(L to R) General Service Medal with ‘Palestine’ clasp; 1939-45 Star; Pacific Star; Defence Medal; War Medal 1939-45
Joseph was born on the 17th of October 1912. He lived at 3 Chapel Lane in Cheetham Hill with his father, also called Joseph, and his mother, Elizabeth. His father worked as a house painter and his mother was a labeller.
Joseph’s father had served with the Manchester Regiment during and after the First World War. Joseph joined himself when he was under-age at 14 on the 13th November 1926 and was given the service number 3521762. He was 5 foot 3 inches tall, weighed 93 pounds and had brown eyes and hair. He either gave a false date of birth or his age was overlooked, and he joined ‘A’ Company, 1st Battalion Manchester Regiment.
Joseph served in Palestine during the late-1930s as part of the British Mandate of Palestine. He rose through the ranks and was promoted to Sergeant on the 9th April 1939. He was involved with the regimental band and became the band Sergeant. Then on the 7th March 1941 he was promoted to Colour Sergeant, and promoted to Warrant Officer Class II on the 30th June 1941.
He served during the Second World War in Malaya but was killed on the 14th February 1942. He was on board HMS Dragonfly which was a river gunboat which was sunk in the Banka Strait, off the coast of Java. He was 29 years old. He is commemorated at the Singapore Memorial along with 24,320 others. He is one of 93 soldiers buried there who are from the Manchester Regiment.
Joseph’s medals were donated to the museum collections in 2012 along with his father’s.