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Serjeant Thomas Charles Joslin: a Soldier of the Great War.

The Grave of Thomas Charles Joslin lies a short walk from the entrance to Brockley Cemetery along a shady side path. 

1881 -Thomas Charles Joslin was born in Holborn, London, on the 12th July 1881 to parents Thomas Joslin, a Gold Refiner by trade and his Mother Ellen Joslin nee Dawe. 

1903 - Thomas enrolled as a private in the Victoria & St George's Rifles. Volunteer battalion of the Kings Royal Rifle Corps.

1909 - Thomas married Beatrice Blanch Block (Beatie) on the 31st July at St Dunstan in the West, in the City of London. His occupation was a Publisher's assistant. 

Beatrice Blanch Joslin

1913 – The birth of their only child Irene Beatrice Joslin known as Reni, whilst living at Waller Road New Cross

WW1 – at the start of hostilities Thomas enlisted at St Pauls Church Yard,  Deptford, joining Kitchener's New Army. He was assigned to the 6th (Service) Battalion of the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry (D.C.L.I.) under command of the 43RD Brigade in the (Light) Division. 

The Battalion trained at Aldershot. By November 1914 they were at Witley, moving back to Aldershot in February 1915, initially without arms of any kind however the recruits were judged to be ready by May 1915.

The battalion landed at Boulogne on the 22nd of May 1915, the move to the fighting was delayed by lack of ammunition.

Second Battle of Ypres the division took part in the Action of Hooge on the 30th July 1915 in which it had the misfortune to be the first to be attacked by flamethrower, More than 750 soldiers lost their lives over the course of two days in the conflict. While most of the casualties in Hooge were attributed to direct fire from conventional weapons, it is worth noting that it was the use of flamethrowers that flushed them out into the open. 

1916 -   He was promoted to Serjeant.

The Somme – the Division took part if the capture of Trones Wood between the 8-14 July 1916.

The Aftermath – August 1916 a letter to Miss Reni Joslin (daughter), Shardeloes Road, New Cross, London; post marked Army Post Office 23 Aug 16, “I have been admitted into - 12 General Hospital Rouen,  on the 19th night wounded a GSW through shoulder, fractured arm, shrapnel in Leg and am going on well, letter follows at earliest opportunity, British Expeditionary Force signed Daddy” 23rd August 1916.

November 1916, Death in the sub district of South St Pancras, London on the 28th November 1916 at University College Hospital, Thomas Charles Joslin aged 35 years of Shardeloes Deptford, Sergeant 6th Battalion Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry, (advertisement Canvasser) cause of death 1, gunshot wounds received on active service, 2, Septicaemia, certified by T.B. Johnston MB, informant Beatrice Joslin Widow of Deceased, Shardeloes Road Deptford, Registered 30 November 1916.

Thomas Charles Joslin, is remembered on the WW1 War Memorial at St Catherine’s Church, Hatcham, Pepys Road, New Cross

Thomas Charles Joslin, Buried in Brockley Cemetery, Plot no S.14 with his wife Beatrice her brothers William Waugh Block and Frederick George Block and sister Eliza Ann Block aged 3.

Thomas Charles Joslin is just one of the many who lost their lives during conflict, who are buried or remembered in Brockley and Ladywell Cemeteries, We Will Remember Them.

Put together by Phill Barnes-Warden, FoBLC Member, with grateful help from Roger Purcell, a member of the Joslin Family.