Joseph Edward PICKFORD
Rank: Private
Number: 3104
Unit: 1/6th Battalion CHESHIRE Regiment
Date of Death: 30 August 1916
Age: 23
Cemetery: Hamel Military Cemetery, Beaumont-Hamel, Somme, France

Joseph's mother, Lily Pickford, lived at 70 Queen Street, Portwood, Stockport. The name of his father is not recorded but he was probably the Joseph Pickford whose marriage to Lily Ann Cross was registered at Stockport between January and March 1888. A man of this name, aged 42, died locally, between January and March 1892.

Joseph's service number confirms he was not an early volunteer, probably joining the army towards the end of 1915 or early in 1916. The Battle of the Somme had started on 1 July and there had been mixed success. The 6th Cheshires had been fortunate in that they had not been called on to take part in a major attack. On 30 August, Joseph and his mates were trenches near Thiepval - a village in the heart of the battlefield.

The Battalion's War Diary records "Weather still inclement. Artillery on both sides active. Enemy demolished several parts of the front line and communications (trenches) with high explosive".

10 soldiers were wounded badly enough by the shelling to need evacuating to hospital but only one man, Joseph, was killed.

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