Joseph was born in Wolverhampton on 8 October 1894, the son of George and Ann Elizabeth Hill. In 1901, they were living at 15 Prosser Street, Heath Town, Wolverhampton, along with Joseph’s siblings Eliza, George and Beatrice. Joseph attended St Mary’s School, and was later Scoutmaster of the 19th Wolverhampton group. By 1911, they were living at 36 Zoar Street, Wolverhampton, with additional children Sarah Ann, Alice and James Arthur. Joseph was working as a printer and compositor for Messrs Gibbs in Lichfield Street.
In 1915, Joseph enlisted in the 2nd Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment (number 4791 and later 40626) and became a Lance Corporal. He was wounded, and unfortunately died of these wounds on his birthday, 8 October 1918, in hospital in France. His address by then was given as 5 Bailey Street, Wolverhampton. He was featured in the Midland Counties Express on 26 October 1918. He is buried at the Grevillers British Cemetery in France.