Countdown to armistice (10) Second Lieutenant Joseph Ison Cuffley M.C.

Joseph was born in Nottingham in 1888, the second child of Joseph and Fanny. His father was a boot maker.

On 17th July 1911, Joseph joined Birmingham City Police, he served on the ‘B’ Division with warrant number 7867 and collar number PC B105.

On 15th November 1915 Joseph resigned to enlist in the Army. At the time of his death he was a Second Lieutenant in the 61st Battalion of the Machine Gun Corps.

Joseph married Alice Mary Matthews but Joseph never knew his son, Joseph Lynn Cuffley, as he was born three months after his father died.

Joseph joined the Machine Gun Corps on 25th January 1917. Joseph was awarded the Military Cross for gallantry and devotion to duty during his service:

His citation read:

On the enemy gaining a footing in one of our trenches he at once organised and led a party and ejected the enemy. He later went in search of ammunition and delivered it across ground, heavily swept by machine gun fire, to two machine guns whose supply had run out. Throughout the attack he displayed great courage and marked energy.

He was wounded and captured by the Germans, most likely during their Spring offensive. Joseph succumbed to his injuries whilst he was in captivity on the 21st March 1918. He was 30 years of age.

David Ison Cuffley (Joseph Ison's grandson) believes his father Joseph Lynn Cuffley later became a special constable with the Birmingham Police, based at Harborne Police Station.

With thanks to David Ison Cuffley for information and the photograph of Joseph and the Military History Society of the West Midlands Police for sharing their research

If you would like to read more about the Birmingham City Police officers who fought in World War I - please visit