Joseph Colgrave

Submitted by Marilyn Beckly

Joseph was her Grandfathers eldest brother

Updated 17/9/18

7335 LSgt Joseph Colgrave DCM 5th Lancers.
He joined the Army at the age of 18yrs in Beverley, Yorkshire and enlisted into the East Yorkshire Regt on 6 Aug 1898.

Pte Colgrave was posted to the 2nd Bn which was stationed at Templemore in Ireland. 
On 17 Nov 1900 he transferred to the Cavalry and joined the 12th Lancers stationed in Hounslow and Aldershot.  On 13 Mar 1901 he sailed with the Regt to South Africa.  The 12th Lancers saw action during the Boer War in the Cape and the Transvaal.  On 21 Sep 1902 the Regt was posted to India.  Trooper Colgrave was promoted to LCpl on 27 Dec 1902.  He remained in India until 25 Jan 1906.  On his return to UK he was posted to the 5th Lancers before he transferred to the Army Reserve relinquishing his stripe, effective from 6 Aug 1906.  On 4 Aug 1914 he was recalled to the colours.  He rejoined 5th Lancers and proceeded with the Regt to France from Dublin with the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) in Aug 1914 as part of 3rd Cavalry Brigade (5th Royal Irish Lancers, 4th Hussars and 16th Lancers), Brig Gough commanding.  The 5th Lancers were in action at Mons, where they were the last Regiment to withdraw.  During the Retreat 5th Lancers took part in the Battles of Le Cateau and the Marne, where the Germans were halted before Paris.  They then took part in the advance to the Aisne.  Tpr Colgrave was awarded a Mention in Despatches and Distinguished Conduct Medal for gallantry and leadership in the face of the enemy during the First Battle of Ypres at Hollebeke on Messines Ridge on 30th October 1914, Gazetted on 16th Jan 1915:

"On 30th October 1914 near Hollebeke, showed great presence of mind and coolness during an emergency in rallying several bodies of Indian troops who had lost their officers".

He was promoted again to LCpl on 12 Nov 1914.  The 5th Lancers fought dismounted at the Battle of Loos and in the trenches throughout the war mainly in the Ypres Salient but were also held in readiness for the breakthrough which did not come until 1918.  On 3 Mar 1916 he was promoted to Cpl.  On 25 Mar 1917 he was posted back to UK into the 1st Reserve Regt Lancers where he remained as an instructor and on 19 Nov 1917 was promoted to LSgt.  He was a qualified bombing instructor.  LSgt Colgrave DCM was transferred to the Reserve on 22 May 1919.  He joined the Home Guard on the outbreak of the Second World War.  LSgt Colgrave DCM had 20 yrs Regular and Reserve service.

He collapsed and died aged 72, in Hyde Park, London after attending a Royal Review of 63,000 ex-servicemen and women on 5th July 1953.

Awarded DCM, MiD, Queens South Africa Medal clasps Cape Colony and Transvaal, King's South Africa Medal clasps 1901 and 1902, 1914 Star clasp 5Aug-29Nov, British War Medal, Victory Medal, and Defence Medal 1945.


Josph Colgrave's DCM Citation
Josph Colgrave's Service Record













© Copyright 2010 - 2021 Dean Hill and Stuart Reeves