Joseph Ward (1882-1951)

Joseph was the sixth child of James Ward and Betsy Ward (nee Bibby).

In 1891, when he was 9 years old, he lived with his parents and siblings, Richard Harry, 22, John William, 19, both were cotton spinners, Elizabeth, 17 who was a cotton weaver, Margaret Ann, 11 and his younger brother, James, 7. They were living at 8 India Street, which was (it has been pulled down) just round the corner from where I was born (Redearth Road), and where me and Stephen and the rest of our gang played as children.

Here is a photograph of Bridget and Joe, this used to sit on the sideboard at 80 Redearth:

Here is a photograph of him when he was on a ride-out with the Blackhorse Pub, he is on the front row, in the middle, it was sometime in the 1930's.

Joseph married my grandma, Bridget Shannon, on 24th March 1906, when he was 24 and Bridget was 21. He was a weaver and was living at 11 Malta Street. Their witnesses were John Haworth and Nancy Loftus and they were married by W. Arthur Westley.

Malta Street has also been pulled down, but here is a map (1909) which shows where it was - marked in red, as is India Street, Redearth Road and Crown Street, which is where my grandma, Bridget lived when she married Joseph, but this has also been pulled down:

Joseph's family all belonged to Lower Darwen Chapel and Bridget's family were, of course, Roman Catholic. Neither Lower Darwen Chapel nor the Catholic church would marry a Catholic and non-Catholic, so the only alternative for them was to get married at St John's, Church of England, which was just up Redearth Road and a place where many of our family members subsequently got married, this photograph of St Johns is from the same year, 1906:

Image from Darwen Days

In 1911 Joseph was 29 years old and a cotton weaver; he was living with Bridget, 26, who was working as a charwoman. They had been married five years and had three children: James, 4 years; May 3 years; and Kathleen, 3 months old. They were living at 11 Malta Street, which was a two-up, two-down. Betsy Ward, his mother, aged 64, was also living there.

Joseph and Bridget had two more children Tom, who was born in 1913, and my mum Beatrice (Bessie), born in 1925.

The Catholic church allowed Joseph and Bridget to marry at St John's Church of England on the agreement that they bring up their first born to be Catholic; hence uncle Jim, who later married May Orrell, was christened Catholic, as were their two daughters, Winifred and Christine. This was a bit confusing when we were kids as the rest of the family were brought up Church of England.

Joseph died on 23rd May 1951 aged 69 years. He died at 80 Redearth Road. He was a retired cotton weaver and the cause of death was a) myocardial degeneration and b) chronic bronchitis. He was certified by Dr Miller.

He was cremated at Carlton Crematorium, Poulton-le-Flyde:

Here is one of the last photographs of Joe Ward, he is holding my brother, Stephen, and is standing in the back yard at 80 Redearth Road:

Actually, looking at this one and the one of Joe and Bridget at the top of the page it is clear that this latter one shows Joe looking much older than the one with Stephen. My grandma never had a photograph of her and Joe together so after Joe died my aunty Kit paid to have this photograph created by adding two photographs together. It is clear that this photo of Joe was taken well after the one in the back yard - it also shows how much Joe's health must have deteriorated in the last five years of his life.

Jim Ward married May Orrell, here is their wedding photograph; aunty Kit (Kathleen Ward) is on the left; then Jim Ward, May Orrell, Tom Ward and I don't know who their best man was:

Tom Ward married Lily Lomax (Margaret Lilian) in 1937:

I don't have a wedding photograph for May Ward and Jim Turnbull, nor do I have one of Kathleen Ward and George Atkinson, but here is a photo of both couples, as well as Kathleen Turnbull and her husband Jack Parker when they were on holiday in 1956. Jim and May are on the left, Jack and Kathleen on the right, and George and Kit at the front:

And here is one of Beatrice Ward's wedding to Harry Foster; Jim Ward is next to Bessie and Kathleen Ward is next to Jim.

Finally, here is one of the three sisters: May Turnbull (nee Ward), Kathleen Atkinson (nee Ward) and Bessie Tyman (nee Foster and nee Ward).