Joseph Bennett


Corporal 91332, The Tank Corps

Died 20th November 1917 aged 27

No Known Grave Commemorated Cambrai Memorial, France

Husband of Clara Bennett

Lived 2, Cemetery Road, Heckmondwike

Joseph was one of the sons of Joseph and Mary Bennett; he managed the family Pawnbroker business on Cemetery Road. In 1912 he married Clara Rodgers and their son Maurice was born in 1916. Joseph was connected with the Moravian Chapel.

On 20 November 1917, the Third Army launched a limited and tactically radical attack at Cambrai, where ground conditions were far more favourable than any seen to date. Following a surprise hurricane artillery bombardment 378 Mark IV tanks smashed through the Hindenburg Line positions temporarily creating a rupture to the German Lines and the chance for a breakthrough. Insufficient mobile reserves could get through in time to exploit the tanks' success and within days the chance had gone. However Cambrai proved to be a key learning experience for the British command. Joseph exited his burning tank and made it to his own lines; he was shot through the head by a sniper when he looked over the parapet to see if his comrades had escaped from the tank.

His death came six weeks after that of his brother Thomas.

The Cambrai Memorial commemorates more than 7,000 servicemen of the United Kingdom and South Africa who died in the Battle of Cambrai in November and December 1917 and whose graves are not known.{PL-015}

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