Joseph was born in 1891.The census of that year places him in the family home of Ty Gwyn, Flint. It was a full house with 11 people living in it and little Joseph was aged 0. Father Thomas was 29 and mother Martha was 39. The eldest children were William 19, John Jones 16 Susannah 14 and David 14. It is unlikely that Thomas was father to these four as he was only 29. The census does not say they were step children but it is likely they were. The other children listed were Richard 6, Thomas 4 and Mary 2 . There was also a boarder named Sam Platt
Ten years later, the 1901 census finds Joseph living with his family in Red Houses, Flint Mountain The children were David 23, Thomas 14, Mary 12, Joseph 10, James 6 and George 4. The father Thomas was listed as a colliery labourer who had been born in Charmley Lancs and mother Martha was now 49- she had been born in Durham.
The census of 1911 places the family at Stone House, Nant yr Arfon (?) near Northop. The head of the household was Thomas Thelwell a 51 year old farm labourer. His wife of 26 years was Martha who was 69. She had given birth to 7 children but two had not survived. The listed children were Thomas 24, a ‘stone breaker’, Mary 22, Joseph was 20, a labourer in the coal pit, James Roland, 16, was a farm boy and George was 14.
UK Soldiers who died in The Great war 1914-19 accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk includes an entry for Joseph Thelwell. It tells us that he enlisted in Mold and was originally in the Royal Army Service Corps but later became a Gunner in The Tank Corps and was killed in action.
The Register of Sodiers’ effects in which the army calculated what moneys were owed to deceased soldiers (also on Ancestry), includes an entry for Joseph. It tells us he was ‘presumed’ killed. The total of £18 .. 17sh .. 6d was paid in two separate payments to his sole Legatee – his widow Lillian.
There is a link to another family who lost a son in the war. Joseph’s little brother James eventually married Florence (Bell) Smith ( from Northop). Florence’s brother Tegid was killed and is listed on the Memorial.
Many thanks to Jan Clark (Tegid’s niece) who pointed this detail out to us.
Joseph is also remembered on the Mold Memorial.