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Joseph McGovern was born in the forth quarter of 1894 in Preston to Michael and Rose Ann (nee McKerin). He had a number of brothers and sisters, although only three of the siblings survived childhood.  His mother, Rose Ann, died during childbirth (James, also died) in 1900.

Brothers and Sisters
  • Mary Ellen McGovern (1885 – ?)
  • John Thomas McGovern (1887 – 1970)
  • Thomas McGovern (1888 – 1891)
  • Ann McGovern (1890 – 1890)
  • James McGovern (1892 – 1893)
  • Francis McGovern (1893 – 1893)
  • Joseph McGovern (1894 – 1916)
  • Margaret Ann McGovern (1896 – 1896)
  • Thomas McGovern (1897 – 1900)
  • James McGovern (1900 – 1900)

Joseph was living at 33 Clarence Street, Preston when he enlisted in Territorial Force at Preston on 16th September 1914.  He was embodied the same day and was posted into the 1/4th Battalion of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment with the service number 2634.

Joseph named his brother and sister, John and Mary of 178 Marsh Lane, Preston as his legal next of kin. Their father had died in 1913.

At his enlistment medical, the officer described him as 20 years and one month old, standing at 5 feet 4 inches tall and of good physical development.

Having completed his training in England, Private McGovern sailed from Folkestone to France with the main body of the Battalion on 4th May 1915. He was part of ‘C Company’.

On 16th June 1916 he was under the care of the field ambulance being treated for eczema, he rejoined the Battalion on the 29th of the month.

On 8th August 1916 Private Joseph McGovern was reported to be missing in action on the Somme. The following advertisement was placed in the local newspaper;


Joseph was still considered to be ‘missing in action’ when the new style TF numbers were rolled out in January 1917. He was allocated the number 200664. In April 1917, his body still missing, for official purposes he was accepted as having died.

Joseph was awarded the 1914/15 Star, the British War and Victory Medals – the star was received by his sister, Mary Ellen at the same address in February 1920. The British War and Victory medals were dispatched to 112 St Marks Road, Preston in July 1921.

Private Joseph McGovern is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial to the missing.

Rank: Private
Service No: 200664
Date of Death: 08/08/1916
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 1st/4th Bn.

Paul McCormick
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