Joseph Thompson

Information about birth

Year of birth:
Place of birth:
Gateshead, Durham, England, United Kingdom

General information

Last known residence:
20 Grosvenor Street, Gateshead, Durham, England, United Kingdom

Army information

England, United Kingdom
British Expeditionary Force
Service number:
Enlistment date:
Enlistment place:
Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland, England, United Kingdom
 —  Durham Light Infantry, 13th Bn.  (Last known unit)

Information about death

Date of death:
Place of death:
Reutel, Beselare, Belgium
Cause of death:
Killed in action (K.I.A.)


Tyne Cot Memorial
Panel: 130

Distinctions and medals 2

Points of interest 4

#1 Place of birth
#2 Last known residence
#3 Enlistment place
#4 Place of death (approximate)

My story

Joseph Thompson, a former labourer, was born in 1887 in Gateshead, Durham, England. He was the son of George and Mary Thompson, who are presumed to have died when Joseph was young. Before the war he had previously served 6 years as part of the 4th Voluntary Battalion Durham Light Infantry and 4 years with the Royal Garrison Artillery. On march 24th, 1916, he enlisted at Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland, England. He served as a private in the 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion Durham Light Infantry. On 31st March 1917 he was attached to the 13th Battalion Durham Light Infantry, part of the 68th Brigade, of the 23rd Division.

On the 10th of October 1917 the 13th Battalion Durham Light Infantry relieved the front line troops at the Reutel Crossroads, facing the village of Beselare. The relief was complete on the morning of the 11th, establishing the headquarters at the Butte in Polygon Wood. During the 11th and the night of the 12th the enemy shelled the front and support lines, prompting the headquarters to move south to the edge of Polygon Wood. The Battalion was relieved on the night between the 12th and 13th of October 1917 and moved to Railway dugouts at Zillebeke.

Joseph Thompson, aged 40, was killed in action on October 12th, 1917. Between the 11th and the 12th of October forty men were wounded and five men were killed. Private Thompson was one of the men killed that day. He has no known grave and is remembered on panel 130 of the Tyne Cot Memorial.

Files 1

Sources 4

13 Battalion Durham Light Infantry (The National Archives, Kew (TNA), WO 95/2182/2).
Sources used
Census Returns of England and Wales, 1911 (The National Archives, Kew (TNA), RG14).
Sources used
War Office: Soldiers’ Documents, First World War (The National Archives, Kew (TNA) WO 363).
Sources used
Wilfrid Miles, The Durham Forces in the Field, 1914-18 (London, Cassell and Company, 1920), 195.
Sources used

More information 3