Died: 13 October 1918
Service number: 29678
Regiment/service: 6th Battalion, Royal Dublin Fusiliers
Family information: 13 Back Bank Street, Castleford
Joshua applied to join up on 7 September 1914. He was required to attend before a Justice to be attested in His Majesty’s army for a period of three years or the duration of the war, if longer than three years. It is believed his military training was in Perthshire. It is not known what job he did in the army but he served in France, Salonica, Egypt, and Palestine.
At the time of his death Joshua was serving in the 6th battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers. He died in the 1st South African General Hospital at Abbeville as a result of injuries at the battle of Selle in the last days of the Great War.
His death left a widow and daughter Lucy.
Joshua was born in Castleford the son of Mr. and Mrs. Tom Empson of 24 Church Street, Castleford, and the husband of Mabel Jennings Empson, the daughter of John William Lund. Mabel had a sister Minnie and a brother Walter.
Joshua and Mabel lived at 13 Back Bank Street, Castleford with their daughter Lucy. One of Joshua’s hobbies was watercolour painting. Prior to enlisting he was an On Setter at Allerton Bywater Colliery.
On his death Mabel lived with her daughter and struggled on a meagre war pension and found part-time work in the school meals service. They never coped on the army pension.
Lucy married George Arthur Sharp, son of Thomas Sharp who also died in the Great War and they lived in Hastings Crescent, Airedale then moved to 184 Glebe Street, Castleford.
As Mabel found things more and more difficult, Lucy and George moved with their family to 76 Glebe Street to join Mabel and support her. They continued to live with Mabel until her death in 1978.
Story submitted by Graeme Sharp.