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Joseph Greenwood BANCROFT

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Forename(s): Joseph Greenwood

Place of Birth: Ardwick, Lancashire

Service No: 2713

Rank: Private

Regiment / Corps / Service: Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding Regiment)

Battalion / Unit: 'A' Coy 1/6th Battalion

Division: 49th (West Riding) Division

Age: 26

Date of Death: 1915-10-22

Awards: ---

CWGC Grave / Memorial Reference: IV. C. 19.


CWGC Memorial: ---

Non-CWGC Burial: ---


Additional Information:

Joseph Greenwood Bancroft was the son of Joseph Greenwood Bancroft and Mary Ann Bancroft, née Whitaker. Joseph, senior, was born at Stanbury and Mary at Grassington, Yorkshire.

1891 Manchester, Lancashire Census: 141, Tipping Street, Ardwick - Joseph G. Bancroft, aged 2 years, born Ardwick, Manchester, son of Joseph G. and Mary A. Bancroft.

1901 Manchester, Lancashire Census: 141, Tipping Street, Ardwick - Joseph G. Bancroft, aged 12 years, born Manchester, son of Joseph and Mary A. Bancroft.

1911 Sutton-in-Craven, Yorkshire Census: 2, Bridge Terrace, Sutton Mill - Joseph Greenwood Bancroft, aged 22 years, born Manchester, Lancashire, son of Mary Ann Bancroft, widow.

The British Army Service Record for Joseph Greenwood Bancroft exists but may be incomplete.

Joseph is listed in the Nominal Roll of the 1/6th Battalion Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment): Pte J.G. Bancroft.

British Army WW1 Medal Rolls Index Cards: Pte Joseph G. Bancroft, 2713, W. Rid. R. Theatre of War first served in: (1) France. Date of entry therein: 14.4.15. D. of W. 22.10.15.

British Army WW1 Medal and Award Rolls: Pte Joseph Greenwood Bancroft, 6/2713, 1/6 W. Rid. R. K. in A. 22.10.15.

Army Registers of Soldiers' Effects: Pte Joseph Greenwood Bancroft, 2713, 1/6 W. Riding Regt. Date and Place of Death: 22.10.15. In action. To whom Authorised/Amount Authorised: Mother - Mary A. £8 12s. 1d.

UK, WW1 Pension Ledgers and Index Cards, 1914-1923: card(s) exist for Joseph. Name(s) on card(s): Dependant: Mrs Ann Bancroft. Relationship to soldier: Mother. Address: 2, Bridge Terrace, Sutton in Craven, Nr Keighley.

See also: ‘Guiseley Terriers: A Small Part in The Great War – A History of the 1/6th Battalion, Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding) Regiment’ by Stephen Barber (2018).

Data Source: Craven’s Part in the Great War - original CPGW book entry

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Entry in West Yorkshire Pioneer Illustrated War Record:

BANCROFT, Joe, 1st West Riding Regiment, son of Mrs. Bancroft of Holme Bridge, Sutton, killed Oct. 22.


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Private Joseph Greenwood BANCROFT

Private Joseph Greenwood BANCROFT

Regiment / Corps / Service Badge: Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding Regiment)

Regiment / Corps / Service Badge: Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding Regiment)

Divisional Sign / Service Insignia: 49th (West Riding) Division

Divisional Sign / Service Insignia: 49th (West Riding) Division

Data from Soldiers Died in the Great War 1914 - 1919 Records

Soldiers Died Data for Soldier Records


Forename(s): Joseph Greenwood


Residence: Sutton-in-Craven, Yorks

Enlisted: Skipton, Yorks

Number: 2713

Rank: Private

Regiment: Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment)

Battalion: 1/6th Battalion


Died Date: 22/10/15

Died How: Killed in action

Theatre of War: France & Flanders


Data from Commonwealth War Graves Commission Records

CWGC Data for Soldier Records


Forename(s): Joseph Greenwood

Country of Service: United Kingdom

Service Number: 2713

Rank: Private

Regiment: Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment)

Unit: 1st/6th Bn.

Age: 26


Died Date: 22/10/1915

Additional Information: Son of Joseph Greenwood Bancroft and Mary Ann Bancroft, of Sutton-in Craven, Keighley. (CWGC Headstone Personal Inscription: TO LIVE IN HEARTS WE LEAVE BEHIND IS NOT TO DIE)

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War Diary of the 1/6th Battalion Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment)

22 OCTOBER 1915

2 p.m. No. 2713, Pte J.G. Bancroft, bullet wound to head, died about 5 p.m. buried by Chaplain, 23rd Talana Farm.

England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966


BANCROFT Joseph Greenwood of Sutton-in-Craven Yorkshire private 6th battalion the West Riding regiment died 22 October 1915 in Belgium on active service Administration London 20 June to Mary Ann Bancroft widow. Effects £115 13s. 6d.

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West Yorkshire Pioneer and East Lancashire News

West Yorkshire Pioneer and East Lancashire News

Private Joseph Greenwood Bancroft

Talana Farm Cemetery

Talana Farm Cemetery

CWGC Headstone

Courtesy of Aurel Sercu, Boezinge, Belgium

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29 October 1915


Mrs. Bancroft, of Bridge Terrace, Sutton, has received the bad news that her second son, Private J. G. Bancroft, was killed at the Front on Saturday last. Pte. Bancroft joined the 1st 6th Duke of Wellington's last September, and is twenty-six years of age.

Prior to joining the Colours he was employed as assistant manager at the Central Co-operative Stores. Of an exceptionally cheerful disposition, Pte. Bancroft was much esteemed by all he came in contact with, and especially by the Committee of the Co-operative Society, with whom he was a valued servant. Much sympathy is felt both for Mrs. Bancroft and family.

05 November 1915

SUTTON - Memorial Service

At the Baptist Chapel on Sunday morning last a large congregation assembled to show their last mark of respect to the late Private J.G. Bancroft, who was killed in France on Saturday, October 23rd. The service was attended by the Committee of the Co-operative Society, and the Committee of the Sutton Mill Institute, of which Private Bancroft was a member. The Rev. F.W. Pollard made fitting allusion to his death, and read letters which he had received from Private Bancroft while at the front. The choir sang the anthem, 'There's a land beyond the setting sun.'

06 October 1916


A service in memory of the late Captain Cedric F. Horsfall, son of Sir John and Lady Horsfall, Hayfield, Glusburn, who was killed in France on the 18th September, was held on Sunday morning in the Sutton Baptist Church. The large chapel was crowded, and amongst those present were Mrs. Cedric Horsfall, the Mayor of Keighley (Mr. W. A. Brigg), with his mace bearer; Sir John and Lady Horsfall, Miss Horsfall, Miss Dora Horsfall, Miss C. Horsfall, Mrs. Norman Walker, Captain and Mrs. J. Donald Horsfall, Mrs. Curry, Mr. and Mrs. F. W. Petty, Mr. Tom Spencer (Lyndhurst), Mr. Peter Smith, M.P., Mr. W. E. Foster (Keighley), Major C. P Case, Captain Ray Marriner, Mr. John Clough, Mr. F. J. Wilson, Mr. James Woodrow, and Mr. Edgar Naylor.

At the commencement of the service the organist (Mr. Joseph Petty) played 'O rest in the Lord', and at the conclusion of the service the Dead March in 'Saul' was played, the congregation standing whilst it was being played. The choir, conducted by Mr. Joseph Overend, sang the anthem 'There is a Land'. The service was opened by the singing of 'O God our help in ages past'.

The preacher was the pastor (Rev. F. W. Pollard) who said it was nearly a year since the memorial service for Private Joseph Bancroft was held. He was killed in the trenches on October 23rd last year. Fred Simpson and Walter Haggas had been reported missing and no further news had yet been received concerning their fate. Percy Stell and Stanley Archibald, who went through the Gallipoli campaign, were also reported missing. Tom Summersgill, a boy who used to attend the Junior Endeavour Society and the Band of Hope, was killed in July, and now the awful shadow of death again rests upon them, and again they were realising how terrible were the sacrifices the war. The glamour of war was now gone. The fateful week that brought the news of the death of Captain Horsfall would long be remembered for its records of the loss our country sustained of men of special prominence, highly gifted, and with the promise of useful and glorious careers. Raymond Asquith, Captain Henderson and the son of the Rt. Hon. Pike Pease were killed during that week, and the tragedy of those losses was emphasised when news came of the death of Captain Cedric Horsfall. He was indeed worthy to take his place with the best of those who had fallen, by virtue of his noble character and attainments, and by the rich promise of his life. There was in his character much which marked him out for future service in the neighbourhood, in the county and in the country. His education was crowned by his winning highest honours at Cambridge University. He was a true gentleman, the very perfection of kindly consideration for others. They also mourned the death of two others, Lance-Corporal Lewis Binns and Private Albert Binns, both of Glusburn. The first was killed in action on the 11th September. Albert Binns had died during the week as a result of wounds received in action. These men had fallen in defence of their country and its noble ideals, in defence of the cause of freedom and justice, honour and truth. The quarrel thrust upon them was not of their seeking. Their friend, Captain Horsfall, volunteered his services in the very early days of the war. There were many reasons why he might have declined the call home for business considerations; but a noble spirit of chivalry determined him to make the greater choice, and the appeal that came to him in the hour of his country's need met with a noble one. They must see to it that these great sacrifices were not made in vain.

On the Hayfield family vault in the Sutton Baptist burial ground was a beautiful laurel wreath, and also a splendid array of arum lilies.

13 October 1916


Writing in the Parish Magazine on the war, the Vicar of Sutton (Rev. A.R. Light) gives a list of men from the Parish of Sutton, who have fallen in defence of their country as follows:-Arnold Healey, Walter Haggas, Lyall Taylor, Edmund Wilkinson, Norman Riley, Nelson W. Petty, Richard Whitehall, Albert Wm. Tune, Frederick W. Thompson, Henry Taylor, Joseph G. Bancroft, Cedric Fawcett Horsfall.
Mr. Light also says: "I have not in the Magazine mentioned by name those from this place who have given their lives for their country, not because I have forgotten such promising young men as Henry Taylor, and others whose names hang in the Church porch, and, indeed, as I write this, I fear lest it may even be dimly thought that one may seem to be valued more than another. All who are fighting are equally dear to God, and it is also true to say that both rich and poor are giving their best, offering on an altar watered with tears those whose lives are so much to them. All those boys who formed our first patrol of Scouts have almost gone to the front, and only last week we heard of Reginald Ellison being wounded, but we hope his life will yet be spared.

To every mother whose heart aches with anxiety or for actual loss, I offer most true sympathy, whether such are connected with us in the worship of Sutton Church or not, and one cannot help feeling in such times as these that religious differences are not, and cannot be again, as great and as dividing as they have seemed in the past, and that all are one family of God. May each one of these, who will never enter into our lives here again, rest in peace."

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21 May 1915


In a letter to a friend, Private Joe Bancroft, who before the outbreak of war was employed in the grocery department at the Sutton Mill Co-operative Society, writes:- "I have only seen one German yet. I had a pot at him but he 'bobbed'. The Germans use the periscope a good deal, and we do the same. The troops opposite I fancy are Saxons. They are so quiet. The last lot were the Prussian Guards, a very noisy lot. One day some of our fellow shouted across to their trenches, "To ------ with the Kaiser". The answer came back, "Yes, we say the same. I wish I was back in London." In referring to the Christmas incident, Private Bancroft says it was no fable. "One of our soldiers I was speaking with said it would have happened at Good Friday, but their officer said 'No, you would be having tea with them.' Last week we were shelled in our billets and they did some damage. Our aeroplanes seem to do far more work than those of the Germans, also our artillery. The aviators are very plucky. The buildings around here are more or less shelled, and look very dilapidated. It is a shame to see nice farms ruined. If the people over yonder saw them they would waken up and do their part to get this job finished. You cannot understand what war is like until you are in it. I am about three miles from Belgium and if my chance comes I will do my bit for poor Belgium. The tales about the German treatment are all too true."

29 October 1915


On Tuesday morning, Mrs. Bancroft, of Holme Bridge, Sutton, received news that her son, Pte. Joseph Bancroft, had been killed in the trenches on Saturday morning last. Pte. Bancroft was very widely known in the district, and his death is deeply deplored. Prior to joining the 1st Duke of Wellington's, he was employed in the Sutton Mill Co-operative grocery stores, where his services were greatly valued by the committee. His courtesy and desire to please were acknowledged and appreciated by its members. Although not a member of the Sutton Baptist Church, he was a regular worshipper, and took a great interest in the Young Men's Bible Class, being treasurer at the time of joining the army. He is the first connected with the Baptist Sunday School and Church to lay down his life. His comrades at the front are greatly distressed at his death.

The following has been received by his mother, with whom great sympathy is felt:- "Dear Madam, - I am sorry to inform you that your son, Private J. Bancroft, was killed in the trenches yesterday (Saturday). He was a good soldier and always did his work well, and a great favourite with both officers and men. You will be glad to know he suffered no pain. Please accept the deepest sympathy of officers and men of the A Company, 1st Duke of Wellington's Regiment. - Capt. Nicholson."

05 November 1915


Memorial Service at the Baptist Church

On Sunday morning last, a service to the memory of the late Pte. Joe Bancroft, of the 1st 6th Duke of Wellington's Regiment, who was killed in the trenches on Saturday, October 23rd, was held in the Baptist Church, the pastor (Rev. F.W. Pollard) being the preacher. The large congregation was representative of all denominations in the district, there being present the committee of the Sutton Mill Co-operative Society, his fellow workers (shop assistants), members of the Bible Class, for who Pte. Bancroft acted as treasurer, and the 2nd Sutton Troop of Boy Scouts. The service opened with the hymn 'Nearer my God to Thee', followed by the anthem 'There is a land', under the leadership of Mr. Joseph Overend. The story to the children of heroic deeds done by the Red Cross Society was very appropriate to the occasion.

Mr. Pollard based his remarks upon the text from John xv., 13, 'Greater love hath no man than he lay down his life for his friends'. His said: "We are met here this morning to pay tribute and grateful respect to the memory of our dear friend who has been killed upon the battlefield, and your presence in such numbers shows how deeply we all feel his loss. None of us realised it, that he would be taken. It seemed the last thing in our thoughts that his brief, bright life should come so soon to a tragic end. He is the first of our brave lads to fall. It is true that three have been reported missing: Walter Haggas, Fred Simpson and Percy Stell. Recently news has been received that Walter Haggas is still living in the neighbourhood of Berlin. We cling to the hope that our friends who have cost us so much anxiety may yet be heard of. Our friend is the first to fall, and when we heard the news our hearts were wrung with anguish: all of us loved him. He was so bright and cheerful in his disposition and a favourite of all who knew him, young and old alike. He bears a name that we shall remember with thankfulness as long as life lasts. The name of one who was faithful and true, to the highest and best that was in him, and in the spirit of our text, cheerfully giving himself for those he loved and for those who called him friend."

In one of the earlier letters received by Mr. Pollard he wrote: "Before I enlisted I counted the cost, I studied about it no little, and now, after six months of hard training, if it was to do now I should just do the same; in fact I don't see how I could do any other way. In your letter you referred to Mr. Wilson's lads (Lothersdale) being fairly in at it. It has to be hoped they will come through. If we don't come back, it's a good cause we are fighting for, and that's worth something."

In another letter, said Mr. Pollard, he showed the true Christian spirit. In answer to Mr. Pollard's letter he wrote: "As regards billet life, it is best to be in at it to know. We have all sorts here, all good-hearted chaps, and so long as you keep straight I think you help others who have need of it. Some might laugh at you occasionally, but then . . . . . It does not bother me."

"Here," said Mr. Pollard, "you have a spirit of courage manifested in camp life." In another letter which Mr. Pollard referred to as showing the self-sacrifice of the man, he wrote: "A few months ago I never thought I should be in the army, but things have moved fast since then . . . . As regards credit being given to us it is not us, but I think it is the mothers that should have it."

"These extracts," continued Mr. Pollard, "speak more powerfully than any words a man could; you all knew him and these words represent the man. He met his death while playing the handyman, preparing a meal for his comrades, and he died while on an errand of loving service. Our friend was steadfast to the duties to which he had given his life, and today we lift up our hearts in gratitude to God for the life lived, and we pray that his removal may be sanctified. He entered this conflict because he heard the call of duty. We pray this example may lead us all to the same fidelity and to manifest the same spirit, which was the very spirit of Christ Himself who loved us and gave himself for us."

Mr. Pollard closed his address with a special appeal to his congregation to live for the highest and the best. The service closed with the beautiful hymn 'Brief life is here our portion', and the playing of the 'Dead March' in Saul by the organist, Mr. Joseph Petty.

24 December 1915


Pte. Joe Bancroft, 1st West Riding (Duke of Wellington's) Regiment, and son of Mrs. Bancroft, of Holme Bridge, Sutton, killed on October 22nd. Formerly employed at the Sutton Mill Co-operative grocery store.

10 November 1916


On Sunday morning a memorial service to those who had fallen during the war from Sutton parish was held in St. Thomas's Church, conducted by Rev. A.R. Light (vicar). About 60 members of the local Volunteer Corps were present, having met in the Friendly Societies' Hall yard, under the leadership of Commander Clough. Special lessons were read and special psalms were sung. 'O rest in the Lord' was given on the organ by Mr. A.E. Foulds. The Vicar asked the congregation to offer prayers for the souls of those who had fallen. The following names were read out:- Privates Arnold Healey, F.W. Thompson, Walter Haggas, J.G. Bancroft, Evelyn Fisher, Tom Summerskill, Norman Riley, Henry Taylor, Lyall Taylor, R. Whitehall, E. Wilkinson, A.W. Tune, Lieut. Nelson Petty, and Capt. C.F. Horsfall.

The text from which the very sympathetic discourse was preached was 2nd Samuel, 1., 26, David's lamentation over the death of his friend Jonathan. At the close of the very impressive service Chopin's 'Funeral March' was given on the organ. At the close of the evening service, which was again conducted by the Vicar, the 'Dead March' in 'Saul' was played, and the National Anthem sung.

03 August 1917


DEDICATION OF ROLL OF HONOUR - A special service, reverent and very beautiful throughout, the dedication of the roll of honour, was conducted in St. Thomas's Church on Sunday evening last by the vicar, Rev. A. R. Light. The roll of honour is a triptych, the top panel, a beautiful inlet picture representing 'The Great Sacrifice.' It contains the names of the fallen heroes, viz., Arnold Healey, F.W. Thompson, Norman Riley, Lyall Taylor, J.G. Bancroft, E. Wilkinson, Nelson Petty, W. Haggas, G. Sanderson, R. Whitehall, W. Hargreaves, T. Summerskill, A.W. Tune, C.F. Horsfall, Lewis Binns,Albert Binns, E. Fisher, and W. Blake Spencer. The left panel represents 'The White Comrade,' and the right 'The watch on many waters,' in very artistic colours. The large centre space contains the names of all who were residents in the Sutton parish and are still serving their King and country. The sermon was from the text, "Through God we shall do valiantly." The large congregation left the church to the strains of the French National Anthem.

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