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Joseph was born in Cannock in 1884, the son of Mary and Joseph Beach. Joseph later attended Wolverhampton Grammar School. By 1911, his father had died, and Joseph and his widowed mother were living at 148 Waterloo Road, Wolverhampton, along with his brother William and sister, Caroline Horton. Joseph was a traveller working for the milling industry.

Joseph originally enlisted as a Private with the South Staffordshire Regiment (service number 2997 and later 240589. His name was listed in the Express & Star on 30 October 1914 as a local man who had signed up. He first served overseas from 5 March 1915. He later transferred to the 5th Battalion of South Lancashire Regiment, becoming a Second Lieutenant.  On 31 July 1917, he was reported as missing, and it was later confirmed that he had been killed in action. He is remembered at the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, as well as on the memorial in St Peter’s Church.