PEACH, Josiah

Shoeing Smith & Driver Josiah Peach
SS90208 Royal Field Artillery
14118 Private Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regt)

Peach Josiah500Photo:  Josiah Peach in 1938 Courtesy G. Prestwich (granddaughter).

Josiah was born in 1891 at Codnor, Derbyshire son of John William Peach a commission agent,  and for a short time a colliery banksman who later became a general/hardware dealer and his wife Annie (nee Brown) born Woodlinkin, Codnor. In 1901 the family was living at High Street, Codnor but by 1911 had moved to Main Road Jacksdale where John kept a hardware store.  Josiah had several brothers and sisters all of whom were skilled in various ways, his brother William was an iron works clerk and stock taker, John was a steel smelter, Sarah was a milliner, Annie Mary a pupil teacher and Herbert a lathe turner at the iron foundry. Josiah himself was a blacksmith’s striker. There was also another sister named Lydia.

Josiah enlisted with the Sherwood Foresters, aged 23 years on 1st September 1914 at Derby for a term of 3 years (unless war lasted longer in which case he was to be retained until the war was over.)  In November 1914, whilst at Lulworth Camp in Dorset Josiah applied for a transfer to the 92nd Brigade, Royal Field Artillery so he could serve with his elder brother, (but which brother is not known).  Joseph’s height at the time is noted as 5’9″, taller than average for that time. The transfer was approved and in December 1914 he joined the RFA and his service number changed to 90208. On 16th January 1915 he was appointed SS – ‘shoeing smith’.

France was the first theatre of war he served in, with effect from 25th July 1915. In July 1916 he embarked from Devonport arriving in Salonika, Greece in early August 1916. Shortly after arriving there, in September 1916 he was admitted to hospital suffering with malaria. His service record notes numerous admissions to hospital throughout both 1917 and 1918, presumably due to repeated bouts of malaria.

Although the WW1 peace treaty was signed in November 1918, Josiah remained in Salonika until April 1919. He was a recipient of the 1914-15 Star, the British War and Victory medals.

He was demobbed to Main Road, Jacksdale and just 2 months later on 28th June 1919 married Edith Hilda Sheriston at Selston, St. Helen’s. Edith’s brother Joseph Henry Sheriston of the Field Ambulance, Royal Army Medical Corps was killed in action in 1916 and is listed on the Roll of Honour plaques inside St Helen’s Church. Josiah and Edith had children Annie (Nancy) and Fred in the early 1920’s and both were baptised at Westwood, St. Mary’s, father’s occupation given as ‘blacksmith’.

From local newspaper archives, in 1902 at Ironville & Codnor Park School a pupil named J Peach won a certificate for swimming the one length flying handicap (having only learned to swim that year). In 1914 a J.W. Peach was one of the local traders and gentlemen who subscribed a share of £5 to form the Jacksdale Social Club and in 1926 a J. Peach, J. and H. Sheriston were officials on the founding committee of the Jacksdale Branch of the Royal British Legion.

Josiah and Edith later moved to Rotherham where Josiah continued to work as a blacksmith until his death in June 1942.