Friday, 26 July 2013

Joseph James Sweet

Joseph James Sweet
Born 1894 in St Columb, Cornwall.  Died 29 October 1918 51st Stationery Hospital, Italy
Driver T/3/028659 Army Service Corps, No. 2 Aux. Pack Train

Joseph was born towards the end of 1894.  His parents were Samuel Sweet and Mary Grace Morris. The couple had married in 1891.  Samuel was the son of St Allen Parish Clerk, Henry Sweet.  

Samuel and Mary had three children:

William Henry (1892 - 1961?)
Joseph James (1894 - 1918)
Dorothy (1899 - ? )

Mary Sweet died in 1900, aged about 28.  Samuel had help in bringing up his children from his sisters Bessie and Clara.

In 1904 Samuel married Mary Annie Williams.  The couple had a daughter, Hilda Esther, around 1905.

Samuel died on 13 April 1907 leaving his widow with £190 17s 6d.  After their father's death, William and Dorothy seem to have moved to live with their aunt Bessie at Carn Brea.  William worked with her husband in the tin mines.  Joseph stayed with his step-mother and step-sister on the farm; his uncle William Sweet was also living there.  Like his father, Joseph became a horse trainer.

On 26 October 1914, 20 year old Joseph (who may well have been known as James) married 18 year old Millicent Benson Trethewey from Fern Pit, East Pentire in Newquay.  The couple set up in lodgings with a Mrs Leary on St John's Road in Newquay. They didn't have long to enjoy married life; Joseph joined up on 13 November 1914.  The couple had apparently been courting for a while; their daughter Dorothy was born on 23 March 1915.

Joseph was sent to the Army Service Corps, not surprisingly as a driver.  His skill as a horse trainer would have been invaluable in driving a team of horses.  Joseph's medical records show that he was a small man, just short of 5'6", weighing 126 lbs.  His health was described as good.

On 3 August 1915 Joseph left Southampton, arriving at Le Havre the following day.  He was appointed an acting Lance Corporal on 3 October 1915.  He had a week's leave in March 1916 and received a Good Conduct badge later in the same year.  In July 1917 Joseph received some cuts to his arms and face whilst attending to his horses which his commanding officer recorded was not Joseph's fault.  

Joseph was taken to the 39 Casualty Clearing Station on 19 October 1918 complaining of a headache and pain.  It was noted that he his tongue looked "dirty".  He was transferred to the 51st Stationery Hospital on 21 October.  He had chest pain, a cough and looked debilitated.  The doctor noted that he was "very ill".  On 24 October he had a temperature of over 100, which dropped back slightly the next day.  However, it remained high for several days, his pulse becoming rapid and feeble.  He was given four hourly doses of brandy and also oxygen.  It was in vain; Joseph died at 5.30am on 29 October 1918, a victim of influenza.

Millicent seems to have married again a year after Joseph's death, and again in 1946 after her second husband's death in 1944.  Her second marriage produced three sons.  She died in 1985.  Her daughter with Joseph, Dorothy, doesn't seem to have married and died in the same year as her mother.

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