Rank: Private
Service Number: 244280.
Regiment: 1/5th Bn. Cheshire Regiment Died of wounds Thursday 5th September 1918 Age 21County Memorial Congleton
Grave\Panel Ref: III.F.31.

Son of Mr. Joseph Cliff Stockton and Mrs. Frances Ellen Stockton of 70, Bromley Street, Congleton, Cheshire. He had five sisters, Hannah Maria, Emily, Alice, Gladys and Fanny Stockton, along with one brother David, David Stockton was killed in action on the 8th July 1916.

Prior to enlisting, he was employed as a Labourer in a Dye Works. Pre-War he served as a Territorial with the 1st/7th Cheshire Regiment enlisting in February 1915.

On the 28th of August, the 56th (London) Division, to which the 1St/5th Cheshire Regiment belonged captured Croisilles and on the 31st Bullecourt, overcoming some stiff opposition, especially at the latter village. The same day the Division was relieved by the 52nd Division, the Battalion's work being taken over by the 19th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers. "A" and "B" Companies then commenced work under the C. E. Corps on communications, and "C" Company was engaged, under the Divisional Burial Officer, in clearing the battlefield around Bullecourt, being relieved after a few days by B Company. On the 4th of September, the Headquarters moved up east of Croisilles. On arrival at their destination and while commencing to erect their bivouacs they were shelled by high velocity shells causing considerable casualties, two being killed and nineteen wounded. Amongst the latter were the Adjutant Captain Rowlands, the Medical Officer, Lieutenant Miller, and Regimental Sergeant Major J. Wilcock, all the R.A.M.C. Staff, and all but one of the Battalions pioneers. Among those wounded was Private Joseph Stockton who died later from his wounds.

Extract from the Congleton Chronicle 1918.

We regret to record the death of another of our gallant townsmen, Private Joseph Stockton, son of Mr. and Mrs. Stockton, of 70, Bromley Street, Congleton, who died at No. 46 Casualty Clearing Station from wounds received in action while fighting on the Western Front on the 3rd of September 1918. This is the second bereavement sustained by the family in the Great War, a brother of the deceased Private David Stockton, of the Cheshire Regiment being killed in action in France on the 8th of July 1916. It seems hardly credible that young Joseph Stockton is no more, for we remember him how he was when last he came on leave, in the vigour of early manhood and the joy in anticipation of a lasting peace, now like his brother David, his name appears on the roll of very gallant defenders, who have died so that justice and humanity might survive.

Mr. and Mrs. Stockton have received the following sympathetic letter from the Chaplain,

Dear, Madam,              5th September, 1918.

I am very sorry to have to tell you that your son, Private Joseph Stockton, of the 1st/ 5th Battalion, the Cheshire Regiment, died here this morning. He was brought in during the night seriously wounded in both legs and in a very weak state from loss of blood. He was put to bed at once and given some food, but he never got any stronger, nor became conscious again and died very quietly at 09 00 hours this morning. He will be buried in a cemetery here and a cross will be put up on his grave.

A further letter from a Sergeant in the same Section to which Private Stockton belonged has been received by the sorrowing parents. It was written in the following terms,

It is with deep regret that I have to inform you that your son, Joseph, has been wounded, but I hope you will not be alarmed as, probably by the time you receive these few lines he may be in England. We had just arrived at this place when they started to shell us and your son Joseph had just gone for a shovel to dig a place to sleep in for the night, when a shell dropped amongst us and Joseph was wounded in both legs. He was at once picked up by his chum T. Hood and another man named Jones and they carried him to the Aid Post and he went down to hospital almost immediately. I am pleased to say that he bore it like a man and did not make the slightest complaint. I asked him if he had any pain and he told me, No! I have had him in my section for close on two years and I can assure you I got a shock myself, but we must thank God it is no worse. All that I can say in conclusion is that I hope he is soon well and home again for good.

The sympathy of all will go out to Mr. and Mrs. Stockton, in their great trial.

When last we saw his smiling face,
He looked so strong and brave,
We little thought that he would be,
Laid in a soldier's grave.
From Father, Mother and Sister, also Friend Emma.

Cheshire County Memorial Project would like to thank John and Christopher Pullen for this information on Joseph.