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Joseph Hunter Flannigan was born in the third quarter of 1892 in Maryport, Cumberland.  His father was Robert Flannigan (b. 1858 in Maryport), a coal miner and later dock worker.  (The family surname is also spelled Flanagan in some sources.)  His mother was Annie Isabella Hunter (b. 1856 in Maryport).  Robert and Isabella were married in 1880 and they had 8 children:  Mary J (b. 1881), Robert (b. 1885), James (b. 1887), Annie Isabella (b. 1890), then Joseph, Catherine (b. 1895), Thomas (b. 1897) and Millicent (b. 1907-1912).  Thomas was the last of their children born in Maryport; Millicent was born in Bamber Bridge.  So the family moved to Bamber Bridge around the turn of the century.  In the 1911 Census, Isabella is shown as the head of the family, and married, but I haven’t traced Robert.  They were living at 304 Station Road, and later moved to 28 Mounsey Road.  Joseph is not shown in the 1911 Census.  He would have been 19 then so I presume he had joined the army.  He enlisted with the Scots Guards, was assigned service number 7593 and posted to 1st Battalion.


At the outbreak of War, 1Bn Scots Guards came under orders of 1st Division and were one of the first British formations to land in France.  Joe landed with the Division on 13 August 1914.  They were immediately caught up in the Battle of Mons and the subsequent retreat, including the Rearguard Affair of Étreux (August); then the Battle of the Marne (September) and the Battle of the Aisne including participation in the Actions on the Aisne heights and the Action of Chivy (September).  Joe was killed in action during the First Battle of Ypres (October-November). On 31 October 1914, at the climax of the battle, 1st Divisional headquarters at Hooge was hit by enemy shellfire, whereupon the Divisional Commander (Major-General Lomax) was severely wounded and the GSO1 (Col. F.W. Kerr) was killed.  In the total chaos and confusion, there is no precise record of the date when Joe was killed; his records say between 24 October and 11 November. He was 22 years old.  From the beginning of September to the end of November 1914, 1Bn Scots Guards had 404 officers and men killed.


Rank:  Private

Service Number:  7593

Date of Death:  24/10/1914-11/11/1914

Age:  22

Regiment/Service:  Scots Guards, 1Bn

Cemetery/memorial reference: Panel 11.


Joe was one of the first men from Bamber Bridge to be killed in the War.  His brother James enlisted in December 1915, almost certainly unaware that Joe was dead.  He served with the Royal Welsh Fusiliers and was one of the last Briggers to die in the War – he was killed in September 1918. 

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