This is one of a series of posts about local men named on the Keighley Union Workhouse roll of honour.
Joseph Burke's father was charged with neglect in 1906 and the children were placed under the care of the Guardians at some point.
Lance-Sergeant, Royal Garrison Artillery. Service number 38848.
He was born on the first of September, 1892 in Keighley, to parents Philip and Bridget Burke.
In the 1901 census he was aged 8 and living at 45, Bridge Street, Keighley with his parents, sisters Mary aged 5, Annie aged 3 and brother Thomas aged 1. Also living there was Annie Dovernor aged 60, who was a domestic nurse working as a servant although probably not for Joseph's parents. Joseph's father Philip was a gardener and labourer and his mother Bridget was a machine minder at a woollen mill. Sadly Patrick's youngest sister Annie died shortly after the census.
In 1906 things had taken a turn for the worse when the children had been seriously neglected. Joseph's father Philip was in court at Bingley on August 31 on a charge of neglect of his family, and he was imprisoned for fourteen days with hard labour. We assume the children were in the workhouse at this time.
By 1911 Joseph was 18 years old and living at 2, Lustre Street with his ninety year old Aunt Anne McDonough and her two daughters and a son, plus his sisters Mary aged 15 and Ellen aged 9. Joseph was working as a lathe borer in textile machinery manufacture.
He attested for the Royal Artillery on April 14, 1913 at the age of 20 years and 4 months. Service number 38848. His civilian occupation was 'Machinist in tool shop'
Joseph entered France with the Royal Garrison Artillery on October 15 and served right through the Great War with them.
At some point, he was wounded and named in the War Office Casualty List no. H6293.
He married Olive Rose Stewart at Portsmouth on November 14, 1918 and they had a daughter Joan F. Burke, born on January 16, 1920.
On May 18, 1921 at the age of 28, Joseph was discharged 'no longer fit for service' from the Army as a Lance Sergeant. He had an excellent character and received the King's certificate (no. 28240).
He was awarded a pension of 34s 8d per week from May 19, 1921 to August 23, 1921 and his home address on discharge was 3, Pickering Bungalow, Bordon. We believe this house would have actually been in Bordon Army Camp at Bordon in Hampshire.
He was awarded the 1914-15 star, British War Medal and Victory Medal for his war service.
The family was living at Bere Mill Cottages in Whitchurch and Joseph was working as a commissionaire at Bere Mill in Whitchurch in 1939. Bere Mill was a paper mill which originally made high quality paper used for some of the first banknotes. The family consisted of six members who were Joseph, Olive and two of their children, Teresa born 1922 and Phillip born in 1923. Two other (presumably family members) have been redacted from this record. Ironically Bere Mill was less than a quarter of a mile away from Whitchurch Union Workhouse. Joseph must have been well aware of this reminder of his past:
You can see how close they are on this old map, courtesy of the National Library of Scotland: Bere Mill and Whitchurch Union Workhouse map.
Bere Mill was destroyed by a fire in 1982 although this is long after Joesph worked there.
Joseph Patrick Burke died in Hampshire in December 1987 aged 95 years. His wife Olive Rose Burke died in Hampshire in September 1990, aged 92 years.
England and Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915
West Yorkshire, England, Church of England Births and Baptisms, 1813-1910
1901 England Census
1911 England Census
Royal Artillery attestations 1883-1942
UK, World War I Service Medal and Award Rolls, 1914-1920
Keighley News archives at Keighley Library
Keighley Union Workhouse roll of honour held at Cliffe Castle Museum, Keighley
National Library of Scotland mapping.