Joseph Kynaston was born in Earlstown Lancashire in February 1895. The baptism record shows February 15th the school record shows February 24th!   The son of Joseph and Ada Lillie Kynaston. He was baptised at Newton in Makerfield on 10th March 1895.

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At the time of Josephs baptism the family were living at Vitriol Square. The description of Vitriol Square below is taken from

Vitriol Square

The small community of Vitriol Square was built by James Muspratt to house the workers at his nearby Vitriol Works. The square had buildings on three sides and as well as cottages it also contained a school, shop and mill.  The houses were later bought by the Sankey Sugar Company.



Earlstown is located midway between Liverpool and Manchester.

In 1900 he is registered as attending  Earlstown Church of England Infant School and his address is given as 74 Regent Street.  His father Joseph is employed as a Spring Maker.


In 1901 the census records show that the family were still living at Newton in Makerfield at 74 Regent Street and the head of the household is Josephs mother Ada L Kynaston.


(There is a Joseph Kynaston who fought in the Boer War 1899-1902 which could be the reason why Ada Lillie is classed as Head of the Household.  Without further research however  I cannot definitely confirm this).

In September 1901 Joseph was taken out of school and the reason given was ‘gone to the Isle of Man’.  Joseph’s mother was born on the Isle of Man perhaps Joseph was sent to live with other family members for a short period.

Between 1901 and 1907 the family moved from Newton in Makerfield as on the 1911 census Joseph’s sister Gladys’ place of birth is given as Derbyshire.  By 1911 the family were living at 183 Holland Road Old Whittington.  Joseph is now 16 yrs old and is working as an Apprentice Boiler Smith at the same place as his father, Coal and Iron Co. (This was quite possibly at Sheepbridge Works).


Joseph joined the army in the early stages of the War.  He enlisted in Chesterfield as a Gunner in the Royal Field Artillery,  his service  number was 73171.  He was attached to B Bty 46th Bde Royal Field Artillery.

He arrived in France 29th July 1915 and he  was Killed in Action on 25th September 1915,  Joseph was 20 years old when he died.

This is a short history of the movement of the 46th Brigade in 1915 taken from Forces War records:

Advance parties landed at Boulogne on 23 February and eight days later the units began to arrive. Concentration was completed by 8 March.

The first months after arriving in France were spent in the Ypres salient.

The 46th saw action at the battle of Hooge July 1915 and they were also in action at the Battle of Loos 25th September 1915. 

Information on the Battle of Loos can be found here

Unfortunately I am unable to confirm if this is where Joseph was definitely killed.

Below is a transcript of the obituary for Joseph in the Derbyshire Courier 16th October 1915:


Old Whittington Soldier’s Fate

News has been received at Old Whittington of the death of Private J Kynaston  at the Front.  Young Kynaston joined the Royal Field Artillery in the early stages of the War, and was Killed in Action whilst serving the guns on 25th September.  He would have been 21 years of age in February and the loss is a severe one to his mother, who resides at Holland Road Old Whittington.

Prior to joining the Royal Field Artillery he served in the local Corps of the Boy Scouts.  A letter announcing his death came from Captain B W Rhodes who wrote- “It is with the deepest regret that I have to announce the death of your son who was Killed in Action (instantly) on Friday the 25th September, whilst serving his gun.  The official intimation will be forwarded from the War Office in due course together with his personal belongings.  His loss is deeply mourned by the whole of his comrades, and we trust that you will receive the great blow with calmness and fortitude, knowing that he died whilst doing his duty.  His remains  were buried by the Army Chaplain, and a substantial cross erected over the grave”


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Josephs father had died in 1914 and the obituary indicated  his mother was still living at Holland Road at the time of Josephs death. However,  the grave registration documents state  that  Mrs Kynaston  moved from Chesterfield to Mirfield in Yorkshire.


Joseph is buried at White House Cemetery, St Jean Les Ypres.



white house view

Cemetery pictures taken July 2019 courtesy of A J Taylor

The inscription on his grave reads :

To Memory Ever Dear

Full cemetery details can be found here

Joseph was awarded The Victory Medal, The British War Medal and the 1914/15 Star.


Photo taken from (with permission)


Joseph is commemorated on Old Whittington and The Brushes War Memorials.

Joseph’s younger brother John was also serving during World War 1 He enlisted in March 1918 when he was 18 and joined the 1/5th battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment.   He was sent to France in October 1918 when he was transferred to an Infantry Brigade (for the benefit of the Battalion)! He returned home on 22 December 1918.

(Information taken from John’s service record at






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