HUMBLE Joseph Henry 1895 – 1918


38660 Private Joseph Henry Humble, 4th Battalion, the East Yorkshire Regiment died of tuberculosis (TB) 7 October 1918, aged 23.  It is believed that he is buried at Bishop Auckland (Escomb) Cemetery.  There is no Commonwealth War Grave Commission or private headstone.  He is commemorated on the Witton Park war memorials.

Family Details

Joseph Henry Humble was born in 1895 at Woodland, the son of Thomas and Sarah Humble.  There were at least 4 children: [1]

  • John Henry born 1895 at Woodland
  • James E. bc1899 at Woodland
  • Emily bc1901 at Witton Park
  • Arthur bc.1903 at Witton Park

In 1901, the family were recorded living on Thompson Street, Witton Park where 45 years old Thomas worked as a coal miner (hewer). [2] In 1905, Thomas died, registered at Bishop Auckland.   By 1911, the family was headed by mother Sarah, living at 7 High Thompson Street, Witton Park. Joseph was working as a brickyard labourer at the time.  Also living with the Humble family was Sarah’s brother Arthur Little Toppin, a coal miner born in 1882 in Middleton in Teesdale.[3]

Military Details

23 November 1914: Joseph attested at Bishop Auckland, joining the Yorkshire Regiment for the duration of war, with the service number 16752.[4] His service record shows that he worked as a miner and lived with his mother, at 11 High Thompson Street, Witton Park, who was his next of kin.

21 June 1915:  Joseph was discharged on medical grounds. His service record includes the following notes “No teeth in upper jaw, suffers from chronic indigestion and is gradually getting thinner and less physically fit, anaemic and debilitated. He is not likely to become an efficient soldier – the fitting of dentures would not render him efficient”. [5]

Joseph returned home to Witton park and work as a coal miner.

25 September 1917:  Joseph enlisted for a second time, joining the East Yorkshire Regiment at Sunderland. His service number was 38660 and he was posted to the 4th battalion. [6]

16752 Private J. Humble, Yorkshire Regiment

However, it did not take long for ill health to restrict Joseph’s military service: [7]

  • 9 November 1917: He was admitted to Hornsea Hospital in the East Riding of Yorkshire, suffering from broncho-pneumonia which required 26 days treatment as a patient.
  • 24 January 1918:  He was back in Hornsea Hospital, suffering from a dilated heart which required 16 days as a patient. During this stay in hospital a bacteriological test for tuberculosis proved positive and he was transferred to Reckitt’s Hospital in Hull.

Joseph’s second service record includes a form entitled “Medical Report on an Invalid” dated 12 February 1918, which reported the following: [8]

“Patient states not been well since March 1917. Called up at Sunderland 25 September 1917 sent to Hornsea same day. Patient is in weak condition confined to bed. Tuberculosis of lungs.”

7 March 1918: He was discharged from the Army to a sanatorium.

An “Award Sheet for Disablement Pension” in his service record notes stated: [9]

“100% disabled whilst in sanatorium then reconsider”.

Initially his pension was for 26 weeks and due to expire on 10 September 1918 when it was extended for a further 26 weeks on the same terms.

24 April 1918:  Joseph Henry Humble was awarded Silver War Badge number 364871.  It was noted that:

“tuberculosis of the lungs aggravated by military service”

He did not serve overseas.


Death and Burial

Joseph Humble died 7 October 1918, aged 23 and the cause of death was pulmonary tuberculosis.[10] It is believed that he is buried in Bishop Auckland (Escomb) Cemetery and had no headstone.  The plot number as yet, has not been researched.

Commemorations [11]

Joseph Humble appears on the original Plaque 1914-18 in the Memorial Hall, Witton Park, the Roll of Honour 1914-18, St Paul’s Church, Main Street, Witton Park and the war memorial plaque in Witton Park cemetery.


The evidence suggests that Private J.H. Humble contracted TB during his second period of military service which prevented him from taking an active part in military service.  He subsequently died of this illness, 7 October 1918, aged 23. 


[1] 1901 and 1911 census

[2] 1901 census

[3] 1911 census

[4] Army Form B.2505

[5] Army Form B.204 and Statement of the Services

[6] Army Form B.2513

[7] Table II: Only for Admissions to Hospital or to the Sick List in case of Warrant Officers treated in quarters

[8] Army Form B.179

[9] Form 90 Award Sheet for Disablement Pension

[10] Copy of the original death certificate dated 11.11.2021 Ref: FE924032

[11] NE Memorials Project