Joseph Cavender was born in the Stockport area in the summer of 1895. Nothing is known of his early years but, on 30 August 1914, he went into town and enlisted into the army. His service papers still exist at the National Archives and these show him to have been a young man with a fresh complexion and brown eyes and hair. He was working in a cotton mill. Joseph gave his religious denomination as Anglican.
He was posted to the 8th Battalion of the Cheshire Regiment and went on active service to Gallipoli with them in June 1915. As with many men who served there, he became ill and was evacuated home on 17 October, suffering from enteric fever (typhoid). It was a long period of recovery and it was not until July 1917 that he was fit enough to overseas again, this time with the 13th Battalion to France. Whilst on sick leave, he had got married. His wife was Frances Beech and their wedding was at Hanover Chapel on 5 March 1917. The couple would have two children together – Joseph, born on 7 March 1918 and Elsie, born 18 July 1919.
In the November he was again evacuated home suffering from trench fever.
On 14 April 1918, he was fit enough for active service and but he would only be on the Western Front for 12 days before he was shot in the leg, whilst with the 11th Battalion. It was bad wound and necessitated the amputation of his leg. After hospital treatment, he returned home on sick leave to live with Frances and the children at 165 Greg Street, Reddish. Still under the medical care of the army, he was fitted with an artificial leg on 3 February 1920 and, at the end of April, was given a medical discharge from the army.
Unlike many men recorded by this website, Joseph is not commemorated by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. To establish if the cause of his death was related to his war service (making him eligible for commemoration even after the passage of nearly 90 years), his death certificate has been obtained. It confirms that the cause is not obviously linked to his wounds – he died of aortic regurgitation, a disease of the heart. His family or friends perhaps thought differently and arranged for his commemoration on the local war Memorial.