Joseph Benjamin Cannon

Informations sur naissance

Date de naissance:
Lieu de naissance:
Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire, Angleterre, Royaume-Uni

Informations générales

Ouvrier, triage de Cigares, Emballeur

Informations service militaire

Angleterre, Royaume-Uni
Force armée:
British Expeditionary Force
Numéro de service:
Incorporation nom de lieu:
Poplar, Middlesex, Angleterre, Royaume-Uni
 —  London Regiment, 2/2nd Bn. (Royal Fusiliers)  (Dernière unité connue)

Informations sur décès

Date de décès:
Lieu de décès:
Poelcapelle, Belgique
Cause du décès:
Killed in action (K.I.A.)


Poelcapelle British Cemetery
Parcelle: XLII
Rangée: F
Tombe: 9

Points d'intérêt 3

#1 Lieu de naissance
#2 Lieu d'enrôlement
#3 Lieu du décès (approximatif)

Mon histoire

Private Joseph Benjamin Cannon served in the London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers) 2/2nd Battalion, part of the 173rd Brigade of the 58th (London) Division. The Division attacked on the 26th of October 1917, the opening day of the Second Battle of Passchendaele, the last stage of the Third Battle of Ypres.
The Division was flanked by the 63rd (Naval) Division on its right and the 57th Division on its left. The 58th Division’s advance was carried by the 173rd Brigade, which attacked with the 2/2nd Battalion, the 2/3rd Battalion London Regiment and the 2/4th London Regiment; the 2/1st Battalion remained in reserve. Their orders were to advance from a line, roughly running from Beek Houses to Meunier House and the Brewery, East of the village of Poelkapelle. The attack was to follow the direction of the Poelkapelle-Westrozebeke road, capturing a line some seven hundred yards East of Poelkapelle. The 2/2nd Battalion and the 2/3rd Battalion London Regiment were to capture and consolidate the first objective, after which the 2/4th Battalion was to move through them and capture the final objective.
The Battalions took up positions in the front line on the night of the 24th and 25th of October. Conditions were harsh. It rained unceasingly and the terrain turned into a bog. The men in the shell-holes had ample cover and became soaking wet and the men and their guns alike were caked with mud. Throughout the 25th and the 26th of October the German’s shelled the 2/2nd Battalion’s front line and assembly positions, causing heavy casualties.
At 5.30 a.m. on the 26th of October the attacking troops moved forward behind a creeping barrage. However the Battalion had difficulties keeping up with the barrage, as the companies were slowed down by the muddy and nearly impassable ground. On top of this problem the barrage was too weak and didn’t succeed in taking out the German machine-gun positions in concrete bunkers and pill-boxes. Consequently the 2/2nd Londons were enfiladed by the German machine-guns, as soon as they rose from their line.
The condition of the ground was so bad that the Battalion was mainly forced to advance on the left of the Battalion’s sector, because the whole right had been inundated. The whole area between Tracas Farm-Papa Farm Road and the Lekkerboterbeek stream was a nearly impassable morass. The constant shelling had destroyed the banks of this irrigation canal. Therefore the rainwater had no way out, flooding the whole area. Hence all companies of the Battalion were forced to advance in the direction of Cameron Houses, a heavily fortified German strongpoint.
“C” Company on the right flank advanced just South of the Tracas Farm-Papa Farm Road. They halted at a German position 200 yards East of Tracas Farm, and made no further progress, owing to the state of the ground. “D” Company pushed forward just North of the Tracas-Papa Road and encircled and captured the German strongpoint 200 yards East of Tracas Farm. “B” Company captured a small German position about 200 yards West of Cameron Houses. On reaching the edge of the marsh the Company got stuck and only two sections managed to progress forward. “A” Company had the hardest task of all. They had to capture a group of concrete blockhouses, called Cameron Houses. With the assistance of the two sections from “B” Company, “A” Company managed to take five out of the six pill-boxes, together with twenty-seven prisoners. They came within one hundred yards from the Battalion’s first objective, having advanced the furthest of all the Companies.
At 7.20 a.m. the Germans launched a counter-attack, under cover from excellent marksmen. The 2/3rd Londons, whose left flank was exposed, were forced to withdraw. And the 2/1st Londons had to be sent forward from the Brigade’s reserve.
With the 2/3rd Londond in retreat the 2/2nd Battalion’s flank was in the air. On top of the dire situation, the Germans launched an attack out of the 6th pill-box, which had remained in German hands, forcing “A” Company to retreat and abandon Cameron Houses. Elements of “B” and “D” Companies withdrew with “A” Company. However “C”- and the remainder of “D” Company held their position, as they didn’t suffer from the counter-attack.
A second counter-attack was repulsed by the Battalion, which had been reinforced by a Company of the 2/1st Battalion. The 2/2nd Battalion had roughly been driven back to their original jump-off line, where they remained in the line until midnight, when they were relieved by the 2/7th Londons.
Private Joseph Benjamin Cannon probably didn’t take part in the attack, as his remains were found in the village of Poelkapelle, West of the Jump-off line. It’s highly likely Joseph Benjamin Cannon was killed due to German shelling while they Battalion was lying in the assembly area. He was reburied later on at the Poelcapelle British Cemetery.

Sources 3

2/2 Battalion London Regiment , (The National Archives, KEW (TNA), WO 95/3001/4 ).
Autre référence
Grey W. E., 2nd City of London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers) in the Great War, (London, The Headquarters of the Regiment, 1929), pg. 244-249.
Sources utilisées
McCarthy C., The Third Ypres Passchendaele. The Day-by-Day Account, (London, Arms & Armour Press, 1995), pg. 129.
Sources utilisées

Complément d’informations 3