Joseph Sullivan lived next door to his two cousins in Exton who all died in the First World War. Joseph was the adopted son of Edward and Sarah Bottomley and cousin of Edward and Thomas Bottomley. Joseph lived at number 73, his cousins at number 71 at Stamford End in the village. He was a railway servant before enlistment. Joseph served in France with 16th Battalion Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment) and was reported missing on 20 September 1917 during the Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele). That day the battalion took part in an attack on Shrewsbury Forest in thick fog. German artillery caused about 20 casualties as the attack began, knocking out a Lewis gun in the process. But the Foresters reached their objectives capturing a number of concrete pillboxes and prisoners along the way with a number of individual actions described in great detail in the war diary. By the time the battalion marched out of the wood on 23 September, casualties amounted to four Officers killed and wounded, 36 Other Ranks killed, 126 wounded and 24 missing, including Joseph. He would have been around 26 years old. He and his cousins died almost exactly a year apart from each other. Thomas died in September 1916 aged 24, then Joseph in September 1917 and Edward was killed in September 1918, aged just 21 years old. Joseph has no known grave and is remembered on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Panel 102. He and his cousins are also remembered on Exton's war memorial.
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