Private Joseph Salt
30572, 1st Bn., East Yorkshire Regiment who was killed in action on 16th April 1918, aged 19
Remembered with Honour
Tyne Cot Memorial
Panel 47-48 and 163A
Butcher’s daughter, Elizabeth Smith, was born in 1867 at 21, Devonshire Terrace, Barrow Hill and grew up at 93, Barrow Hill on “The Blocks.” Lodging nearby with the Lindley family in 1891, was Joseph Isaac Salt, a labourer from Coal Aston.
The couple married at Sheffield in (Oct) 1895 and made their home with Elizabeth’s parents and their son Albert at number 93. Their second son, JOSEPH SALT, was born at Barrow Hill in 1899.
Joseph Isaac worked as a hewer in the coal mines and the family had moved to live at 95 Chatsworth Road, Chesterfield by 1901 where their daughter Maggie was born. By 1911, Albert was working from home as a barber and the family had grown to include Maud, 8, Samuel, 6, and Mabel, 2. The children were looked after by a widow, Frances Houlden, as their mother suffered mental health problems and was then resident at Mickleover hospital. Sadly, Albert died in 1912, aged 21.
Joseph “was well known as a swimmer and footballer and was the winner of several prizes” and was working as a barber prior to enlistment.
When military conscription first came into effect, Joseph was still too young to be called up. He attested at Chesterfield in May 1917 after turning 18 years of age and would have been posted to the Training Reserve upon mobilisation.
Following training, Joseph was posted as Private 30572 to the 1st Bn., East Yorkshire Regiment, part of 64th Brigade within 21st Division. The battalion had been in France since 1914 and taken part in a number of actions before Joseph joined them in March 1918.
The Spring Offensive of 1918 was Germany’s attempt to end World War One with a massive German attack on the Western Front.
On 13 April 1918, Joseph’s battalion moved back into the front line in the Wytshaete Sector under cover of darkness to avoid snipers. At 5am on 16 April, “heavy enemy bombardment opened on our front line and on various barrage lines, chiefly in the valleys behind.” At 5.30am, “the enemy launched a heavy attack against the line on our right and against D Coy. The 62nd Brigade was almost at once driven out of their positions and the [?] Platoon of D Company was all killed or captured but the rest of D Coy held fast all day although the enemy three times penetrated into their trenches. The disappearance of 62nd Brigade made the formation of a defensive flank necessary. During the afternoon, the platoon holding North Ho was heavily shelled by our own guns and had to evacuate.”
When the Battalion was relieved by the 9th KOYLI on 19th April, the losses amongst the Other Ranks during the action were found to be 37 killed, 61 missing and 113 wounded. Joseph Salt was one of the men killed in action on 16th April. The war diary notes that, “The magnificent performance of D Company in maintaining their position in face of repeated attacks… is worthy of the highest praise.”
Joseph Salt is remembered on the Tyne Cot Memorial, one of four memorials to the missing in Belgian Flanders which cover the area known as the Ypres Salient. The site marks the furthest point reached by Commonwealth forces in Belgium until nearly the end of the war and bears the names of almost 35,000 officers and men whose graves are not known.
Joseph was posthumously awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
His cousin Albert Salt, 2nd Bn., Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment), was killed just one month later on 21st May 1918.