Joshua Makin, Private 17924, 1st/6th Battalion Cheshire Regiment
Killed in action 31st July 1917 in Belgium, aged 39
Husband of Louisa Makin, of 2 Aldesly St, Chester Rd, Macclesfield, Cheshire.
Joshua joined the 6th Battalion of the Cheshire Regiment, and after training, was drafted out to France. Locally, Joshua is referred to as a lance-corporal although official records give him the rank of private.
The 6th Cheshire Regiment was stationed near Houlle in northern France in July 1917, and later moved by bus to ‘St Jan Bitzen’. The Regimental Diary for the end of the month includes the following entries:
“O” CAMP. JULY 30TH. Battalion moved at 8.35pm to take up position in “X” lines, La Brique, prior to forthcoming attack. 2nd Lieut. D M Dyke and 14 OR [other ranks] to hospital wounded.
LA BRIQUE. ST JULIEN. JULY 31ST. The assembly of the Battalion was completed by 1.30am. At Zero plus 1hr 40mins Battalion moved forward to the attack, reaching objective at 11.15am. At 12.15pm, owing to flank units being unable to attain their objectives, and thus causing considerable casualties to my unit, it was necessary to withdraw to join up with the units consolidating in rear. The consolidation was completed and the new line held despite severe hostile fire.
Casualties – 3 officers killed, 500 (approx) killed, wounded and missing OR. 13 officers wounded.
Joshua was reported missing after 31st July 1917 and it was later assumed that he was killed in action on that date.
His death was reported in the Macclesfield Times of 28 June 1918:
Mrs Makin, 28 Hayes Yard, Macclesfield, has received an official intimation stating that her husband, Lance-Corporal Joshua Makin, Cheshire Regt, who was reported missing on July 31 last year, was killed on that date. Lance-Corporal Makin was 39 years of age and leaves four children. He attended St Alban’s day school in boyhood and was connected with the Trinity Wesleyan Chapel. Prior to the outbreak of war, the Lance-Corporal had been employed at Messrs Johnsons’, reed and harness makers, Prestbury Road, for ten years. He enlisted on November 7th, 1915, and after training at Bournemouth was drafted to France from Aldershot in September of the following year. After about twelve months at the front, Lance-Corporal Makin came home with shell-shock and trench fever. He was in hospital at Cardiff for a time, and had only returned to France four months when he was reported missing.
Mrs Makin has four brothers with the colours. Private Percy Bamford, Cheshire Regt, was wounded in the Suvla Bay landing in August 1915, sustaining injury to his arm. Subsequently he served in France, to which country he expects to return shortly. Pte Arthur Bamford, Cheshire Regt, the second brother, was also present at Suvla Bay, being shot through the leg. He is now in Egypt. Pte Geo Bamford, Cheshire Regt, also was hit in the arm at Suvla. The remaining brother, Sapper Fred Bamford, Royal Engineers, was mobilised on the outbreak of war, and has been discharged on account of a wound received at La Bassee. He has twelve years’ service to his credit.
Private Joshua Makin has no known grave and is commemorated on Panel Ref. 19 – 22 on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial in Belgium. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Private Joshua Makin, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.
WW1 War Diaries (France, Belgium, Germany), 1914-1920: 6th Cheshire Regt
Commonwealth War Graves Commission website
Lives of the First World War website
Macclesfield Times: 28 June 1918