Joseph Burrow was born on 2nd February 1883 in the parish of Colton in Lancashire and baptised at Haverthwaite on 25th February that year. He was the son of Richard Burrow (born Colton) and his wife Jane (nee Barrow) who was born at Cartmel.
In late August 1888 Joseph started school at Haverthwaite Church of England School, which he attended until March 1897, having reached the official school leaving age of 14 years.
The 1891 census recorded the family living in the village of Low Wood, part of the township of Upper Holker in Cartmel parish. The father was a cooper and eight- year- old Joseph had eight older siblings, John, Myles, William, Richard, Margaret, Elizabeth, Catherine and Mary Jane and a younger sister Annie Rose.
Sadly, Joseph’s father died in July 1899 and was buried at Haverthwaite on the 18th of that month. He was 56 years old. By that time all the children, except for 12 year old Annie Rose, had left school. All the children survived into adulthood.
At the time of the 1901 census John and Richard had left home, but the remaining family were still living at Low Wood with their mother as the head of the household. By now 18- year- old Joseph was an apprentice joiner.
A few months later, in July 1901, their mother died and was buried on the 22nd of that month. She was 57 years old.
Ten years later, Joseph and his older brother John were boarding with the Moscrop family at 6, Devon Street in Bolton. Joseph was working as a joiner. It is not known what brought Joseph to the Preston Brook area, but on 12th July 1913 he was married to Sara Christina Astbury from Preston Brook. They would have two children: John Astbury in July 1914 and Joan Mary in September 1917, both born in Preston Brook. The family lived at Canal Cottages whilst Joseph served in the war.
Joseph enlisted in the Army Service Corps on 4th December 1915 at Bolton, was given the position of Wheeler and the service number 10146. He was to be paid 5/- per day. At the time he was living at 16, Portugal Street in Bolton and was a wheelwright by trade. He was 5’5’’tall. A year later he was transferred to Woolwich and embarked on the H.T. “Shropshire” from Devonport on 9th January 1917. He arrived at Salonica in Greece on the 30th January. In July he was transferred to Alexandria in Egypt, to be part of the 60th Divisional Train, which was a train of horse-drawn transport which could be 1605m long. He was admitted to hospitals in Egypt in the October, suffering from hip disease and spent over two weeks there. Joseph re-joined a Divisional Train and carried on serving in Egypt. He sailed from Alexandria back to Marseilles in April 1918 and continued to serve in France. In August 1919 he was transferred to England for demobilization. He was awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal for his service in the Great War.
Joseph resumed living in Preston Brook, but in the mid- 1920s the family moved to Great Lever near Bolton and lived at 50, Westbourne Avenue. Joseph was still working as a carpenter and his son was a carpenter and joiner. Joseph died on 24th December 1957 at Bolton, aged 74 years. Sara died on 29th August 1973 at Ulverston, aged 83 years.