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Joseph Lowe was born in Bolton in about 1875* and was the son of John (a stonemason) and Mary Lowe. He had two older step-sisters, Ann and Eliza Thornley, and a younger brother named James (b. circa 1880). In 1881 the family were living at 11 Saturn Street, Halliwell, Bolton.

Joseph married Sarah Jane Leach during the third quarter of 1899 and at the time of the 1901 census they were living at 21, Delamere Street, Bolton with their new born daughter Mary.  Joseph described his occupation as being a ‘general labourer’.

During the next 10 years the couple had three more children; Alice (b. 1903), Emily (b.1909) and Joseph (b. 1911) and by the time of the 1911 census they were all living at 28 Greenhalgh Street, Bolton. His occupation now recorded as being a Iron Labourer. We know from the clipping below that he was working  for Messrs. Dobson and Barlow who were headquartered in Bolton and manufactured machinery for the textile mills.

In November 1914 he enlisted into the Army in Bolton and joined the 10th (Service) Battalion of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment with the number 17615.

Private Lowe sailed to France with the main body of the 10th Battalion on 31st July 1915 and, according to a letter received by his mother six months later, died from pneumonia in No. 4 Casualty Clearing Station on 15th January 1916.



His war gratuity was paid to his wife Sarah Jane and their eldest daughter Mary who were now living at 10, Topping Street, Bolton.

Joseph’s mother (living at 25 Livingstone Street, Halliwell) asked for an adaption of the line from the Rupert Brooke poem ‘The Soldier’ to be inscribed on Joseph’s headstone;

There’s one corner in a foreign field that is for ever England.

His nominated next of kin would later take receipt of his 1914/15 Star, British War Medal and Allied Victory Medal. They would also receive a memorial plaque and scroll bearing his name and in recognition of his sacrifice.

joseph lowe cwgc

Rank: Private
Service No: 17615
Date of Death: 15/01/1916
Age: 41
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 10th Bn.

Unfortunately his service papers have not yet been located.

* The 1881 census has Joseph being 8 years old but he was actually 6 or 7.

Paul McCormick
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