Lancashire Fusilier Lance Corporal Joel Halliwell remembered for his Victoria Cross medal

  • A video report by Granada Reports Reporter Paul Crone

It was one of the bravest actions on the Western Front during World War I - Lancashire Fusilier Lance Corporal Joel Halliwell from Middleton was awarded the Victoria Cross medal in 1918.

On 27 May 1918, Lance Corporal Halliwell was acting as groom to his Colonel when he saw several wounded men in No Man’s Land.

Having caught a stray German horse, he rode out under heavy rifle and machine gun fire and rescued an officer.

He repeatedly rode out saving another nine men before he was driven back by the advancing enemy. He later walked back taking water to the wounded.

Joel's Victoria Cross is on display at the Fusilier Museum in Bury.

VC winner Joel Halliwell who died in 1958 Credit: Jenny and Luke Murray

Museum Curator Sarah Austin said: "It must have been an extraordinary scene, if you can imagine the heavy artillery and machine gun fire that was occuring while Joel Halliwell decided to ride out into No Man's Land.

"It must have been a really extreme scene and to decide you're going to put yourself at the centre of that what a remarkable man Joel Halliwell was."

He was sent home with a leg injury on 7 September 1918 and married Sarah Greaves that year, with whom he had three daughters.

Joel became the landlord of The New Inn in Middleton but being a very private person soon tired of people asking him to recount his deed and took a job with the Highways Department.

Though he tried to enlist for World War Two he was turned down due to his age and poor eyesight.

When he died in Oldham in 1958, aged seventy-six, the flags in Middleton were flown at half-mast as he was driven to Boarshaw cemetery.

He is still remembered today as the Horseman of No Man's Land.

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