Joseph's surname is spelt "Higginbottom" in military records and by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, but the correct spelling, as above, is confirmed by the 1901 Census.
Joseph's birth was registered in Heaton Norris in 1888. His father, Walter, was a very successful architect. In 1901, the family was living at 40 Mauldeth Road, Heaton Mersey. Walter was aged 50. His wife, Harriett, was 43. They had three children - Joseph (12), Fred (10) and Jessie (4). The Census also records that they had three live-in domestic servants.
Joseph was educated at Malvern College where he was in the school's cadet corps between 1903 and 1905.
Joseph had emigrated to Australia where he was trying to make his fortune as a farmer. He lived at Bunnwong Road, Kensington, New South Wales. He was engaged to be married to the daughter of Mr Arthur Morgan whose business address was given as Messrs J & C Caudwell, Timber merchants, Mentons, Victoria.
He enlisted into the army on 19 August 1914, within days of war being declared and was assigned to "D" Company, 4th Battalion. His service papers show he was nearly 5 feet 8 inches tall with a 35.5 inch chest (which he could expand a further 3.5 inches). He had a fair complexion, brown hair and grey eyes. He had recorded his religion as Church of England.
The Battalion left Sydney on the transport ship "A14 Euripedes", on 20 October 1914, bound for Egypt. Joseph had been promoted to Lance Corporal by this time. After further training, Joseph and his mates took part in the first landings at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915. They landed about a mile away from their designated position and the small beach made getting men and supplies ashore very difficult. The Australian troops forced their way up narrow tracks to reach the heights overlooking the landing area and dug in.
The Battalion's War Diary for 2 May records "Fine clear weather. Work of improving trenches continued all day. Turks were reported to be massing in the gully. Navy shelled gully and ridge about 6pm. The night passed quietly with the exception of some sniping". It's not known whether Joseph was killed by enemy shellfire or sniper's bullet, but he was buried one of the gullys leading back to the beachhead. The exact location of many of the graves of soldiers at Gallipoli were not recorded or were destroyed by shellfire during the course of the war. Joseph is now commemorated on the nearby Australian Memorial to the Missing.
His effects were sent to his father's business address - 94 Market Street, Manchester. They included his identity disc, safety razor and a wallet containing letters, 2 photographs and a curio.