Joseph Wardle, Private 49918 (formerly 2044), 7th Bn. Cheshire Regiment
Died 12th May 1921 in Macclesfield, aged 40
Joseph Wardle was born on 25 October 1880 in Macclesfield, the son of Ann Jane (nee Henshall or Henshaw, known as Jane) and James Wardle, a labourer in the copper works. In 1881, five-month-old Joseph was living at 46 North Street, Sutton, with his parents and two-year-old brother Fred.
Joseph was educated at Langley and Sutton St George Branch (London Road) Schools, and after leaving school found employment as a silk dyer.
By 1901 the family had moved to 22 North Street and included five more children: Sarah (19), Eliza (17), Ralph (13), Isaac (10) and Elizabeth (7). Soon after this census was taken, Joseph married Sarah Sutton on 8 April 1901 at St Paul’s Church, Macclesfield, and in 1911 they were living at 10 Windmill Street, Macclesfield with their nine-year-old daughter, Eliza. The family later moved to 30 Windmill Street.
During this time Joseph served with the local 7th Cheshire (Territorial) Regiment.
When the war started, Joseph re-enlisted on 7 August 1914, re-joining the local 7th Cheshire Regiment with service number 2044, stating that he had previously served with the regiment and was time-expired. At the time he was living at 30 Windmill Street and employed as a dyer by Abraham Brothers, Waller Street, Sutton. He was transferred to the 9th Cheshire Regiment with service number 49918 and drafted to France on 5 November 1916.
Private Wardle was wounded in the legs and admitted to the 14th General Hospital at Wimereux on 23 April 1917. He was repatriated to England on 26 April 1917 and sent to the Liverpool Royal Infirmary for treatment. He was later diagnosed with diabetes and was awarded silver badge number 284376 on 1 December 1917 and discharged from the Army on 14 December 1917 as being no longer physically fit for war service. At that time insulin had not been discovered and diabetics could only be ‘treated’ by means of a very strict diet; even then, their lives were usually severely curtailed.
Joseph spent some time in Macclesfield Infirmary, being admitted on 19 January and discharged on 5 February 1920; the reason is not stated in the admission register. It is not known whether Joseph later developed tuberculosis, but he died at the Tuberculosis Pavilion, Hyde, on 12 May 1921 at the age of 40. An announcement of Joseph’s death was printed in the Macclesfield Courier on 21 May 1921:
WARDLE – On the 14th (sic) inst., at Tuberculous Pavilion, Hyde, Joseph Wardle, aged 40.
Private Joseph Wardle is buried in grave ref. X. 19351. in Macclesfield Cemetery; the grave is marked with a family memorial. Joseph is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.
Another Macclesfield man named Joseph Wardle served as Private 50199 with the 11th Cheshire Regiment and died of wounds on 29th April 1918 in France, aged 31.
GRO (England & Wales) Index: Births, Marriages
Cheshire Parish Marriage Registers: St Paul’s Church, Macclesfield
Census (England & Wales): 1881, 1901, 1911
National School Admission Registers and Log-books (FindMyPast)
British Army Medal Index Cards (Ancestry)
WWI Silver War Badge Records (Ancestry)
WWI British Army Service Records 1914-1920 (FindMyPast)
Lives of the First World War website
Macclesfield Infirmary Admission Register (Cheshire Archives, ref. LGM 4/2)
Macclesfield Courier: 21 May 1921