Private 33763, West Yorkshire Regiment, The Leeds Pals

Joseph Henry Rowley was probably the son of Henry Rowley, a machine joiner from Hunslet, and Jane Davy, who were married in Leeds in September 1855. Jane died probably in June 1886 and Henry in March 1900. (FreeBMD website)
They had nine children, Rowland, William H, Fanny, Elizabeth, Mary Jane, Ellen, Emily, Henry and Joseph, who was born in Holbeck in December 1881. (Census Records & FreeBMD)

On the 1861 Census they were living at 1 Back Charlotte Street, Holbeck, by 1871 they had moved to No.2. In 1881 they were at 33 Mary Street, and by 1891 Jane was dead and the family was at 4 Terrace Street. By 1901 Henry was also dead, Henry the son had married Minnie Read in 1897 and was living at 2 Balmoral View, with his in-laws and his daughter Louise. Joseph, given as Joe, was a boarder at 1 Greens Place, the home of James Morris, who had married Mary Jane. On the 1911 Census he is at 4 Clarence Road, the home of Dorothy Mallinson, a widow, as a boarder along with four others. On the Absent Voters’ List his address is given as 2 Balmoral View, together with Elizabeth, presumably his sister as there is no indication of a marriage for him. Only on this list and his Medal Card is he given as Joseph H, but the addresses and other details all match up on the censuses, so I think there is little doubt that we are looking at one and the same person. (Census Records on Find My Past & Leeds Absent Voters’ List)

There is no Service Record surviving for Joseph.  He joined the 15th West Yorks, subsequently the 15/17th West Yorks, probably being conscripted in 1916 or early 1917, despite having been 32 when war was declared.
He was discharged to Reserve Class Z on 4th March 1919, and was awarded the Victory Medal and British War Medal.

He may have died in 1944.

Researcher: Peter Taylor

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