WILSON, Joseph William

Private Joseph William Wilson
24442 Army Pay Corps

Joseph William Wilson was born in 1874 at Somercotes, son of Joseph Wilson a coal miner, born Hawksworth, Nottingham and his wife Mary (nee Ancliff) born Lowdham, Notts. Joseph’s parents married in 1870 in the Belper District and had five children, Harriett Ann, Thomas, Mary Jane, Enoch and Joseph. When Joseph was only 5 years old his father died, leaving Mary widowed with 5 children ranging in age from 2 years to 9 years. Mary fell on hard times and in 1881 was living as an ‘outdoor pauper’ at Birchwood Lane, Somercotes. By 1891 Mary, still a widow, was living with all her children at the home of her father Thomas Ancliff at West End, Blackwell, Derbyshire. Her father had also taken in a further two children Ernest and Winifred Wilson, relatives of Mary’s on her husband’s side of the family. Fortunately, by this time, Joseph William and his elder brother Thomas were both employed as coal miners so obviously helped keep the family home together.

In 1896 Joseph married Mary Jane Edwards at Somercotes and they set up home at Blackwell and Joseph had embarked upon a new career as an insurance agent. Children soon followed, Mary Estella, George Howard, Thomas, Alice, William, Joseph Ancliff and Samuel Arthur. By 1911 the family had moved to Skegness at Selston, Notts.

Joseph joined up late during the war, probably due to his age, not attesting until 18th April 1918, just a few days before his 44th birthday. He was 5’8″ with dark hair, blue eyes and a pale complexion. He gave his home address as ‘Top of Sedgwick Street, Jacksdale’  and was not called up for duty until 28th October 1918 when the end of the war was imminent. As an insurance agent he obviously had a head for figures and paperwork and was enrolled in the Army Pay Corps.  An Army medical examination was carried out and it was noted ‘ enlisted  after having attained the age of 40. Not to be placed in a medical category higher than B(1) at any time during his service.’  It also noted that he was suffering from ‘neurasthenia and cardiac dilatation, downwards and inwards.’ Joseph was demobbed from Clipstone Camp, Nottingham on 1st March 1919.

It seems that Joseph and his wife Mary lived out their lives in the Jacksdale area and despite Joseph’s ailments he survived until age 85 and Mary until age 81. They are both buried at Westwood, St. Mary’s.