Private Joseph Etchells was a son of George and Ruth. He was also a cousin of John Etchells.
George was a son of John Etchells of Crookes and brother of John the father of John Etchells, who is also commemorated on the memorial at Fulwood. George and Ruth Biggin were married at the Church of St Peter & St Paul in the town centre in 1880 and set up their home at 480 Nethergreen. This address was a cottage at the bottom of Tom Lane. Just down the road at 472 were Ruth’s parents, Joseph and Catherine Biggin.
These cottages were demolished sometime between 1911 and 1914 and the shops that front onto Fulwood Road were built.
Joseph was born 1893, the seventh of nine children of George and Ruth, six of whom reached maturity. The family was large and the cottage only had four rooms so it is not surprising that the census of 1901 records that two of Joseph Siblings, Charles and Edith were living with their grandmother. Indeed, Charles was working as a coal carter probably alongside is grandmother who was an ‘owner of carts and horses’ and running a grocery shop according to the census.
By 1911 Joseph was working as a silversmith.
He joined the Yorkshire & Lancashire Regiment in March 1916 and was in France from January 1917. He was killed in action on 3rd May 1917, aged 24 years.
He is commemorated on the memorial at Arras, and the monuments at both Fulwood and Ranmoor.
ALso, there is an inscription on his parents’ grave in Fulwood churchyard:
Also of Joseph ETCHELLS, son of the above killed
in action, May 3rd 1917 aged 24 years.
His brother WIlliam also served during WW1 but he was fortunate enough to survive