Joseph Charles Cottle
Joseph Charles Cottle, known as Charles, was born on 22 October 1889, the son of Joseph Cottle and Rosa Anne née Hill. The 1891 census gives his place of birth as Framilode, but it is recorded as Frampton on the 1901 and 1911 censuses. Following the death of his mother in 1894, and with his father working on the barges, the family was split up and Charles was sent to the Jewish Synagogue Industrial School in Park Row, Bristol. In 1911 he was working for the Great Western Railway as a labourer, lodging in Swansea. His brothers, Frederick William and Joseph Thomas, also served during the war.
Charles enlisted at Swansea on 5 September 1914 with the 14th Reserve Cavalry Regiment giving his occupation as a collier; he appears to have previously resided, and probably worked, at Neath. He was then sent for infantry training with the 3rd Battalion of the York and Lancaster Regiment, before being posted on 14 July 1915 to join the 2nd Battalion on the Western Front. He arrived just as they were moving from a relatively quiet sector to the village of Hooge, on a ridge near Ypres, which was the focus of much heavy fighting and would change hands repeatedly throughout the war. As Hooge had been subjected to heavy German attacks after the Second Battle of Ypres, the 6th Division, which included the 2nd York and Lancaster, mounted an attack on 9 August to restore the Allied front line in this most exposed part of the Ypres salient. They succeeded in capturing both the shattered chateau and the huge crater left by a mine exploded previously on 19 July; however, Private Joseph Charles Cottle was one of many killed. A measure of the significance of this action is that his battalion were awarded the Battle Honour 'Hooge 1915'.
Charles was posthumously awarded the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal and is commemorated on the plaque in the village hall but not on the war memorial, despite a 'Mrs Cottel' making a contribution towards it. His effects were sent to his former landlady, Mrs Mary Ann Morgan of Swansea, on 10 January 1916.