Joseph was born in 1896 in Northop, Flintshire. The 1901 census places the family at Rhydygoleu near Mold. The household consisted of Steven Whenham, a 32year old domestic gardener who had been born in Kent. His wife was Ruth 28 years old from Mold. They had at that time, three sons. Joseph E 4 yrs, John A 3yrs and Steven E 1yr.
Ten years later the 1911 census finds the family living at ‘The Cottage’ (which had 5 rooms) at Leeswood Hall Steven the father was listed as being 40 years old. He was still a domestic gardener, working at Leeswood Hall. This census form details his birthplace as Blackheath, Kent. His wife Ruth we can see was 38, had been married for 15 years and had been born in Rhydymwyn near Mold. She was a Welsh speaker. The number of children had now doubled. Joseph was 14 and worked as a farm labourer, The other children were John 13, Stephen 11, Mary 8, Horace 6 and Ruth Helen 3.
‘Soldiers that Died in the Great War 1914-1919 (accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk) tells us that Joseph enlisted in Hartley, Wintney, Hampshire.
His Flintshire Roll of Honour card in the Flintshire County Archive Office at Hawarden, gives the regimental details as above and also says that he died of wounds in hospital in France after serving for 14 months. This card was signed by his father on 18th September 1919.
His medal card states that his first theatre of war was the Balkans which he entered on 5th December 1915. This suggests that he served in Galipolli.
His British War Grave Certificate (see below) says that he was the son of Stephen and Ruth Whenham of ‘The Lodge’ Pentre Hobyn. This was another big house in the area so presumably, he was now gardening there. The master of that house was a retired captain in the Navy who had returned to service in the war and also lost his life. He was Pennant Athelwold Iremonger Lloyd who is named on the Memorial at Pontblyddyn Church and has his own page on this website
and the Rhydymwyn Memorial.