Joseph Hagger


Joseph Hagger


First World War

Date of Death / Age


Rank, Service Number & Service Details

Hertfordshire Regiment


Not Yet Researched


Panel 54 and 56.


>Not Researched

UK Memorials

St Mary the Virgin Church, Therfield, Non-conformist Chapel, Therfield, Not on the Royston memorials

Pre War

Born in 1894 in Therfield, Herts., son of William and Annie Hagger.

1901 census details

Father William , 42 was an engine driver on the farm and with his wife Annie 35, he had 7 children. They were living at Sherlock’s Farm and the children were, Winifred, 11 William, 10, Joseph, 7 Mary, 6, Beatrice, 3 Hilda 1 and Clara 1 month.

1911 census details

Now recorded as living at Dane End  poor William had lost his wife in 1905 and 6 children had died so that only 4 were living! The poor man was soon to lose another son at war too.

The children at home were William, Joseph, Polly (Mary) who was house-keeping and Florence 8.The males were all farm labourers.

Wartime Service

Enlisted in Hertford. Formerly 4807 Bedfordshire Regiment.

Joseph enlisted in Hertford and according to the medals list he became Private 4807 in the Hertfordshire Regiment but died as 266533 in the Bedfords although the War Graves Commission records him as being in the Hertfordshires when he died.

Details below show that an amalgamation with the Bedfords took place 20 days before he was killed.

3/1st Battalion

Formed at Hertford in December 1914. Moved to Halton Park by October 1915. 8 April 1916 : became 1st Reserve Bn. 11 July 1917 : amalgamated with 5th Reserve Bn, the Bedfordshire Regiment.

We know that he did not go on active service until after the beginning of 1916 from his medals entitlement but because his service records have not survived we cannot know exactly when he was involved abroad.

We do know that he was cut down on the first day of what is known as the  Battle of Passchendaele:

31 July – 10 November 1917: the Battles of Ypres, 1917. The British finally got what they had wanted since 1914: the opportunity to attack at Ypres and breakout of the confines of the salient of trenches around it. Often known as the Third Battle of Ypres or Passchendaele, the offensive began with encouraging gains but terrible summer weather soon bogged it down.By August the offensive was clearly failing in its objectives and had descended into attritional fighting. New techniques by both sides led to agonisingly slow forward movement for the British, at enormous cost in casualties to both sides. Bad weather in October led to the battlefield becoming an impossible quagmire.

Joseph is remembered on the Menin Gate Memorial to the missing in Ypres, Belgium,  Panels 54/56.


Malcolm Lennox, Jean Handley