Dedicated to the memory of all the men and women of the Bridgnorth area who died during the two World Wars.
Joseph Henry Oakley was born in February 1876 and was baptised at St Leonard's on March 5th. He was the son of William Oakley, a worsted carpet weaver, and his wife, Ann. The Family lived in Friar Street.
Joseph became a carpet weaver. He married Ethel Ellen (Nellie) Clarille at Stoneway Chapel on 9th May, 1896. In 1900 Joseph, who was a member of the Volunteers, attested to fight with the KSLI in the Boer War. He was not called up until February 1901 but was discharged soon afterwards - having accidentally received a pistol wound.
After several years the family moved to Nellie's home town, Wilton, Wiltshire where Joseph got a job at the Royal Carpet Factory as a carpet weaver and machine fitter.
At the outbreak of the Great War, Joseph immediately re-enlisted, joining the Wiltshire Regiment as Private 3/331. He was sent to Gallipoli during June but returned home at the end of August - possibly wounded (his record shows that, at some stage, he received a severe wound). Two days before Christmas 1915 Joseph was sent to France where he served until February 1917 when he was sent home suffering from chronic bronchitis. After spending a month in hospital he was transferred to the Labour Corps. He died from pneumonia at the Central Military Hospital, Fort Pitt, Chatham, Kent on the 19th April, 1918. He is buried in Wilton Cemetery, Wiltshire.
Private Oakley, 284941 (previously 7379 KSLI and 3/331 Wiltshire Regiment) was awarded the Victory and British medals and the 1915 Star.
This memorial has mostly been compiled from official sources. It would be good to be able to expand it with more personal material - memories, stories, photos, etc. If you have any suitable material or any corrections please contact Greg. For news of updates follow @BridgnorthHeros on Twitter.