(L to R) Military Cross; Distinguished Conduct Medal; Military Medal; 1914-15 Star; British War Medal; Allied Victory Medal; Defence Medal; War Medal 1939-45
Joseph was born on the 14th of June 1886. He lived at 3 Chapel Lane in Cheetham Hill with his parents, John and Mary. He married Elizabeth on the 27th May 1908 at Saint Edmund's Church in Miles Platting. They moved to 119 Needwood Street in Harpurhey and later 67 Northgrove Street in Manchester. They had four children together but, unfortunately, one of their sons, Robert, died early in his life. Joseph had a job as a house painter.
Joseph joined the Army on the 21st September 1914. He was recorded as being 5 foot 7 inches tall, with blue eyes, grey hair, and weighing 131 pounds. He was assigned to the 21st Battalion of the Manchester Regiment and was given the service number 19442. Also known as the 6th City Battalion, this was a ‘pals battalion’ of local lads who enlisted, trained and fought together.
Joseph served in France from the 10th November 1915 to the 15th March 1916, and again from the 11th August 1916 to the 27th August 1918. During this later tour he was awarded three gallantry medals. He was awarded the Military Cross for his actions on the 26th November 1917. He took command of the platoon after the loss of its officers and sergeants. He reorganised the unit whilst continuing with his other duties. He then earned the Distinguished Conduct Medal on the 18th June 1917 for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He took a machine gun forward and destroyed an enemy machine gun position. Joseph later took command of his company with marked ability. He was also awarded the Military Medal on the 17th June 1919. By the end of the war he had been promoted to Colour Sergeant.
Joseph was discharged on the 7th January 1919 but immediately re-enlisted. He was deployed to Germany as part of the British Army of the Rhine from the 23rd October 1924 to the 8th November 1927. He continued in the Army until being discharged on 27th September 1933. By the end of his service he had been promoted to the rank of Warrant Officer Class II, one of the highest ranks of non-commissioned officers.
In 1939 Joseph was living with his wife Elizabeth at 3 Chapel Lane in Manchester and still working as a painter. He also served during the Second World War from the 9th July 1940, but there is no information on his actions during this period. His was given the new service number 3512691.
Joseph’s son, also called Joseph, served with the Manchester Regiment from 1926 until his death in the Far East in 1942.
Joseph’s medals were donated to the museum collections in 2012 along with his son’s.