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Joseph Tyrer was born in Preston in 1896 and was one of eight children born to Hugh and Rose Tyrer (nee Anderton). Hugh and Rose married in Preston in 1887, their first child was a daughter named Mary Hilda (1887) and she was followed by William (1889), Albert (1892), twins Elizabeth and Jane (1894-1895), Joseph (1896)*, George (1900) and Francis (1901).

Joseph`s father was a corn warehouseman and in 1901 the family were living at number six Black Horse Yard which was situated almost directly behind the Black Horse Public House on the corner of Friargate and Orchard Street in Preston. The Census shows the family employing an 18 year old domestic servant, Mary Sharrock from Rufford and also three boarders, Frank Horne a groom in livery stables, Arthur Priestley and Charles Carter who were both brass moulders.

By 1911 Hugh and Rose were still living in what was Black Horse Yard but had been renamed Lowthian Street and daughter Mary Hilda and sons Joseph, George and Francis were still living at home but the two eldest sons William and Albert had moved out. Joseph`s father was still a warehouseman and Joseph was now working as a grocer`s errand boy.

According to the newspaper article below Joseph joined the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment in about 1911/1912. Unfortunately his service papers do not seem to have survived so precise information is not available.

Joseph sailed from Southampton with the 1st Battalion on the SS Agapenor disembarking at Le Havre on the 12 August, 1914.

Sadly, Joseph was posted missing in action on the 31 October, 1914.

Extract from `Military Operations, France and Belgium 1914`

Ghehvelt and the salient of the Queen`s taken, the 31st October enemy turned his attention to the two companies of the 1/Loyal North Lancashire, about two hundred and fifty strong, and the detachment of the 2/Royal Scots Fusiliers, numbering a hundred and twenty, who were to the south. These troops were holding over a little over half a mile of front in a line of small rifle pits – each holding a couple of men – some fifteen yards apart, hastily dug the previous night with entrenching implements. Their orders were not to retire, but to report if reinforcements were required.

Until noon they suffered much from fire, particularly from Zandvoorde, but no attempt was made to close with them, for they had a good field of fire and shot down any Germans who showed themselves. The disaster to the Queen`s on their left was observed, and also that a company of the Bedfordshire in a wood on their right had disappeared; but the parties still held on and kept the enemy at bay. Reports of the situation were sent back, but none of the messengers reached brigade headquarters. Towards 1.30 p.m. the Germans were all round the small force; it was under machine-gun fire from the rear at a hundred yards` range, and infantry were creeping in from both flanks. Eighty of the North Lancashire, including one Officer, remained alive to be captured, and half of this number was wounded. Next morning the survivors of the battalion mustered only one Officer and thirty-five men.

A brief newspaper article and photograph appeared in the local paper after his parents had been informed that their son was missing in action.

Tyrer 1His family would eventually be informed by the Authorities that for official purposes their son had died on or since the 31st October 1914.

Joseph`s parents would later receive his 1914 Star and Clasp, British War and Victory Medals in recognition of their son`s sacrifice for his country.

As his body was never recovered from the battlefield Joseph is remembered with honour on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial to the Missing.


Rank: Private
Service No: 10576
Date of Death: 31/10/1914
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 1st Bn.

Janet Davis
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