Joseph Firmstone was born around 1896 at Stapleford, Notts., and lived at Mount Pleasant, Kingswinford. He volunteered for the Worcesters in 1914 and joined the 10th (Service) Battalion. They went to the Western Front in July 1915 after training on Salisbury plain and endured the winter of 1915-16 in trenches near Festubert. After re-training they were among those battalions selected for the first day of the Somme on the 1st July. After the first waves had made little progress the 10th were held until the 3rd July for the delivery of a major assault on the villages of La Boisselle and Ovillers. It was a daunting proposition but at heavy cost the German defenders of La Boisselle were cleared and Private Fred Turrall was awarded the Victoria Cross. They moved to Bazentin and on the 21st attacked near High Wood. They were troubled by enemy machine guns and on the 22nd a party of Worcester bombers including Corporal Joseph Firmstone bravely set out to destroy them. They did not succeed and he was killed in action on the 22nd July. He is commemorated on the Thiepval and Wordsley Memorials.
High Street, Wordsley, West Midlands, DY8 5RU
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