Joseph was born in Bilston in 1884, the son of John Walters. In 1901 they were living at 15 Stringes Lane, Willenhall, together with Joseph’s siblings John W., Ruth, Ernest, Mabel, Vincent and Ethel. By 1911 they were at 186 Stringes Lane and Joseph was a bolt maker at the docks.
On 13 January 1915, Joseph enlisted, serving first with the Royal Army Medical Corps (number 49532), then with the Royal Sussex Regiment (number 6076), and finally with the Labour Corps (number 395975). His address by this date was 27 Beckett Street, Bilston, and he was an iron labourer. He served in France.
On Joseph’s service file, there is a letter, dated 9 May 1916, with the following heading:
No. 6076 Private J. Walters, 9th Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment. Reported Killed in Action 29th October 1915
However, this did not apply to Joseph. It appears that a John Walters, service number 6038, had been serving under the service number 6076, so Joseph had been incorrectly identified as having been killed in action. The letter on Joseph’s file confirms the correct details.
Joseph himself was wounded on two occasions, however. On 3 July 1916 he received a gun shot wound in his abdomen, and on 4 May 1917 a gun shot wound in the right arm. He was listed as wounded in the Express & Star on 28 May 1917. His wounds were the reason he was transferred to the Labour Corps, where he continued serving for the rest of the war, before being discharged on 5 March 1919. I have not been able to confirm further details of Joseph’s life.