Joseph Ashley Yates

Joseph was born on the 23rd June 1896 in Weston Point, Runcorn. He was one of five children born to Daniel Bassnett and Fanny Emma Yates. His father had been born in Runcorn around 1869 and was working as a steam crane driver for the Canal Company. Joseph’s mother, Fanny Emma Talbot, had been born around 1870 in Leamington, Warwickshire. His elder sister, Gladys, was three years old and had been born in Halton.

Joseph was baptised at the Wesleyan-Methodist Chapel in Weston Point on the 8th July 1896.

By 1900, the family had moved to Preston Brook and Joseph’s younger sister, Eva, was born that same year. Sadly two other children had died in infancy.

In 1911 Joseph was the only child still living at the family home. His father was still working for the Canal Company as a crane driver.

After leaving school Joseph worked as a shipping and telegraph clerk and was conscripted into the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve (Mersey Division) on the 16th October 1917. His service record shows that he was 5 feet 2 inches tall with black hair and brown eyes. His initial training as an Ordinary Seaman was at Victory VI until March 1918 when he was made an Ordinary Signalman.

On the 1st November 1918 Joseph was transferred to HMS Mars where he was stationed until the 10th March 1919. HMS Mars was originally a battlecruiser but by then had had her gun turrets removed and was used as s depot ship and was moored at Invergordon in Scotland.

After Joseph returned to civilian life he went back to the Canal Company as a clerk.

On the 6th April 1929 he married Ida Mary Priestley at the Register Office in Runcorn. Ida had been born on the 7th July 1905 in Preston on the Hill and was one of eight children born to Joseph and Naomi Priestley. Her father worked as a carter. By 1911 the family were living in Burton Brook in Warrington but by the time she married Joseph, Ida had returned to Preston on the Hill.

By 1939 Joseph and Ida were living in 2 Norton Cottages and they had had no children. Joseph was still working as a clerk for the Canal Company which he continued to do until his sudden death in 1945 at the age of 48 years.

Ida continued to live in Norton Cottages until she was taken to Warrington Infirmary and died on the 11th June 1977.