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Joseph Campbell was born in Ashton in Makerfield in 1893 the son of Charles and Annie Campbell (nee Healey). He was one of eleven children born to his parents after their marriage at St. Joseph`s Church in Wigan on the 19th October 1885. He had six brothers and four sisters; James (1886-1887), John (1889), James (1891), Martha (1895), Mary Alice (1898), Charles Sir Colin, known as Colin (1900), Catherine (1903), Gerald (1904), Cyril (1907) and Maud (1910).

Charles Campbell was a colliery worker and the 1901 and 1911 Census shows the family home as Druid Street in Ashton in Makerfield. By 1911, Joseph together with his two elder brothers, John and James, had all gone to work as colliery labourers and his sister Martha was employed as a servant.

Although Joseph`s service papers are long gone, we do know that he enlisted at Wigan on the 2nd September 1914. After taking and passing his medical inspection he was posted to the 7th Battalion Loyal North Lancashire Regiment. After several months of training Joseph sailed to France on the 17th July 1915 with the main body of the Battalion, the Battalion coming under the Command of the 56th Brigade of the 19th (Western) Division.

During September of 1915 the Battalion was involved in the ongoing Battle of Loos, but by October the Battalion was to the north of the Loos battle area, either up in forward positions between Richebourg l`Avoue and Festubert or in the rear in billets and though this period may be described as comparatively peaceful, casualties were by no means few in number. On the 19th October 1915 the Battalion left their billets at Rue Des Chavattes and went into the trenches to relieve the 7th South Lancashire Regiment.

According to the Battalion War Diary, at 8pm on the evening of the 21st October 1915, a shell burst on the Orchard Support trench which not only damaged the parapet but also caused three casualties, sadly Joseph was one of the three men killed. The two soldiers who died alongside him were; 12307 Private J. Lycett and 16222 Private H. Darlington, all three were later buried alongside each other in Le Touret Military Cemetery.

Le Touret Military Cemetery, the building in the background houses the Memorial to the Missing – Photo August 2015

After the war Joseph`s parents would take receipt of their sons` 1915 Star, British War and Victory Medals and they would also have received his Memorial Plaque and Scroll in recognition of their sons` sacrifice.

Le Touret Military Cemetery – Photo August 1915

Rank: Private
Service No: 12290
Date of Death: 21/10/1915
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 7th Bn.

Janet Davis
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