Gunner Joseph Goulder

Joseph Goulder was the son, brother and grandson of builders. His grandfather Henry had been a bricklayer in Kimberley which is about five miles north west of Nottingham. His move to Sheffield may have been prompted by a desire to make a new start after being declared bankrupt in 1861. The rapid growth of the east side of Sheffield in the period that offered many opportunities for a builder may have been a pull factor.

Henry was again in financial troubles late in 1870 but this time he was living in Carbrook. His children were by now all adults and the sons were working with their father. These difficulties did not prevent Henry establishing himself in the neighbourhood and from 1880 he was one of two overseers of the poor for the district.

Joseph’s father was Henry (born 1854.) He married Mary Jackson in 1877 at the Cathedral and they had four children before Jospeph arrived in September 1887. By now Henry Junior had established himself in Attercliffe but not without causing some acrimony. He had become an overseer of the poor but his attempts to be elected to the town council were not successful.

Joseph spent the first seven years of his life in Attercliffe but the family moved to Crookesmoor Road. It was here in December 1894 that Joseph’s mother died.  As was common at the time, Henry did ot own the house although he was clearly wealthy. He sold land adjacent to Langsett Road to the council for £900 in 1896 and was offering a house and butcher’s shop for rent three years later.

Joseph left school in 1901 and found work as a clerk. He enrolled at the Crookesmoor Council Evening School for Men & Boys in 1904 and by 1911 he was a pattern clerk. His father had moved to Doncaster with his new wife, Hannah, and his son Arnold so Joseph was boarding with the Flintham family on Upper Hanover Street.

Joseph’s service record was one of may destroyed in 1940. His marriage to Mabel Wood in the spring of 1916 may have been hastily arranged when he was  already in the Army and so gives a clue as to when he enlisted. His war grave record provides some more details. He was serving with the first Heavy Mortar Battery of the Royal Field Artillery when he was killed on 22nd December 1917. He is buried in the Ruyaulcourt Military Cemetery which lies southeast of Arras.

The headstone has the text


The inscription was chosen by Muriel, who lived in Pitsmoor, for which she paid 13s 8d. Charging families for the cost of the inscriptions was controverial as the costs were beyond the means of many.

Joseph is commemorated on the Role of Honour inside Pitsmoor Church and on the Monument of his parents’ grave in Fulwood Churchyard.

In loving memory.
Joseph son of Henry & Mary GOULDER
dearly beloved husband of Mabel GOULDER
who fell in the Great War
Dec 22nd 1917. Aged 30 years.
Interred at Royoulcourt

The rest is too indistinct to decipher.

Mabel remarried in 1921. Her second husband was Herman Crofts and they had one child, Jack. In 1939 they were living in Pitsmoor.