Private Joseph Frederick Urmson


Joseph Frederick Urmson was born on 23 June 1894 at 22 Shiffnall Street, Bolton, Lancashire, one of eleven children of veterinary surgeon Joseph Urmson and his wife Sarah Ellen (née Charlton). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at 14 Great Moor Street, Bolton, with his parents and his seven surviving siblings, and working as an assistant in his father's business. He later worked as a cinema operator.

Urmson attested for military service at Bolton on 9 December 1915 and was posted to the Army Reserve. Called up on 16 July 1917, he was posted to the 66th Training Reserve Battalion and then the 2/1 City of London Yeomanry (No.28079), a cyclist unit.

On 12 September 1918 Urmson was one of 56 men from various English yeomanry regiments who were compulsorily transferred to the Corps of Hussars – he was issued regimental number 81229. They embarked at Folkestone for Boulogne on the same day. There they were posted to the 1st North Irish Horse (V Corps Cyclist) Regiment. They joined the regiment in the field on 18 September, joining in the fighting during the Advance to Victory offensive in the final weeks of the war. He was 'wounded at duty' in late 1918 or early 1919.

On 13 March 1919 Urmson was one of fifteen North Irish Horse cyclists who transferred to the Army Cyclist Corps (No.14825), serving with the 4th Cyclist Battalion at Rolsdorf, part of the Army of Occupation on the Rhine. He was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve, on 12 November 1919.

By the time of the 1939 Register Urmson was living at 27 Lucknow Grove, Manchester, with his wife Martha (née Harrison) and their two children, and working as a cinema operator. He died in Manchester on 25 July 1961.