Worcestershire. 16 June 1915

Joe Woolley was a pre-war regular soldier and by 1914 he was married and living at 'Beechlyn', Norton Road, Stourbridge. He was probably called up as a reservist on the outbreak of war and sent to join the 3rd Battalion in the British Expeditionary Force at Aldershot. This battalion took part in the opening campaigns at Mons, the Marne and First Ypres. During the winter of 1914-15 they remained near Ploegsteert Wood and on the 12th March put in a diversionary attack at Spanbroek Mill to assist a major attack at Neuve Chapelle. Casualties were heavy but then they moved to Ypres to meet the next German attack on the city. After being acclimatised to gas and continual shelling they were ordered to mount an attack on the Bellewaerde ridge across the Menin Road. At 4.45 a.m. on the 16th June the Worcesters advanced towards the German lines and gained the first enemy trenches. By the end of the day half a mile had been won but at the cost of over 300 casualties. Among them was Sergeant Joseph Woolley who was killed in action. He was 25 years of age and is commemorated on the Menin Gate, Stourbridge and St. Thomas's church Memorials.

Commemorated at:

Stourbridge Mary Stevens Park

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Mary Stevens Park, Stourbridge, West Midlands, United Kingdom

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