This blog posting has been prepared by one of our volunteers, Ann Eales.
Joseph Barnsley appears in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission records, also the Wolverhampton Roll of Honour as follows:
Barnsley Joseph Corporal 13082 8th Bn South Staffordshire Regiment Son of the late James and Sarah Barnsley. Served in the South African Campaign. Born at Wolverhampton. Died 14th December 1915 aged 32. Wolverhampton Borough Cemetery, Wolverhampton. 2272
The Medical History in his Military Records shows that he enlisted 15th November 1901, at Lichfield, and joined the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, where his Regimental Number was 6940. He is described as age 19, a Plumber by Trade, Height: 5 Feet 8½ inches, Weight: 127 lbs, chest measurement minimum: 33½ inches, maximum extension: 35½ inches, Physical Development: Good, Vaccination Marks: 4 vaccinated, in infancy, scar on left leg. He was re-vaccinated 23rd November 1901. On 19th November 1901 he was at Wrexham, departed on P&O SS “Sicilia” 20th October 1902 and arrived in India 10th November 1902. From 1st to 8th May 1904 he was in hospital with a soft chancre. He was examined for extension of service and found fit. On 21st November 1904 he was at Agra, and he spent 36 days in hospital from 15th April to 5th July 1908.
Army Form B. 111, Short Service Attestation shows he enlisted 3rd September 1914, that his age was 32 years and 98 days, he was born Tettenhall, occupation was Storekeeper. The Statement of Services Form shows Regimental Number 8/13082, posted 6-11-1914 Army Rank Private, Promoted L Corp 6-11-1914, Promoted Cpl 24-11-1914, Discharged under Kings Regs para 2 XVI “no longer physically fit for War Service” 15-6-1915.
The Military History Sheet has dates of Service: Home from 3rd September 1914 to 15-6-15, 285 days. Name and Address of Next of Kin is given as Lucy Barnsley sister, living at 57 Gatis Street Whitmore Reans Wolverhampton.
Description on Enlistment has: Age: 32 years 98 days, Height: 5 Feet 9½ inches, Weight: 128 lbs, chest measurement 35 inches, Range of expansion: 2 ¾ inches, Complexion: Sallow, Eyes: Blue, Hair: Brown, Church of England. 2 scars. Fit for Service.
There is also a Medical Report on an Invalid, Army Form B 179. His Disability was recorded as “419 Tuberculosis Larynx (& Lung). The Date of Origin was Feb 1915, starting with an influenza and cold and bronchial catarrh. He states that he was under canvas up to the beginning of December 1914. Weight 9 stone 7 lbs was 10 stone lbs last Sept has been 11 stone. He was discharged 19th May 1915. There is also a Form “Opinion of the Medical Board” showing “Total Incapacity” and his discharge was approved 26th May 1915.
Despite several searches visa the FreeBMD website no trace was found of the Registration at Wolverhampton of Joseph’s birth, which must have been in 1884.
The 1891 Census shows the Barnsley family living at 151 Lime Street Tettenhall. Sarah Barnsley is Head of the household, a widow, age 38, working as a Laundress, born Isle of Man. Lucy her daughter is age 12, born Gibralter, Sarah’s 4 sons are James age 10 scholar born “West India Barbadoes” and, all 3 born “Staffs Tettenhall”, are Joseph age 7 scholar George age 5 scholar and Arthur age 3 scholar.
At the time of the 1901 census Joseph was in the Army. On the 1901 Census Richard Jones age 61 appears, occupation Watch(?) Maker, living at 320 Hordern Road, Dunstall and married to Sarah Jones age 48, born Isle of Man. The household also includes William Barnsley age 27 occupation Bricklayers Labourer, born Hampshire Portsmouth, Lucy Barnsley age 22 born Gibralter (British Subject), James age 20 born West Indies, Barbadoes, occupation White Lead Maker George age 15, and Arthur age 13, both born Staffs Wolverhampton and George Long Boarder age 20 occupation Tin Plate Maker born London Blackfriars.
The 1911 census shows Sarah Jones, Widow, age 58 living at 53 Wallon Street Wolverhampton, with her sons Joseph Barnsley, age 27 Single Occupation Oxygen Works, Tester, born Staffordshire Tettenhall, and Arthur Barnsley age 22 Single Occupation Oxygen Works, Fitter, born Staffordshire Tettenhall, and her daughter Lucy Barnsley age 32, Single, born Gibralter “Resident.”