Joseph was born in 1 White Street, Warrington early in 1887 and was the third child of Joseph and Eliza Clare. Joseph had been born in Hatton about 1860 and was working as a milk dealer. Eliza had been born around1854 in Whitley.
Joseph’s sister, Mary Alice, and his brother, Harry, had both been born in Stretton before the family moved to Warrington; Mary around 1882 and Harry around 1884. Other brothers followed; Percy was born around 1889 and William was born on the 5th September 1891; William was christened at Stretton on the 4th October.
Another sister, Nellie, was born in 1895.
By 1911 the family had moved to Morris Brook Farm, Grappenhall and Joseph was working on the farm as a cattleman for his father. His brothers also worked on the farm; Percy as a teamster and William as an agricultural labourer. Nellie, now aged sixteen, was also living at the farm, although their mother was living in Blackpool as a housekeeper.
William was the leading violinist in the orchestra at the Hippodrome in Warrington as well as being a member of the Grappenhall Brass Band.
William joined the Army in March 1915 as a gunner in the Royal Field Artillery and was sent to the Front in November 1915.
Joseph’s brother, Harry, enlisted in June 1916, by which time the family had moved again; this time to Glebe Farm in Newton by Daresbury.
Joseph, still unmarried, was conscripted in 1918 at the age of 31 (regimental number 77129). By this time William had broken his leg and was in a hospital in Leeds whilst Harry was in hospital in Cambridge.