Jews of the First World War: Joseph Pomerantz
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Jews of the First World War: Joseph Pomerantz

100 years after the Armistice, we honour notable community members who fought in the Great War

Military helmet from the First World War, which ended in 1918, 100-years ago.
Military helmet from the First World War, which ended in 1918, 100-years ago.

When the British Government appealed for volunteers to try to build the numbers of the British Expeditionary Force, hundreds of thousands of young men rushed to the recruitment centres including the men of Anglo-Jewry.

Enlisting on 11 September 1914 was Joseph Pomerantz, resident of Swansea, Wales. Born in 1882 in East London, Pomerantz was married to Eugenia and had four children when he began his patriotic military career. As one of the new recruits, it would be 1915 until he saw active service on the Western Front.

In autumn 1915, he was with his battalion of the Leicestershire regiment during the Battle of Loos. The Battle was a British attack in an area of industrial northern France.

Joseph Pomerantz

It is often remembered as the first time the British used poisonous gas following on from the German use of gas that April, as well as being the largest British offensive of 1915 on the Western Front.

Private Pomerantz was reported as missing in action on 25 September 1915 and was acknowledged as being killed in May 1916 when the War Office confirmed his widow would receive a pension of 25 shillings a week. His body has never been found and he is remembered on the Loos memorial, which is on the battlefield.

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