Many thanks to Nicola Whitehead who supplied me with much of the information below on the 21st September 2011. – Joseph James was born on 16th April 1888 in Australia, in Adamstown, New South Wales. His arrival date in the UK in Liverpool was about 1911. He came to visit family whilst there were fixes made and he never returned to his Australian family.
Joseph James Grainger, married Mary Catherine Jones on the 7th April 1912 at St. Mark’s Church, Connah’s Quay. James was 23 and living at 16 Cestrian Street, Connah’s Quay. His father was named as Joseph James Grainger, a Master Butcher. Mary Catherine Jones 22, was a Spinster and her address was 9, Princes Street, Connah’s Quay. Her father was David Jones, a Labourer. The Witnesses: were Edwin Stockton and Mary Ann Stockton.
Their children were David Thomas Grainger (1912-2000), Margaret Grainger (1914- 1992), Joseph James Grainger (1921 – 1941), William Arnold Grainger (1923-1923) and Emily Elizabeth Grainger (1924 – 2003)
There is an index card for Joseph James Grainger in The Flintshire Roll of Honour in the County Record Office in Hawarden. (Flintshire WW1 Index Card Connah’s Quay L134). The card confirms the regimental details above and contains the address 22, Princes Street, Connah’s Quay. It says that he served from the 4th August 1914 to the 3rd January 1919. It contains the words ‘Gallipoli’ and ‘Gaza’. The card was signed by Mrs. Grainger on September 19th 1919. The card was filed with the survivors (Living) cards. Joseph was not killed in the war, but apparently he was badly injured, Nicola tells me, he had most of his chest blown away and had to wear a “Brace,” as can be seen on the photograph below that Nicola kindly sent me along with the others.
Joseph James Grainger (Snr.) is seen on the 1921 census, (which was taken on the 19th of June 1921), living at 22, Princes Street, Connah’s Quay, with his family. He was head of the household and was now 33 years and 2 months old, he confirms his place of birth as Newcastle, N.S.W., Australia and he is out of work, due to his disability from War Service, but had been an Ironworker. His wife, Mary Catherine Grainger, was now 31 years 9 months and had been born in Liverpool, Lancashire. Their children were David Thomas Grainger, 8 years and 6 months old and Margaret Ellen Grainger, 7 years and 1 month old. Both had been born in Connah’s Quay. (Young Joseph James Grainger was not yet born, he was to lose his life in WW2, please click on the link below to read his story.)
The Flintshire Record Office also has an ‘Undertaker’s book in which the death of Joseph Grainger was recorded. The entry tells us that Joseph James Grainger died on the 28th September 1924 aged 36, Husband of Mary Catherine Grainger of 22, Princes Street, Connah’s Quay. He died at the Eye & Ear Hospital, Myrtle Street, Liverpool, There were 3 Coaches at the Funeral.. Also listed in the same book was William Arnold Grainger 8 months old, 10th November 1923.
There is a family grave in Connah’s Quay Cemetery which contains the following inscriptions.
In loving memory of Joseph James beloved Husband of Mary C. Grainger
who died September 29th 1924 aged 36 years.
“His end was peace”.
Also Joseph James (Joe) R.N. beloved son Lost in action ,
Bay of Biscay 24th December 1941 aged 20 yrs.
“Worthy of Remembrance”.
Also Mary Catherine Grainger died Feb 14th 1963 aged 73 years. “Reunited”.
Also Alice Grainger, Daughter in Law of Joseph & Mary died June 28th 1995 aged 85 yrs. “Peace at last”.
Also David Thomas Grainger dear Husband of Alice died 28th March 2000 aged 87 yrs.
(Connah’s Quay Cemetery Monumental Inscriptions:- Page 13 XA 97)
Joseph’s Medal card is accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk but it does not list his medals. It confirms his regimental details and adds that he enlisted on the 4th August 1914 and was discharged on 3rd January 1919. He was awarded with a silver army war badge which was issued to former servicemen to wear to indicate that they had served in the war.
The County Herald published on the 27th April 1917 lists of the ‘dead, wounded, died of wounds and Prisoners’. Included in the list was was ‘Grainger 1572 L/Cpl. J. Connah’s Quay, Wounded. (I don’t know if this is the right man, as the regimental number and rank is different).
Joseph James was not on the Commonwealth War Graves Database, as the cut off for inclusion was 1921 and Joseph James died in 1924, before the Cenotaph was erected in 1926. He was honoured by the people of Connah’s Quay however and was named on the Cenotaph.
WW2 brought more sadness and grief to Mary Catherine as can be seen on the Gravestone above when she lost her son Joseph James in 1941, please click on the link to read his story