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Born: 23 May 1897, Keighley
Died: 20 July 1918
Address: 1 Peel Place, Pinnal Street, Windhill
Parents: Joseph & Elizabeth Ellen, nee Huxley
Siblings: Rose, Edgar, John, Douglas, Winifred, Arthur
Occupation: Bobbin layer (1911)
Organisations/clubs: Windhill Mission
Rank: Pte
Medals/awards: Military Medal
Rolls of Honour: Christchurch, Windhill; Soisson
Regiment: 2/5 West Yorkshire
Joseph Horace Busfield
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Joseph Horace Busfield was the son of Joseph Swaine Busfield who was born 22 March 1876 in Bradford. He married Elizabeth Ellen Harpley 26 December 1896 at Keighley Parish Church. Joseph Horace, the eldest of eight children, was born 23 May 1897 in Keighley. He was baptised 4 July 1897. In 1901 the family were living at 10 Arthur Street in Keighley with Joseph Swaine working as a stationary engine man at a woolcombers. By 1905 they had moved to 76 Crag Road in Windhill and were there at the time of the 1911 census when 13-year-old Joseph Horace was described as a bobbin layer. At some time before 1918 the family moved to 1 Peel Place, Pinnel Street, Windhill. The first we learn of Joseph Horace’s war is in the Shipley Times & Express on 4 January 1918 when we learn: “The Military Medal has been awarded to Pte J H Busfield, West Yorkshire, of Peel Place, Pinnel Street, Windhill, who during the ‘Byng’ advance displayed remarkable devotion to duty. “The brave soldier was formerly
associated with the Windhill Mission and at that place on Sunday the Rev J Matthewman, the resident minister, made an appropriate reference to the honour won by Pte Busfield and heartily congratulated him on his distinction. “Before the war, Pte Busfield was employed at Lower Holme Mills.”
But on the 23 August 1918, the newspaper revealed: “The death in action is announced of Pte Joseph Horace Busfield, M.M., West Yorks Regt, at the age of 21. “He was a son of Mr and Mrs J S Busfield of 1 Peel Place, Windhill, and he worked in the piece room at Lower Holme Mills, Shipley. “He enlisted when he became 18, went to the front at Xmas 1916 and was wounded recently. Great gallantry “In May 1917 he was mentioned for gallant conduct and meritorious service and since then he had been awarded the Military Medal for ‘great gallantry and devotion to duty’ as a battalion runner on 20th and 22nd November. “On the 20th his officer had not information as to the progress of their attack on the right of his battalion front and Pte Busfield and another private, who also received the M.M., at once volunteered to go forward to ascertain the position. “They returned with a correct account of the situation through heavy rifle and machine gun fire. “On the 22nd both men did splendid service as runners and riflemen. Headquarters had found it
necessary to stiffen the firing line and both lads accompanied the officer. “They were taking messages continually under considerable shell fire to a relay port and under heavy rifle and machine gun fire to the officers in charge of the flanks. “An official reference to these deeds stated: ‘I can never expect to receive more fearless, more intelligent or more cheerful service than was rendered by these most gallant 19-year-old soldiers – the pick of an exceptionally good lot of runners.’ “Writing to the parents of the deceased, a Second-Lieut says that young Busfield was one of the men who let nothing stop them in the path of duty and that he was buried where he fell.” Joseph Horace was remembered at the Sunday School he had attended: “On Sunday the Rev J Matthewman commenced his fourth year’s ministry at the Windhill Mission. “At the evening service special reference was made to the death of Pte Jos Busfield, M.M., who had been a scholar up to the time he enlisted.” Photo courtesy of Pat Teague
Christchurch RoH Christchurch RoH Christchurch RoH