Joseph Edwin Tomkinson, Private 50139, 15th Bn. Cheshire Regiment
Killed in action 13th October 1918 in Belgium, aged 30
Joseph Edwin Tomkinson was baptised as Joseph Edward Tomkinson on 2 May 1888 at St Michael’s Church, Macclesfield, the son of Elizabeth (nee Ludlaim, spelled various ways) and Joseph Francis Tomkinson, a weaver of Macclesfield.
In 1891, two-year-old Joseph was living at 43 Arbourhay Street, Hurdsfield, Macclesfield with his parents and siblings John William (14), Mary Hannah (13) and Henry (10). By 1901, the family had moved next door, to 41 Arbourhay Street, and also included Amelia (born 1895).
The 1911 census shows that the family had moved to 6 Wood Street, Macclesfield, and Joseph Jnr. was employed as a cotton presser.
At the time of his enlistment in 1915, Joseph lived at 1 Court, 1 House, Beech Lane, Macclesfield, and was employed as a warehouseman. Joseph’s mother later died and his father lived at 3 Princess St, Buxton Rd, Macclesfield.
Joseph enlisted in the local 7th Battalion of the Cheshire Regiment on 23 January 1915, receiving service number 3280; Joseph was later transferred to the Army Cyclist Corps (service no 8788), subsequently being transferred to the 15th Battalion Cheshire Regiment with service number 39930.
After training, Joseph was drafted to the Mediterranean region, participating in the Suvla Bay landings at Gallipoli in August 1915. He was wounded two months later on 18 September 1915 but remained in the Mediterranean region until April 1916, when he returned to the UK for several months until he was sent to France in December 1916.
On 25 March 1918 Joseph received a bullet wound to his leg and was repatriated to England for treatment, being sent to the General Military Hospital at Edmonton, London, on 10 April 1918. On 16 June 1918, after his recovery, Joseph was drafted back to France, and was killed in action on 13 October 1918.
Private Joseph Tomkinson is buried at Dadizeele New British Cemetery, Belgium, in grave ref. IV. F. 12. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Private Joseph Tomkinson, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.
GRO (England & Wales) Index: Births, Marriages
Census (England & Wales): 1891, 1901, 1911
WWI British Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects
WWI British Army Service Records 1914-1920
WWI British Army Medal Rolls Index Cards
Commonwealth War Graves Commission website
Lives of the First World War website