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190: Lance Sgt Joseph Colgrave DCM (photographs; newspaper cuttings)

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posted on 2024-01-12, 09:30 authored by Lest We Forget Project Team

Born in 1880, Joe joined the Army at the age of 18 years in Beverley, Yorkshire and enlisted into the East Yorkshire Regiment on 6 August 1898.

Pte Colgrave was posted to the 2nd Bn which was stationed at Templemore in Ireland. On 17 November 1900, he transferred to the Cavalry and joined the 12th Lancers stationed in Hounslow and Aldershot. On 13 March 1901 he sailed with the regiment to South Africa. The 12th Lancers saw action during the Boer War in the Cape and the Transvaal. On 21 September 1902 the regiment was posted to India. Trooper Colgrave was promoted to LCpl on 27 December 1902. He remained in India until 25 January 1906. On his return to UK he was posted to the 5th Lancers before he transferred to the Army Reserve relinquishing his stripe, effective from 6 August 1906.

On 4 August 1914 he was recalled to the colours. He rejoined 5th Lancers and proceeded with the regiment to France from Dublin with the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) as part of 3rd Cavalry Brigade (5th Royal Irish Lancers, 4th Hussars and 16th Lancers), Brig Gough commanding. The 5th Lancers were in action at Mons, where they were the last regiment to withdraw. During the retreat, 5th Lancers took part in the Battles of Le Cateau and the Marne, where the Germans were halted before Paris. They then took part in the advance to the Aisne. Tpr Colgrave was awarded a Mention in Despatches and Distinguished Conduct Medal for gallantry and leadership in the face of the enemy during the First Battle of Ypres at Hollebeke on Messines Ridge on 30 October 1914, Gazetted on 16th Jan 1915:

"On 30th October 1914 near Hollebeke, showed great presence of mind and coolness during an emergency in rallying several bodies of Indian troops who had lost their officers".

He was promoted again to LCpl on 12 November 1914. The 5th Lancers fought dismounted at the Battle of Loos and in the trenches throughout the war mainly in the Ypres Salient but were also held in readiness for the breakthrough which did not come until 1918. On 3 March 1916 he was promoted to Cpl. On 25 March 1917 he was posted back to UK into the 1st Reserve Regt Lancers where he remained as an instructor, and on 19 November 1917 was promoted to LSgt. He was a qualified bombing instructor.

LSgt Colgrave DCM was transferred to the Reserve on 22 May 1919. He joined the Home Guard on the outbreak of the Second World War. LSgt Colgrave DCM had twenty years' Regular and Reserve service. He collapsed and died whilst taking part in the Royal Review of 63,000 ex-servicemen and women in Hyde Park, London. He was looking for his wife who had a seat in the stands when he collapsed near the Serpentine. He was taken to a First Aid post but died in the ambulance on the way to hospital on 5th July 1953.

He was awarded the DCM, MiD, Queens South Africa Medal clasps Cape Colony and Transvaal, King's South Africa Medal clasps 1901 and 1902, 1914 Star clasp 5Aug-29Nov, British War Medal, Victory Medal, and Defence Medal 1945.


Name of contributor(s)

Marilyn Beckly

Subject of the story/individual the object(s) relate to

7335 Lance Sgt Joseph Colgrave DCM 5th Lancers

Date(s) the event(s) in the story took place

1898 - 1953

Location(s) where the event(s) in the story took place

He earned his DCM at Hollebeke on Messines Ridge, nr Ypres, Belgium


Photographs; newspaper cuttings

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