Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Salonika Bound

On Wednesday, 1st December 1915, Joseph William Minshall signed his Short Service Attestation form at Northwich, Cheshire.

Joseph was born in 1881 at Winsford, Cheshire, the son of George Minshall and Martha Alice Steen. He had an older brother, Alfred, and three younger sisters, Elizabeth, Florence and Frances. Alfred emigrated to the USA in 1907.

In 1901 Joseph was living at the family home in Northwich where his father George was a blacksmith, and Joseph a watch and clock maker. The 1911 Census records Joseph in lodgings in Sheffield.

The National Registration Act of July 1915 required men aged between of 15 and 65 and not already in the military to register, giving details of their employment. Subsequent to this, Lord Derby, Director-General of Recruiting, brought forward the Group Scheme (often called the Derby Scheme) of recruitment in October 1915.

Under the Group Scheme, men aged 18 to 40 were informed that they could continue to enlist voluntarily or attest with an obligation to come if called up later on. The War Office notified the public that voluntary enlistment would soon cease and that the last day of registration would be 15 December 1915.

Men who attested under the Group Scheme, who were accepted for service and chose to defer it were classified as being in “Class A”. Those who agreed to immediate service were “Class B”. The Class A men were paid a day's army pay for the day they attested; were given a grey armband with a red crown as a sign that they had so volunteered; were officially transferred into Section B Army Reserve; and were sent back to their homes and jobs until they were called up. (More detail on the Group Scheme can be found on ‘The Long, Long Trail’ web site)

Joseph was 34 years old when he signed his attestation. As a single man the group into which he fell had a mobilisation date of 18 March 1916, however he was not mobilised until 17 June that year.

On 27 October 1916 he was posted with the 9th Battalion South Lancashire Regiment on the British Expeditionary Force Salonika. Sailing from Marseilles, the Battalion reached the Salonika Field on 13 November 1916. Joseph was wounded on 25 April 1917 during the Battle of Doiran, and died two days later.

Joseph William Minshall and Thomas Brookes Minshall, both of Northwich, were second cousins and descendents of James Minshall, their great grandfather.

James Minshall = Mary Heatley
 /                                          \
Thomas Minshall = Jane Hughes
William Minshall = Mary Jane Brookes

Thomas Brookes Minshall = Eva Cooper


(2nd cousins)
William Minshall = Mary Bush
George Minshall = Martha Alice Steen
Joseph William Minshall

Lives of the First World War:

Further Reading:
MACEDONIA VOL I. From the Outbreak of War to the Spring of 1917

No comments:

Post a Comment