Unit: 1st Lincolnshire
Commemorated: Romeries Cemetery France
Born in Wildmore, the son of William and Mary Beecham. Aged 30, Joseph was killed in action on the 23rd October 1918, just a few weeks before the end of hostilities
After enlisting at Boston, Joseph was posted to the 1st Battalion of the Lincolnshire Regiment. This was a pre-war regular battalion and was part of 9th Infantry Brigade, of the 3rd Division, an element of the original British Expeditionary Force. At the end of April 1918, Haig placed at Marshall Foch’s disposal 5 Divisions, one of which contained the 1st Lincolns.
By October 1918, the 1st Lincolns were to find themselves involved in the Battle of The Selle. The 62nd Brigade attacked with the 2nd and 1st Lincolns on the right and left respectively. The Northumberland Fusiliers were in support.
To quote from the War Diary:
“The two battalions assembled in the valley north-east and north of Amerval and by 9.30am were able to go forward to the line of the 3rd objective, the River Harpies. Considerable difficulty was, however, experienced in clearing out the enemy from Vendegies. On the right the mist had at first troubled the 2nd Lincolns but, at about 10.00am, the atmosphere cleared and direction was re-established. The advance was vigorously opposed by machine gun fire and heavy shellfire. Despite this the battalion pushed on and by 3.00pm gained the fourth objective.
The 1st Lincolnshire on the left, having first assisted in clearing out the line of the third objective, pushed on beside their comrades of the 2nd battalion to the fourth objective. Here also they were held up by the enemy’s shellfire and dug in for the night. They had lost during the day 15 other ranks killed, Major C.C. Vickers and Captain Harrison and 48 other ranks wounded”.
Amongst those who fell was Joseph.