Broadway Remembers: Corporal 30883 Joseph Lawrence Badger, MM (1896-1983)
14th Service Battalion Machine Gun Corps
formerly 3rd Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment
During the First World War, 98 year ago today, 24th November 1917, Broadway soldier, Pte Joseph Lawrence Badger, who was serving with the Machine Gun Corps, was declared as missing in action during the action at Bourlon Wood during the Battle of Cambrai. Joseph was found in the snow and the mud the following day with gunshot wounds to his left knee and elbow and transported back to England where he was treated at the Kitchener Hospital, Brighton, and the Seaside Hospital, Sleaford, before re-joining the corps at Alnwick in early 1918.
Pte Badger was shot four times during the First World War. He enlisted, aged 18, with the Royal Warwickshire Regiment in Stratford-upon-Avon on 4th December 1914. He was posted to the Western Front with the British Expeditionary Force on 2nd May 1915. Just over two weeks later on 19th May 1915 he received a gunshot wound to the head at Ypres. After a period of treatment and recuperation Pte Badger returned to his regiment and was posted to Gallipoli with the 9th (Service) Battalion at the beginning of September 1915. Within a few weeks, on 13th October 1915, Pte Badger received a gunshot wound to the left thigh at Suvla.
Pte Badger transferred to the Machine Gun Corps in May 1916 and trained at Belton Park near Grantham before being posted back to the Western Front the following month. Whilst back at the Front, in April 1917 Pte Badger was treated for trench fever and then on 24th November 1917, he was declared missing whilst at Bourlon Wood. After Pte Badger recovered from his gunshot wounds he again returned to the Corps and France where he was promoted to the rank of Corporal on 9th November 1918, two days before the Armistice.
Corporal Badger returned to England in February 1919 and he was demobilized the following month. He returned to Broadway the was awarded the Military Medal (London Gazette 17th June 1919). Joseph married Elizabeth Dunn the same year and died, aged 86, in Broadway in 1983.
Broadway Remembers (ISBN: 978-0-9929891-0-1) proceeds to the Poppy Appeal
A not-for-profit publication to coincide with the global First World War Centenary commemorations led by IWM