Joseph Colin Child was born in 1856 in King’s Norton, Worcestershire, the son of Samuel and Sarah. His christening record does not appear until 12th November 1865 in Bordesley, Warwickshire.
In 1872 he was indentured as an apprentice to Henry Moore Bell of Kidderminster, Worcestershire, a general draper and outfitter (Henry Moore Bell was married to Joseph’s sister Sarah Sophia).
In 1878 he married Mary Ellen Sargent in Chepstow and they had 11 children between 1879 and 1895, 10 of whom survived.
Joseph was a commercial traveller in the clothing trade and worked with his first firm for 37 years until they closed down during the First World War. This firm may have been Rosenberg and Neufliess, clothing manufacturers in Birmingham. He then went on to work for Messrs. Firth and Carr of Huddersfield until he retired in January 1922.
Joseph and Mary began their married life living in Chepstow at 12 St. Ann’s Lane. Their first born child, Graham Sargent Colin, was born in Kidderminster, but they also lived in Frome, Somerset where Hilda Mary and Richard Stewart were born. By 1886 they were living back in Chepstow and Edith Sarah was born in 1886 and Winifred Alice in1888. The 1891 census shows them living at Sunnyside, Tutshill, Chepstow and their remaining children were Robert Leonard born 1891, Marcus born and died 1892, Donald Tom born 1893 and the twins Amy Elizabeth and George Tudor born in 1895.
In December 1896 there was a serious fire at Sunnyside, the result of an arson attack, after there had been a previous attempt when the coach house was burned down in October 1896. As a result the family had to move out and in 1901 they were living at 2 Hocker Hill, Chepstow. However, by 1911 Sunnyside had been rebuilt and the family had taken up residence there again.
Joseph was a very active citizen and had been Deacon of Chepstow Baptist Church for over 25 years, as well as teaching in the Sunday School in his younger days. He was also their treasurer.
He was a lifelong ardent Liberal and Temperance Reformer as well as a member of the Urban Council of Chepstow. Joseph is described in the local press as “a fluent and forcible speaker”.
In 1912 records show that Joseph and Mary Ellen had taken a trip to Canada, probably to visit his sister Sarah Sophia who had emigrated there with her husband Henry Moore Bell and their family in 1905. Joseph and Mary travelled on from there to Seattle, Washington which is where his daughter Edith was then living with her husband Charles Bernard McMullen.
Joseph retired to Cheltenham where he continued his Temperance Reform work, regularly appearing at Cheltenham Licensing Sessions and resisting applications for the renewal of licences.
In August 1928 Joseph and Mary Ellen celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary, but Joseph died suddenly on April 22nd 1929 at ‘Trafford’, Gratton Road, Cheltenham aged 73.