The history of Clophill, Bedfordshire, UK
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World War One

Joseph Lomas








In 1911 Joseph lived in Back Street with his parents William and Sarah (nee Smith, born in Haynes.) His parents had had 13 children, 11 of whom had survived. His 10 siblings still lived at home. His father was a labourer and Joseph a farm labourer. By the time of Joseph's death Sarah alone was listed as his next of kin. Joseph served with his brother Jack, who survived the War.

At the outbreak of the First World War, Palestine (now Israel & the Occupied Palestinian Territories) was part of the Turkish Empire. It was not entered by Allied forces until December 1916 when the Allies started to clear the Turkish outposts around the Palestinian borders and by early 1917, the way into Palestine was clear. Laying roads, railways and water pipes as they went, British and Commonwealth forces marched across the border until they came to the heavily defended coastal city of Gaza.

In the period leading up to the eventual fall of Gaza in November 1917, the 5th Battalion of the Bedfordshire Regiment was assigned to conduct 2 major raids on Turkish positions in front of Gaza. They held the line opposite the Turkish positions on Umbrella Hill, which would be the target of their attentions.

The Umbrella Hill raids would be so successful that all future raids in the theatre were executed in precisely the same way that the Bedfords conducted them on those two nights. Joseph lost his life during the second raid.

PostCards sent by the Lomas brothers to their mother, Mrs. Ashby.

Click to view larger images.

Many thanks to Laura Sharp for providing the information and postcards for the Lomas brothers.

Ampthill News

November 14, 1914

Messrs J. (Joseph) Lomas and F. Webb have enlisted in the Beds. Territorials.

September 4, 1915

The relatives of Corporal *(Jack) Lomas have this week been informed that he has been severely wounded. Before enlisting in the Bedfords he was a woodsman on the Wrest Estate.

September 11, 1915

In the recent battle in the Gallipoli Peninsula, two of our village lads, belonging to the 1/5th Beds., were wounded - Corpl. J. (Jack) Lomas and Private E. Eddy.

September 18, 1915

The relatives of Corpl. (Jack) Lomas have been informed that he is progressing favourably.

October 9, 1915

Many anxious relatives have this week received welcome letters from France and the Dardanelles. Corpl. (Jack) Lomas being convalescent has rejoined his platoon.

October 30, 1915

Corpl. (Jack) Lomas, 1/15th Beds., though still in hospital in Cairo, is progressing favourably.

* The Ampthill News doesn't differentiate between Joseph and his brother Jack but records show that Joseph was a private and Jack was a corporal.

November 13, 1915

Corpl. (Jack) Lomas informs his wife that he is now convalescent, and has returned to the firing line. His two brothers, Charles (Beds. Yeomanry) and Joe (Bedfords) are both in France.

March 18, 1916

Corpl. (Jack) Lomas, of the 1st Bedfords, writing from Cairo, says he is well, but the heat is almost unbearable. His brother, Pte. J. (Joseph) Lomas, is in the same locality and well.

August 25, 1917

Pte. Joseph Lomas, son of Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Lomas, has made the "supreme sacrifice." His parents were officially informed on Saturday morning, and very great sympathy prevails for them. He was a great favourite in his platoon.