Sgt Joseph Arthur Flanagan (MSM)
Born. Leeds, June, 1892.
Died. Peignton ,September, 1965.
Born and educated in Leeds and living at 14, Willow Terrace Road, after leaving school he worked as an 'Overseer' (Rates Inspector) for Leeds City Council.
He enlisted in the 'Pals' in September 1914 and was quickly promoted to Sergeant. After training at Colsterdale, served in Egypt and France and throughout the War with the battalion, took part in every engagement including the Battle of the Somme on 1st July 1916.
Unlike so many of his friends and colleagues, emerging without wounds and was discharged on 2nd March 1919 - A1 Fitness. On the 3rd September 1918, Joseph was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal (MSM).
Throughout the War, he served alongside his cousin, 15/337 - Private Joe Flanagan and 15/710 - Private Harold Peacock (severely wounded on 1st July 1916) who later became his Brother In Law.
All 'Pals' officers and senior NCO's carried and maintained the Battalion Regimental Roll. This was printed and issued in early 1915, becoming obsolete after the 1916 Somme offensive. In September of that year, Sgt Flanagan posted his copy home for safe keeping with his future wife, Doris Peacock.
His dedication on the first page says it all........
"An active member of the 'Pals' Old Comrades Association, he attended most of the reunion dinners and was also one of the 'Pals' that made the 'Pilgrimage' to Bus-Les-Artois in 1928."
Bus-Les-Artois was the first billet in France for the 'Pals' after their first spell in the trenches in 1916.
During WW2 as Sgt in Special Constabulary
During the Second World War (after work), he served as a Sergeant with the Special Constabulary in charge of a unit in the Chapel Allerton area of Leeds, West Yorkshire. For this he was awarded the Defence and Special Constabulary medals.
Retiring in 1953, he moved to Torquay and then finally to Peignton where he died in September 1965.
This document, plus books and photographs of great historical value, were kindly donated by his Son.
These have proved invaluable in the completion of 3 separate Leeds Pals pages for this memorial site. Without which, it would not have been possible.