Rank: Private
Number: 10887
Unit: B Company, 10th Battalion CHESHIRE REGIMENT
Date of Death: 10 July 1916
Cemetery: Pozieres British Cemetery, Ovillers-La Boiselle, Somme, France

Joseph had been born within the parish of St Mary's C of E Church, Stockport and was the son of Martin and Ellen Dempsey. He was married to Emma and they lived, with their son, at 8 Booth Street, Edgeley. He worked as a window cleaner.

Joseph enlisted into the army within days of war being declared in August 1914. The local newspaper, reporting his death, noted that he had been wounded at the Battle of Loos. The Battle took place between 25 September and 8 October 1915. However, whilst the 10th Battalion arrived in France at the end of September, it took no active part in the Battle.

After he was killed, Joseph's officer wrote to the family "He was killed instantaneously whilst in a glorious attack. He was one of the company's best soldiers and amongst his numerous pals, he was a great favourite. His death is deeply felt by both officers and men. You may console yourself that he died happy in the thought that he had lived to see the despicable Hun beaten and demoralised and he himself had helped in one of the greatest battles in the world's history."

The officer clearly was trying to offer some comfort but the words would be hollow. The Battle of the Somme had started on 1 July and there had been mixed success. South of the Cheshire's position at Ovillers (almost in the centre of the battlefield) advances had been made. But elsewhere, the German resistance had been much stronger and there had hardly been any movement and casualties were very high. The 10th Cheshires had not been called on to go into the attack nor would they participate in the "glorious attack" on 10 July. This was yet another assault against the German positions, in this sector undertaken by the 8th Battalion North Lancashire Regiment. As the Lancashire men "went over the top", "B" and "D" Companies of the Cheshires were sent forward from the reserve to occupy the front line that the North Lancs. had vacated. The Battalion's War Diary records that there was "heavy enemy shelling "and, presumably, this is how Joseph died. The Battle of the Somme would continue until mid-November.

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