Joseph Weatherby, Sergeant 14497, 10th Bn. Cheshire Regiment
Killed in action 14th July 1916 in Somme, France, aged 20
Joseph Weatherby was born on 28 June and baptised on 30 August 1896 at St Peter’s Church, Macclesfield, the son of Elizabeth Ann and Joseph Weatherby, a railway guard of 114 High Street, Macclesfield.
In 1901, four-year-old Joseph was living at 114 High Street, Macclesfield with his parents and sisters Mary (3) and Gertrude (1). By 1911 the family had moved to 32 St George’s Street, Macclesfield and included James, aged 8; Joseph had left school and was employed as an errand boy.
At the time of enlistment, Joseph was employed by the North Staffordshire Railway as a lampman.
Joseph enlisted at Macclesfield on 3 September 1914 and was rapidly promoted to Lance Corporal on 1 October, Corporal on 5 November and Sergeant on 14 April 1915. He was drafted to France with the British Expeditionary Force on 26 September 1915.
On 20 October 1915 Joseph was admitted to the 75th Field Ambulance at Armentieres to receive treatment for a cut knee, and on 21 January 1916 the 76th Field Ambulance provided dental treatment. Joseph was severely reprimanded on 11 January 1916 for gambling with the privates, but no further action was taken.
On 11 August 1916 the Macclesfield Times reported that Sgt Weatherby was missing:
MACCLESFIELD SOLDIER MISSING – News has been received by Mrs Weatherby, 32 St George’s Street, Macclesfield, that her son, Sergeant Joseph Weatherby, 10th Cheshire Regiment, has been missing since the 14th of July in France. Sergeant Weatherby is 20 years of age and is the son of the late Mr Joseph Weatherby, who was himself an old soldier, having served six years in India. Sergt Weatherby was educated at St George’s Day School, and enlisted on September 3rd 1914. He joined as a private, but in a few months was promoted to the rank of sergeant. He went out to France nearly twelve months ago, and had recently been home on furlough. Sergt Weatherby was a member of the St George’s Street Baptist Chapel and the Young Men’s Bible Class.
The presumed death of Sergeant Weatherby was reported in the Macclesfield Courier on 18 November 1916:
SERGEANT J WEATHERBY
Mrs Weatherby, of 32 St George’s Street, has received official information stating that as nothing has been heard of her son, Sergeant Joseph Weatherby, he must be regarded killed. He was 21 years of age and was drafted to France about 15 months ago.
Sgt Joseph Weatherby has no known grave and is is commemorated on Panel Ref. Pier and Face 3 C and 4 A of the Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Sgt Joseph Weatherby, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.
In Macclesfield, Sgt Joseph Weatherby is commemorated on the Park Green, Town Hall, St Michael’s Church, St George’s Church and St George’s Street Baptist Church war memorials, and the Ancient Order of Foresters roll of honour.
GRO (England & Wales) Index: Births
Cheshire Parish Baptism Registers (Find My Past): St Peter’s Church, Macclesfield
Census (England & Wales): 1901, 1911
National Railway Museum, Fallen Railwaymen database
WWI British Army Service Records 1914-1920
Commonwealth War Graves Commission website
Lives of the First World War website
Macclesfield Times:11 August 1916
Macclesfield Courier: 18 November 1916
Cheshire Year Book 1917 (photo)