2nd Lieutenant Joseph Henry Haddock

Date of Birth 17th January 1890
Age at Death 28
Date of Death 24 March 1918
Service Number
Military Service 14th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles
Merton Address 23 Graham Road, Wimbledon
Local Memorial Rutlish School, Merton

Additional Information

Joseph Henry Haddock was born in Wimbledon on 17th January 1890. The 1891 census records that he lived with his father, Gerard Haddock ,and his mother, Ellen M Haddock, at 87 Hartfield Crescent, Wimbledon. By 1901 he had a sister Edith and the family had moved to 23 Graham Road. A cousin Robert S. Smith also lived with them. Joseph attended Rutlish school in Wimbledon and in 1911 he was still living at home and working as a bank clerk.

In 1915 he married May Longhurst in the Rochford District in Essex. His enlistment report shows they had a son Geoffrey Joseph born 20th June 1917. They were living at Homeleigh, 22 Beach Avenue, Southend-on-Sea at the time of Geoffrey’s birth. At the time of his death his widow was still living in Beach Avenue.

Second Lieutenant Haddock’s Pension Record shows that he enlisted into the 28th Battalion London Regiment on 8th December 1915. He was transferred to the Army Reserve the following day. He then spent the next 18 months in Southend-on-Sea as a member of the Volunteer Training Corps, a volunteer home defence militia in the UK. On 12th January 1917 he was enlisted as Private into the Royal Irish Rifles and was mobilised. Later that year he applied for Admission to an Officer Cadet Unit with a view to appointment to a Temporary Commission in the regular army for the period of the war. On 28th August 1917, after four months training in the OCU, he was discharged as a private and appointed to a temporary commission as 2nd Lieutenant Royal Irish Rifles

The War Diaries of the 14th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles record that the battalion was disbanded in February 1918 with the troops transferring to other units, just one month before 2nd Lieutenant Haddock’s death in action on 24th March 1918. The report of his death was sent to the War Office by the Officer in Command of the 23rd Entrenching Battalion, to which he was attached at the time. This Battalion was formed from the 14th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles and 11th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

The Entrenching Battalions were put to use in improving the existing defences in anticipation of a German offensive, and could be used as a reserve force if needed. The war diary of the 23rd Battalion (National Archives ref: WO95/664) records that on the morning of 22nd March 1918 the battalion received orders to take up a defensive position between Ham and Offoy and hold the enemy as long as possible. They came under attack on 23rd and 24th March before being relieved by the French at 12 midnight on the 24th/25th March.

The exact circumstances of 2nd Lieutenant Haddock’s death are not recorded and may be unknown. The Standing Committee of Adjustment reported that they had ‘no record of this officer’s body having been recovered’. However, other records show that he was originally buried where he fell. A letter to his widow informed her that his body was to be moved from the ‘a small cemetery of less than forty graves’ near where he fell. An exhumation and reburial document shows that he was found, with a cross on his grave, at Map ref 66.D.J.2y.d.0.1. His body was later exhumed and reburied at the Ham British Cemetary, Muille-Vilette.

2nd Lieutenant Haddock is also remembered on the Rutlish School memorial.


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