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Joseph Harrison Park was born in 1892 in Preston to James and Hannah Park (nee Harrison). He was the eldest of six surviving children the couple had after they married in Preston in 1891, the others being; Elizabeth Ann (1894), Alice (1896), Martin (1901), Francis (1903) and James (1904).

Sadly Joseph`s father died in the October quarter of 1904 which was just a couple of months after his youngest son James was born.

By the time of the 1911 Census widowed Hannah and the children had moved from their previous home in Duke Street to live at number 31 Brewery Street in Preston. Joseph and his two younger sisters Elizabeth and Alice were all employed in a cotton mill.

On the 1st September, 1914 Joseph along with hundreds of other men went to enlist at the recruiting station in Preston. Joseph declared he was 22 years and 4 months old, unmarried and had no previous military experience. His home address was 31 Brewery Street in Preston and he had previously been working at Calvert`s Mill in Walton le Dale. Joseph named his mother Hannah of the same address as his next of kin. The Medical Officer recorded him as being 5`9” tall and weighing 132lbs, he had a dark complexion, brown eyes and dark hair.

Joseph passed his medical inspection and was allocated the service number 12449 and then posted to the 7th Battalion.

The Battalion received word on the 6 July, 1915 that a date for mobilisation had been decided upon and so the following day the men all underwent medical inspections after which they were allowed a few days home leave. Mobilisation began on the 16 July, 1915 when the transport section comprising 3 Officers and 110 non-commissioned officers and men left for Southampton where they embarked and then sailed for Le Havre. Joseph left Tidworth on the 17 July with the remainder of the Battalion going by train to Folkestone and from there they crossed to Boulogne.

On the 31 August, 1915 the Battalion marched to billets at Les Lobes, just to the north of Locon, the Brigade forming part of the Army reserve. They remained there until the 13th September and then went to the neighbourhood of Locon to take over the reserve billets at Rue de Chavattes from the 10th Battalion Worcestshire Regiment.

It was from here that a large party was sent forward to occupy various defence posts and on the 16th September 1915 it was reported that two men were killed and two men were wounded after a bomb exploded in a dug-out. Sadly, one of the two men who died was Private Joseph Park.

The other 7th Battalion soldier that died alongside Joseph was 13114 Private Maxwell Burnet who was also from Preston.

After news of Joseph`s death reached his family back in Preston they posted the following article with photograph in the local paper.

Corporal Joseph Harrison Park 1

Just a few of Joseph`s personal possessions were returned to his mother, these included;

  • 1 pocket book
  • 1 cigarette case
  • 1 ID Disc
  • 1 knife
  • 2 pictures and a prayer book

Hannah Park later signed for the medals that her son was entitled to, the 1915 Star, British War and Victory Medals.

Joseph was buried with honour in Le Touret Military Cemetery and his mother had the following words inscribed at the foot of his gravestone.

“ON WHOSE SOUL SWEET JESUS HAVE MERCY”

Photograph: August 2015

Photograph: August 2015

Rank: Lance Corporal
Service No: 12449
Date of Death: 16/09/1915
Age: 22
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 7th Bn.
Cemetery: LE TOURET MILITARY CEMETERY, RICHEBOURG-L’AVOUE

Janet Davis

Janet Davis

Janet Davis has been researching her family history for many years and through this she discovered many relatives who served in WW1. This interest then led Janet to do many walking the battlefield tours with her husband. In April 2013 she discovered this website and volunteered to help. Janet believes that there are lots of stories still to be told, most of them very sad but at the same time they are a fascinating insight into the men, their families, what they did and where they came from.
Janet Davis

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