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Joe Tattersfield

Private Joe Tattersfield, 33235, King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, 3rd Battalion

Joe Tattersfield was born in Gawthorpe in 1885 the only son of John Tattersfield and Grace (nee Waterhouse) who married in 1875 in the Dewsbury Registration District. Joe also had an elder sister, Cora, who was born in Ossett in 1882. In 1891, the Tattersfield family were living on Jack Lane, Ossett and by 1901 they had moved to School Street, Gawthorpe where Joe worked as a piecer in a woollen mill.

On the 20th March 1909, Joe Tattersfield, a miner, aged 24, married, 26 year-old spinster, Lily Canning at Woodkirk Parish Church and they had two children: Irene born in Ossett on the 27th September 1910 and Jane born in Ossett on the 15th September 1914. In 1911, Joe, Lily and six month-old Irene were living with Joe’s parents at 18, High Street, Gawthorpe. Joe was working as a rag sorter in a woollen mill.

Joe Tattersfield of 11, High Street, Gawthorpe, aged 32 years and 3 months, 5’ 4” tall, 101lbs in weight, and with a chest measurement of 33", a woollen rag grinder by trade, was called up for service into the British Army and enlisted on the 17th July 1916. On the 20 July 1916, he was posted to the 3rd Battalion, KOYLI with service number of 33235.

The 3rd (Reserve) Battalion, KOYLI was formed in August 1914 at Pontefract as a depot/training unit, and it moved on mobilisation to Hull, then to Withernsea in April 1916. They went on to Hedon, Hull in October 1916, Pocklington in June 1918 and finally to Patrington in August 1918, as part of the Humber Garrison.

Private Joe Tattersfield named his wife, Lily, as his next of kin. His army medical examination recorded a slight curvature of the spine, but this was not sufficient to cause rejection. However, there were other problems with his health, believed to have been caused by lead poisoning in 1907 and 1915. The medical examination also revealed that he had suffered from gout on four occasions in the previous two years. Much more seriously he was also diagnosed with parenchymatous nephritis, an inflammation and deterioration of the kidneys usually caused by toxins. To add to his woes whilst training Joe also developed eczema.

Clearly Joe Tattersfield was not a well man and he was treated for eczema at Hornsea Hospital and for the more serious complaint of nephritis, he was transferred to the Naval Hospital at Hull. None of Joe’s ailments were attributable to military service, but they were aggravated by it. Consequently the Army granted him a six-month conditional pension of 15/- a week from the 13th December 1916.

On the 27th December 1916, Private Joe Tattersfield was discharged on the grounds that he was no longer fit for war service. He was also awarded the Silver War Badge and King’s Certificate as evidence that he had served and had been discharged on the grounds of wounds or illness. He did not serve overseas and did not therefore qualify for a service medal.

Sadly, Joe Tattersfield, of 11, High Street, Gawthorpe, Ossett, died on the 1st November 1917, aged 33 years, leaving a widow and two children aged seven and three years. He was buried at the Burial Ground of the Zion Congregational Church, Gawthorpe on the 4th November 1917 at plot reference F 205.