Looking for soldiers that served prior to WW1? Find My Past is the best resource for finding information about Victorian-era Soldiers.
By far the best resource for WW1 research. WW1 Service Records, pension papers, medal index cards and casualty information.
Search through millions of archived British Newspaper Articles to find any references to your ancestors.

Joseph was born in Kirkham on 19 March, 1893 and was one of ten children born to Thomas and Mary Ann Larcey (nee McEvoy). Both of Joseph`s parents were originally from Drogheda, Ireland and they had married in Salford, Manchester in 1876.

When the 1881 Census was taken Mary Ann and her first born son John Thomas (1878) were living in a cottage in Mill Street, Kirkham with her widowed mother Mary McEvoy and a brother John. Mary Ann`s mother in law Mary Larcey was living next door but there is no sign of Mary Ann`s husband Thomas.

After a six year gap Thomas and Mary Ann had their second child Elizabeth in 1884 and she was followed by, Catherine (1887), Christopher (1889) and Patrick (1890). Sadly, baby Christopher died at 5 months old.
Ten years later in 1891 the family were still living in Mill Street, Kirkham. Joseph`s father Thomas was working as a general labourer and the eldest son John Thomas was employed in the flax mill.

After Joseph was born in 1893 he was followed by two sisters, Mary (1895) and Ann (1897).

Unfortunately tragedy struck the family in 1898 when Thomas and Mary Ann lost three of their daughters in quick succession. First of all three year old Mary died on 7th June, Ann aged one died on the 20th June and then on 1st July Elizabeth died aged fourteen.

In 1899 Thomas and Mary Ann had another daughter and they named her Mary Elizabeth presumably after two of their deceased daughters. However, it wasn’t long before tragedy struck the family again when the eldest son John Thomas died on 24 March, 1900 at the age of 22.

By 1901 the family had left the tiny Mill Street Cottage and had moved to Chapel Walks in Kirkham. The family unit now consisted of parents Thomas and Mary Ann, sons Joseph and Patrick and daughters Catherine and Mary Elizabeth. Joseph`s father Thomas was working as a general labourer and the only other person in work was Catherine who was employed as a tenter in a cotton weaving mill.

Unfortunately the hand of fate struck the family once more, two year old Mary Elizabeth died on the 11th May not long after the 1901 Census was taken. In the October quarter of 1901 Thomas and Mary Ann had their final child, another son named Thomas Augustine.

All of the six deceased children were buried in the Willows RC Church, Kirkham.

At some point after 1901 Thomas and Mary Ann, daughter Catherine and sons Joseph, Patrick and Thomas left Kirkham and went to live in Preston. In the early 1900`s the mills in Kirkham were gradually going into decline and a lot of the families were moving away to look for work. It may well have been this that motivated the family to relocate or perhaps it was because of the tragic events that had taken place over the previous few years.

When the 1911 Census was recorded Joseph was with his parents and brothers Patrick and Thomas at 20 Mount Pleasant Street which was a four roomed terraced property in Preston. Joseph, Patrick and their father were all employed as labourers. Joseph`s recently married sister Catherine (Coleman), her husband and their three children had also moved in with the family.

On the 3 September, 1914 Joseph went to the recruiting office in Preston and enlisted. He was given the service number 13816 and posted to the 8th Battalion. The Medical Officer confirmed he was fit for duty and noted that he was 5`3” tall and weighed 106lbs. He had a fresh complexion, blue eyes and fair hair.

Unfortunately there is nothing much left of Joseph`s service papers so there is very little additional information available.

On the 24 September, 1915 the 8th Battalion transport and machine gun section sailed from Southampton to Le Havre. Joseph departed from Aldershot with the rest of the Battalion and sailed from Folkestone across to Boulogne the following day (25th).

Joseph was appointed Lance Corporal on 22 May, 1916. A few weeks later on the 10 July, 1916 he was killed when the 8th Battalion were involved in actions during the Battle of the Somme. Joseph had been struck by a bullet to the head which killed him instantly. In a letter to Joseph`s mother the Company Officer told her that Joseph had died “in the execution of his duty, a fact of which you will be proud in time to come”.

The following article was printed in the Preston Guardian a short while afterwards.

The 8th Battalion were in the 7th Brigade. On 10th July, 1916 the 7th and 74th Brigades were to attack northwards towards Ovillers.

The Battalion War Diary –10th July 1916

About 1 p.m. orders were received to occupy several points in the enemy line running across our front and joining our trenches on the right. At 2.30 p.m. an advance was made from our block and a heavy hostile barrage was opened on the trench, but in spite of very large casualties we reached Point 25, where we were held up by enemy bombing parties, and heavy shelling and bombing continued for about two hours without any gain on either side.

The enemy then tried to outflank us, both on right and left, moving across the open, but was driven off and the night passed quietly, a block being established just short of Point 25. A detached post under Sergeant Holmes of `C` Company on the left of our line held its ground all day, although it experienced many casualties and no supports could reach it. The post was relieved during the night of the 10th-11th.

It is believed that at one time the Battalion was opposed by no fewer than three Prussian battalions. Desultory shell fire was continued until the Battalion was relieved in the front line on the evening of the 11th, moving back into dug-outs in La Boiselle.

The Battalion casualties had been very heavy with a total of 247 men either killed, wounded or missing.


Photograph courtesy of Ben King, August 2015

Lance Corporal Joseph Larcey was awarded the 1914/15 Star, British War and Victory Medals. His Mother Mary Ann was living at 10 Gildow Street, Preston when she signed for his medals. He is buried with honour in Pozieres British Cemetery, Ovillers-la-Boisselle, France.

Rank: Lance Corporal
Service No: 13816
Date of Death: 10/07/1916
Age: 23
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 8th Bn.

Additional family information

Joseph`s brother was 11207 Corporal Patrick Larcey, 8th Battalion East Lancashire Regiment. Patrick was killed in action on 22 September, 1917 and is buried at Bedford House Cemetery, Ypres, Belgium. Patrick was awarded the 1915 Star, British War and Victory Medals.larcey2

There is a reference in Joseph`s article to his father Thomas that mentions he was also away fighting in France at the age of 58. Unfortunately there is no additional information available. Thomas Larcey died at 10 Gildow Street, Preston and was buried on 9 November, 1931 in a public grave in Preston Cemetery RC Section. Joseph`s mother Mary Ann died at the same address five years before her husband and was buried on 3 November, 1927.


Photograph courtesy of Ben King, August 2015

The names of Joseph and his brother Patrick are also inscribed on the St. Wilfrid`s RC Church War Memorial in Preston.



Janet Davis
Latest posts by Janet Davis (see all)
(This post has been visited 403 times in the last 90 days)

One Response to 13816 LCPL. J. LARCEY. L.N.LAN.R

  1. Ben King says:

    Both Joseph and Patrick were the brothers of my Grandfather Thomas. I have visited their graves but have never seen a picture of them til now thank you for reproducing this on your website.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Set your Twitter account name in your settings to use the TwitterBar Section.
%d bloggers like this:

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.