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Joseph Arkinstall was born in Wolverhampton in 1888, the son of Elizabeth Arkinstall. Elizabeth Barratt married William Arkinstall in 1880, but by 1890 she was remarrying a Harry Carter. I have not been able to find a record of the death of a William Arkinstall, although it is possible that Elizabeth and William got divorced, as Joseph is living with a William Arkinstall in both 1891 and 1911. Alternatively, there is also the death of a 36-year-old Thomas Arkinstall in 1888, who would be about the right age to be Joseph’s father.

In 1891, Joseph was living with his grandparents John and Jane Arkinstall at Court 5, House 1, Brickkiln Croft, together with his aunts Sarah Goodhead and Annie Arkinstall, and uncles John and Thomas Arkinstall, along with William Arkinstall, possibly his father. By 1901 he was living with another aunt, Fanny Cotterill, at 59 Pond Lane, together with his cousin (also Fanny Cotterill) and sister Jane Arkinstall. Finally by 1911 he was living at 13 Bloomsbury Street with another aunt and uncle, Richard and Annie Haynes, his cousins Mary, Thomas, William, Joseph and Albert Haynes, and, again, William Arkinstall. By this date Joseph has become a plasterer.

Joseph enlisted in the 1st/6th Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment (number 4751). On 18 August 1916, he died of wounds received in action, and this was reported in the Express & Star on 15 September 1916. His next of kin was given as his mother, Mrs E. Betsy Carter, and step-father, Harry Carter, of 4 Manor Street, Tettenhall. He is buried at the Warlincourt Halte British Cemetery in Saulty, and is commemorated on the St Paul’s Church war memorial.