Joseph (Joe) RILEY


Joe was aged 20 when he was killed in action on 9th August 1917.  He was the son of Gideon and Emma Riley, who are shown on the CWGC records as living at 10 Mount Pleasant Street, Queensbury.  In 1911 the Riley family comprising both parents and eight children, aged from 3 to 21, lived at 14 Lyons Street, Queensbury.  Joe, who was at time aged 14 worked as a Doffer, worsted mill.

On 9th August Joe’s Battalion,  2nd Battalion, Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding Regiment), provided a raiding party of 2 Officers and 38 Other Ranks.  Their object was to raid and hold the enemy trench and to act as a rear guard in support of other units also involved in this action; the war diary gives a detailed description of what was an unsuccessful action.  Casualties for the raid were 1 Officer and 4 Other Ranks killed and 5 Other Ranks wounded.

Joe has no known grave and is commemorated on the ARRAS MEMORIAL (Bay 6).

The Queensbury roll gives Joe’s address as 16 Lyons Street and shows that two of his brothers James and Thomas also served.  James, who was married, also lived at the above address.

Service records show that James was a Territorial and served in the Royal Field Artillery (West Riding Brigade) with the rank of Saddler.  He was mobilized on 16th August 1914 and arrived in France on the 15th April 1915 serving there until 18th August 1916.  He then served on home service until March 1918 where he then returned to France serving until April 1919.  He returned home serving until demobilization on the 31st March 1920.