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ADDRESS: Cradley Sports & Social Club, Colley Lane

GPS:  N. 52.463155 W.  -2.085085

BRITISH GRID:  SO 94196 84848

Joseph Tranter - Audio Commentary

Joseph Tranter

Private, 1st Battalion South Wales Borderers. Regimental Number 7886. 
Died 26th September 1914, aged 29 years.

Joseph Tranter was the first name of many to be added to the future Cradley War Memorial. 

When his father died suddenly in 1887, Joseph was only 3 years old. His mother later remarried and by the age of 17 Joseph was living at Banners Lane and working as an anchor smith striker and chainmaker. He married Eliza Detheridge at Holy Trinity Church, Cradley Heath in August 1913.

As a Reservist, Joseph was amongst the first called up to fight when war broke out. His Battalion went to France with the British Expeditionary Force, sailing to Havre on August 13th 1914. September 26th saw the battalion in waterlogged trenches on the Aisne near the Montfaucon and Vendresse Ridges.  Early in the morning they were attacked by the enemy when hand to hand fighting took place with fierce bayonet skirmishes. Sadly Joseph aged 29 years was killed in the action and has no known grave.

He was one of 3,888 men of the British Expeditionary Force with no known grave who died in August, September and early October 1914 in the battles at Mons, Le Cateau, Marne and the Aisne.

Joseph was a founder member of Cradley Liberal Club and in his honour an enlarged photograph of him enclosed in a gold mount and inscribed oak frame was hung in the club’s premises. Joseph sang with the Cradley Baptist Church choir, where his brother was choirmaster, and also sang with Cradley Heath Male Voice Choir.  His name is on the Roll of Honour of ex-pupils of Colley Lane School, Cradley and in the Welsh Book of Remembrance housed in the Temple of Peace, Cardiff. 

Tragically during the war his half-brother Bert Bills, was killed in action and he is also named on Cradley War Memorial.

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