Contributed by: Carol Davey, on 2008-11-05
|Year of Birth||1882|
|Year of Death||1915|
|Regiment||South Staffordshire Regiment|
|Place of Wartime Residence||Walsall, Staffordshire|
I found my gt grandfathers birth certificate and it had been stamped by the war office, I asked around the family and all they knew about him is that he died in the war. I went to liverpools picton library not knowing where to start I looked through many regiments and took a chance and looked through the ones where he lived. I found a joseph hateley but wasnt sure if it was him. I came home and rang the commonwealth war graves commission up and the very helpful lady told me my gt grandads wifes 2nd marraige name. Well i nearly fell off the chair as i knew she had remarried and moved to sligo and then came to liverpool. The cwgc lady gave me time to compose myself and told me to get a pen and paper ready. Joseph Hateley 10125 1st south staffords, my gt grandfather had a grave, yes his own grave in bethune town cemetary, pas de calais.
He had been injured and his arm blown off this i then knew thanks to walsall history center sending me newspaper clippings.
Some months after a friend and myself traveled from liverpool to bethune just about making our connections. We stayed in bethune for 1 night and went to find his grave the next day what a moment i shall never forget it the proudest of my life. After 83 years i was the 1st member of my family to visit his grave.i have since been back with my mum on a battlefields tour with K.O.Y.L.I&L.I assoc and we visited his grave this time as grandaughter and gt grandaughter and the organisers played the last post and the revallie at every cemetary or memorial we attended what a moving experiece.we also visited many places of fighting and many memorials british and french.
I promised joseph that since i found him he will never ,never be forgotten nad have told my children we must never forget any of these men who gave their lives for us.
I think every british school child should be taken to france/belgium/germany to appreciate what these men did for us .they should always be remembered.and can i say what a good job the cwgc do of keeping the cemetaries immaculate condition.