Service Number 202258
Battalion 2/4th Battalion
Regiment Lincolnshire Regiment
Joseph Percival March was born on the 5th July 1897 in Barnsley, the eldest child of Joseph Arthur March, a farm general labourer, and his wife, Emily. Some of Joseph and Emily's children were born in Wetherby, and we therefore guess that the family had moved to the area in about 1903-4. Certainly in 1911, Joseph (Jnr) was living at Barley Fields, Wetherby with his parents and siblings, Selina, Ernest and Doris.
In 1915, Joseph (Jnr) enlisted for military service and gave his address at the time as Sweep Farm, Micklethwaite. Joseph's service record, although damaged, has survived, so we can see that after enlistment, Joseph was not mobilised until the 10th May 1916, when he became Private 29196 March of the West Yorkshire Regiment, but this posted only lasted 2 days until he was transferred to the 2/4th Battalion of the Lincolnshire Regiment as Private 202258 March.
Joseph went to France on the 23rd February 1916 and served there until the 27th November 1916. On that date he was admitted to 56 General Hospital in Etaples suffering from 'mild PUO' - mild pyrexia of unknown origin - a condition in which the patient has an elevated temperature (fever) but for which no explanation has been found. This was fairly common in the trenches in World War 1. Joseph's case was serious enough for him to return to the UK, on the 29th November 1917, and he was admitted to Hospital in Chelmsford on the 30th. His sick leave lasted until the 17th December 1917. On the 27th December 1917, he was posted to the 4th Reserve Battalion of the Lincolnshire Regiment and he returned to France on the 5th April 1918 to join the 2/5th Battalion.
Joseph's service record is hard to read in places, but he was wounded on the 15th April 1918, we think with a mild wound to his left leg. However, again it was serious enough to be withdrawn from the front lines and on the 30th April, Joseph was in Hospital in Boulogne. On the 1st May 1918, he was classified as fit and was sent to No. 5 Rest Camp, before being posted to the 8th Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment on the 25th May 1918. Joseph ended the war with that unit, but on the 12th May 1919, he was attached to No. 39 POW Company. He eventually returned to the UK for demobilisation on the 17th September 1919, arriving on the 18th. He was eventually discharged to the Class Z reserve on the 16th October 1919.
After the war, Joseph became a grocer and he married Mary Peacock in 1923 in Thorne, near Doncaster. They remained in Thorne, being there at the time of National Registration in 1939. Joseph died in Doncaster in 1977.
First World War Medal Index Cards. The National Archives (WO372).
First World War Medal Index Rolls. The National Archives (WO329).
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