Joseph William Purnell

Memorial: Cold Ashton - Holy Trinity Church

Regiment: Machine Gun Corps

Medals: 1914 Star, British War Medal, Next of Kin Memorial Plaque 1914 - 1921, Victory Medal

Rank and number: Private 4378 (formerly Dorset Regiment – 9287)

Parents: Joseph and Emma (Nee Cole) Purnell

Marital status: Single

Home address: Home Address: Cold Aston, Near Marshfield Lived: 1901 census – The family lived on the High Street, Cold Ashton

Pre-war occupation: Probably a serving soldier.

Date of birth: 1894

Place of birth: Cold Ashton

Date of death: 22/04/1918

Buried/Commemorated at: Roisel Communal Cemetery Extension (III. A. 7/19), Somme, France

Age: 23

Further information:

Some of the military records record him as John William Purnell. He is also recorded as serving with the 66th Battalion MGC on the soldier’s effects entry and B company 66th Battalion on the Prisoner of war card.

On the 1911 census, Joseph’s parents still lived in Cold Ashton. Joseph and a couple of his siblings have been crossed through, having left the family home. The Census records his parents as having 12 children still living.
I have not traced Joseph on the 1911 Census, but as he was awarded the 1914 star (he went to France with the Dorset Regiment on 16 August 1914) he would have been serving in the army prior to WW1.

Private Joseph William Purnell served in 203rd Company, Machine Gun Corps (Infantry) and died on Monday 22 April 1918. Previously reported missing, now reported Died as a Prisoner of War in German Hands. He is buried in Roisel Communal Cemetery Extension, Somme, France.

By kind permission, this information is based on the following source(s):

Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Findmypast (Soldiers Died during the Great War, 1901 & 1911 Census etc), Researcher John Davis. and Forces War Records.