Joseph Maddocks was born about 1889 in Lache, Cheshire. His parents were Joseph Maddocks & Mary Ann (nee Edwards) who I believe, married in St. Mary’s Church, Dodleston, Cheshire in 1885 (CE19/1/191)
The 1891 census records the family living at Sandy Lane, Saltney, Hawarden, Flintshire. Joseph, 29 was a Railway Platelayer who had been born in Higher Kinnerton, Flintshire. His wife Mary Ann, 27 had been born in Wrexham, Denbighshire. Their listed children were Robert, 5, Joseph, 2 and baby daughter Elizabeth 6 months old.
The 1901 census sees the family still in 3 Sandy Lane. Joseph was a Labourer in the Iron Foundry. His wife Mary A was 37. The children were Robert, 15 a Painter of Sheets, Joseph, 12, Elizabeth A 10 and Frederick, 5.
1911 census records the family still in Sandy lane. This census was the first time that the householder actually filled in the census themselves and the writing of Joseph was beautiful. He was 49 and a General Labourer. His wife of 25 years, Mary Ann was 48. Seven children had been born, but sadly they had lost one. The children listed in the household were Robert 25, a Signalman with the Great Western Railway, Joseph, 22, a Platelayer with the same company as his brother, Elizabeth Ann, 20, Frederick 15 was a ‘Page Boy for Captain Lowe’ and Walter was 9. A grandchild, Vera May aged 3 months was listed.
There is an index card for Joseph’s in the Flintshire Roll of Honour at The County Record office in Hawarden. (Card Saltney Ferry F 21). It tells us that his period of Service was 3 years, and the card was signed by E.L.Roberts. I believe that he was the gentleman who distributed and collected the cards in Saltney Ferry.
Joseph’s Army Service Records have survived and are accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk.
He signed his Attestation Papers on the 8th December 1915 at Wrexham. He was 27 years and 6 months old and his trade was ‘labourer’. He gave the address Sandy Lane, Stone Bridge, Saltney. He named his mother as his Next of Kin. There was a descriptive Report on enlistment. He was 5 feet 6 inches tall, weighed 136 lbs and had a chest measurement of 37 inches with an expansion range of 1/2 inch.
The Records show that he was allocated to the Reserve on the 9th December 1915 and was mobilised on the 1st March 1916. He attended Litherland near Liverpool for training. He eventually joined his Battalion in Rouen, France on the 13th December 1916. He entered ‘the field’ in April 1917. The records show that he needed hospital attention ‘in the field’ during June 1917. The word ‘febrile’ appears. (Feverish)
His conduct sheet shows that he got into trouble a few times throughout his army career mostly for being absent ‘off pass’. He was ‘Confined to Barracks’ and/or lost pay as a punishment.
He was made Acting Sergeant on the 8th or 9th February 1919 just before they prepared his demobilisation papers.
In 1919 the army made preparations for his demobilisation as they prepared a ‘Protection Certificate and Certificate of Identity’ for a Soldier not remaining with the colours.
No. 2 Dispersal Unit, Prees Heath 20th February 1919
Name – MADDOCKS, Christian Name – Joseph
Rank – A/Sgt
Record Office – Shrewsbury
Unit – 17 83? Regt R.W.F.
Address For Pay – Sandy Lane, Saltney, Nr. Chester.
Signature of Joseph.
Theatre of War – France
Born in the year 1888
Medical Cat. A.z
Place of rejoining in case of emergency – Prees Heath
Specialist Military Qualification – 1st Class Cook
Signed 20th February 1919 at Prees Heath Policy No. R/Z2.1078998
There followed a Statement as to Disability – this was signed by Joseph on the 14th February 1919. He was examined “in the Field” and signed the part of the paper that stated ” I do not claim to be suffering from a disability due to my military service” How poignant and ironic that he was to die 12 days later!
Joseph was sent home on ‘Furlough’ (temporary leave pending his demobilisation). He was taken ill and died at home in Sandy Lane Saltney on the 26th February 1919. His father was present. The cause of death was ‘Lobar pneumonia’ and ‘cardiac Failure’.
The records contain correspondence between the army and The family regarding his medals, plaque and scroll and personal possessions. (he was awarded the Victory and The British War medals).
The army required from the family a list of Joseph’s Living relatives some time after his death. The list named the following.
Father Joseph Maddocks, Sandy Lane, Saltney.
Brothers (all Maddocks)
(Robert 34, Married, Vale Cottage, Gresford). (Frederick Single, 24, Sandy Lane, Saltney) (Walter , Single, 18, Sandy Lane, Saltney).
Sister Elizabeth Ann Maddocks, Single 29
Nieces and Nephews (All named Maddocks) (Vera 9, Sandy Lane, Saltney) (Gladys 5, Hilda 3, Mary 1 all of Vale Cottage, Gresford).
I believe this to have been signed in 1919/20
Joseph is not on any War Memorial, as far as I can tell, so I am glad that I have found him and brought his story to the fore.