposite to collapse.
Operation Bluecoat – From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Operation Bluecoat was a British offensive in the Battle of Normandy, from 30 July until 7 August 1944, during the Second World War. The geographical objectives of the attack, undertaken by VIII Corps and XXX Corps of the British Second Army (Lieutenant-General Miles Dempsey), were to secure the road junction of Vire and the high ground of Mont Pinçon.
The attack was made at short notice to exploit the success of Operation Cobra by the First US Army after it broke out on the western flank of the Normandy beachhead and to exploit the withdrawal of the 2nd Panzer Division from the Caumont area, to take part in Unternehmen Lüttich (Operation Liège) a German counter-offensive against the Americans.
Operation Bluecoat – July 30 – August 6, 1944
Also – this may be of interest – it is a Forum:-
3rd Battalion Monmouthshire Regiment
HISTORY INFORMATION – excerpt from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Citaition for Joseph:-
The Allied offensive in north-western Europe began with the Normandy landings of 6 June 1944. For the most part, the men buried at Banneville-la-Campagne War Cemetery were killed in the fighting from the second week of July 1944, when Caen was captured, to the last week in August, when the Falaise Gap had been closed and the Allied forces were preparing their advance beyond the Seine.
When Joseph Edward was killed he was buried, probably near where he died, near Rochen, France, the CWGC give the co-ordinates – Sh7F/5 1/50.000 986242. Then he was reburied on the 12th August 1946 at Banneville-La-Campagne War Cemetery.
His parents, were alive to bear the grief and bereavement of losing their only son, and Joseph Reynolds died in the March quarter of 1966 age 80 years (Flintshire –Hawarden –Vol. 8a Page 581).
While Maggie Reynolds was to also survive and suffer the death of her only son and her husband Joseph, as I believe she died in the December quarter of 1976 (WREXHAM/M Vol. 24, Page 1210).
They were together to see his name added to the WW2 War Memorial sited inside the Penyffordd & Penymynydd War Memorial Institute. He was very much loved.
Joseph Edward is also remembered on the Hope WW2 War Memorial, please click on the link.