Baxenden Lads: Downes J

8th October 1917

PTE. 203161 JOSEPH DOWNES of the Manchester Regiment died of wounds sustained on October 8th 1917 during heavy fighting south of Ypres.

Joseph was aged twenty and the son of Joseph and the late Mary Ann Downes. He was born in Sheffield but was living and working in Baxenden when he enlisted in the Army.

Joseph is buried in Godewaersvelde British Cemetery in France very close to the Belgian border. The cemetery is on the village outskirts. It is near the town of Hazebrouck. The cemetery was started in July 1917 when three Casualty Clearing Stations (mobile hospitals) arrived in the area. Field Ambulances and fighting units also used it. It stands on rising ground between the village and an area of high ground called Mont des Cats. Around the cemetery is heavily cultivated land and pasture for cattle.

Joseph’s name is also on the Haslingden Roll of Honour in Haslingden Public Hall.