Private Joseph Cyril Young was the son of Harry and Susannah Young of Exton. His parents worked for the Noel family and the 1891 census records them living at 99 Cottage in the grounds of Exton Hall when Joseph would have been four years old. His father was a garden labourer. By 1901 the family had moved to 18, Old School Yard, Exton. Ten years later, Joseph is recorded as working as a groom in Exton but at some stage he moved to work in Buckinghamshire, living in Weston Underwood. On 14 September 1914, soon after the First World War began, he enlisted at Amptill in Bedforshire into the 2nd Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment. He went out to the Western Front in 1916, and took part in fighting on the Somme, Arras, Messines Ridge and Ypres. He died of wounds on 8 September 1917 and was buried at Outtersteene Communal Cemetery Extension, Bailleul, grave I.B.43. It is not clear when or where Joseph was wounded. His battalion had taken part in the opening stages of the Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele) which began on 31 July, before being withdrawn to the Bailleul area of Northern France. There they rested and recuperated before going back into the line in late August. On 8 September, the day Joseph is recorded to have died, the Bedfordshires were in the Wytschaete area, south of Ypres, 15 miles from Bailleul. The war diary says over a period of ten days, until 7 September, seven men had been wounded so it is possible one of those was Horace and he had been sent back to Outtersteene for treatment. Or he could have been one of the early casualties of the battle. We simply do not know. Today he is remembered on Exton's War Memorial and also in Exton church. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission has his age as 29. His brother Harry, who was still living in Exton when he volunteered for the army, travelled to Ampthill presumably so he could enlist into Joseph's regiment. He ended up in the 4th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment and survived the war. Since the brothers' family worked for the Noel family, they both probably knew Robert Noel who also died in the First World War.
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