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Joseph was born in Bilston in 1894. In 1901 he was living with his uncle, Thomas Lunn, at 9 Chapel Street, Bilston. In 1914 he married Mary Ann Saunders in Wolverhampton.

Joseph enlisted first with the Hussars Regiment (number 25058) and then transferred to the 2nd Battalion of the Suffolk Regiment (number 19438). He first served in France from 6 July 1915. He was killed in action in France on 1 May 1917, and is commemorated at the Monchy British Cemetery at Monchy-Le-Preux, as well as on the High Town Ward Roll of Honour.