Joseph Kevork ZORIAN
Rank: Private
Number: 60589
Unit: 2nd Battalion ROYAL WELSH FUSILIERS (WELSH RGT on memorial)
Date of Death: 13 October 1917
Age: 19
Cemetery: Wimereux Communal Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France

Joseph had been born in Salford but, at the time of the War, was living with his parents and two older brothers at "Ararat", Romiley. Mr Zoiran was Armenian and, in the early 1920s, he and his wife had returned there to live in Diarbekir.

The whole family were committed Christians and worshipped at St Chad's Church, where Joseph also attended Sunday School, to further his education. He later went to Manchester Municipal Secondary School and then found work at Ayrton Ltd - an engineering company near Belle Vue, in east Manchester.

Joseph enlisted into the army, at Chester, on 7 March 1917, no doubt as an 18 year old conscript. He probably went overseas in midsummer. The early part of October was spent in reserve but, on the 8th, the Fusiliers started to move forward again. They occupied the support line of trenches near the Belgian village of Messines in the evening. This had been the scene of fierce fighting when it was captured in early June. Since then, the Germans had made several unsuccessful attempts to recapture this strategic point and the dead of both sides still remained in No Mans Land. The next couple of days were relatively quiet, with the exception of periodic heavy German shelling. The men undertook fatigue duties but some time during this period Joseph was very badly wounded.

He will have received emergency treatment at a field hospital a few miles behind the front line. There his condition will have been stabilised sufficiently for him to be evacuated to the fuller facilities of one of the "base" hospitals on the Channel coast. He was admitted to one on the 11th. Semi-conscious, Joseph had severe wounds to his head, face, arm, thigh and foot. He had probably caught much of the blast of an exploding shell. There was nothing to be done except make him as comfortable as possible until he died.

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