Lance Cpl. J.J. Flynn


FIRST NAMES: Joseph Johnson

UNIT: 20th Hussars

NUMBER: 10140

STATUS: Killed in Action

DATE OF DEATH: 27th January 1916

CEMETERY OR MEMORIAL: The Loos Memorial, France

AGE: 19

Joseph Flynn was educated at Northallerton Grammar School between 1909 and 1911. He was the third son of James P. and Mary Flynn who moved to Whitby in January 1912 and who were recorded as living at No. 37 High Street, Normanby by the time the CWGC compiled its records after the War. His father was a police inspector and served in 13th Yorkshires during the War. At school, Joe was captain of the school football team and he was also a keen cricketer, playing for the Northallerton Thursday and the Northallerton 2nd Eleven cricket teams. After leaving school, Joe worked for Messrs. Harrison, Solicitors, of Leeds, in their Northallerton office, before joining the 20th Hussars in July 1913 at the age of 17.

He went to France with the original British Expeditionery Force on 16th August 1914 and took part in the retreat from Mons and he was gassed at the 2nd Battle of Ypres.

He was killed, aged 19, by a rifle grenade whilst serving with "B" Squadron of the 20th Hussars, who had obviously forsaken their horses and were holding the front-line trenches in the Loos Sector. The following is an extract from a letter sent to his family by the Squadron Commander, Major A.C. Little:

" Your son was killed by a rifle grenade, whilst in the trenches. He was killed instantaneously, and I am glad to say suffered no pain. It is with great regret that I write of his death, as he was a good soldier, always cheery and afraid of nothing. He was buried just behind the front line trenches opposite Hulluch."

Joe was well thought of as a soldier and it is believed that he was due to be given a commission when he was killed.

Joe Flynn is now commemorated on the Loos Memorial to the Missing, which means that his grave must have been lost during the subsequent fighting in the area, which lasted for nearly three years after his death. He was clearly buried close to the front line and so his grave could easily have been destroyed by shelling at any time during that period.