Captain Joseph Leonard Milthorp MORTON
Date of birth: 23 March 1895
Date of death: 22 October 1917
Killed in action aged 22
No known grave
Joseph Leonard Milthorp was born in Redditch to Dr.Edwin Morton and his wife, Annie Emily Goodchild. He was their third son and they had two younger daughters.
By 1911, the family were living at 123, Woodstock Road, Oxford, and Joseph was boarding at Berkhamsted Grammar School. He came up to Christ Church in 1914 but left to commence service at the beginning of April 1915, joining the 23rd Battalion of the Manchester Regiment.
Joseph was killed in the battalion’s attack at Houthulst Forest (north of Ypres) on 22 October 1917. They attacked at 5.45 am, and were immediately attacked by German planes. The right flank lost touch with the 16th Royal Scots (whose attack had failed) and on their left the 17th Lancashire Fusiliers drifted to their left and also lost contact. The consequence was that German strong points were left untouched on both sides to their rear. Machine gun fire from both sides caused enormous casualties, including all the officers.
from the Wolverhampton Grammar School Roll of Honour:
“Joseph Leonard Milthorp Morton (1902-1904 : 22), Captain in the 22nd Battalion, Manchester Regiment, was the youngest son of Dr Edwin Morton, formerly resident in Wolverhampton and now of Oxford, where he is a Captain in the R.A.M.C. Being still quite young when he left us, Morton had many years of school life before him, and these he divided between St. Edward’s School (Oxford), Berkhamsted, and the Perse School (Cambridge). Then he became a student at Christ Church Oxford. He was good in many departments of sport and specially distinguished himself in football, boxing and swimming. He had been two years in France and was wounded several times. His death on October 22nd 1917, was due to an act of manly devotion. He had led his own company well forward, when he saw that the company on his right, its officers all down, was in difficulties. Though already hit twice, he went to pull things together and was killed on the way. Colonel, Company Commander, Chaplain and others unite in speaking of him as a fearless soldier and a gallant gentleman, whose loss would be acutely felt by the whole Battalion.”
He is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial Panel 120 to 124 and 162 to 162A and 163A
His name is on the Roll of Honour of the Perse School, Cambridge.
Probate was granted to Edwin Morton, M.D., his father. He left £305-6s.