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Joshua Mills enlisted into the Territorial Force at Bolton on 4th November 1915 and joined the 5th Battalion of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment with the number 7665.

Joshua was married to Theresa (born Manchester) and they had four children; Mary (b. 29/07/1908), Edith (b. 09/10/1909), Elsie (b. 04/08/1911) and James (b. 25/11/1914). The family had lived at Westbury Street, Bolton since at least 1911.

At the time of the 1911 census he claimed he was 33 years old, and his wife was 21. This would mean he was born in 1878 when in fact he was born in 1876 and was 36 years old.

At the time of his enlistment in November 1915 he was 40 years 6 months old and gave his occupation as being a hawker*. The medical officer noted that he was 5ft 6in tall, weighted 147lbs with a 37in chest.

Joshua embarked from Folkestone bound for Boulogne on 15th July 1916 and proceeded to Etaples. Having arrived at Etaples the following day he joined the 25th Infantry Base Depot. In September 1916 Joshua was awarded three days field punishment No. 1 for ‘quitting parade to avoid fatigue’ and shortly afterwards was posted to the 11th Corps Headquarters.

On 10th February 1917 he fell sick and was classified as permanently unfit for service at the front. He was then transferred to the Labour Corps with the number 450407 and posted to 824th Area Employment Company.

In August 1918 a medical board sat and discussed Joshua’s complaints of pains in his back and right knee. He also stated he slept badly, had a bad memory and felt weak. The board concluded he had a 20% disability that was attributable to his war service but it was not expected to be permanent. He was granted a weekly pension of 5/6 for 52 weeks and was discharged as ‘sick’ due to ‘rheumatism’ on 4th March 1919. He was given the Silver War Badge number B349896 and returned to live at Westbury Street.

Joshua died at the Royal Infirmary in Bolton on 1st May 1945 aged 69. The benefactors of his probate were Marie Taylor (Mary?) and Elsie Siviro, presumably his daughters that had married.

*The 1911 census shows that Joshua was a hawker of fish.

 

Paul McCormick
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Paul McCormick

Paul McCormick is the creator and administrator for the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment website. Since 2010 he has been researching the soldiers that served during the First World War and sharing their stories on his website. You can contact Paul through the website 'Contact Me' page or on Twitter and Facebook.
Paul McCormick
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