Enlisted in the Bedfordshire Regiment, transferred to Essex Regiment, 4th Battalion. Enlisting prior to March 1915 he may have fought in Gallipoli, before being evacuated and posted to Egypt, where the unit remained for the rest of the war. On 2nd November 1917 the 4th Battalion attacked Belan Ridge, as part of the 3rd Battle of Gaza. They moved up Gun Hill at 2300 the night before and at 0400, following a heavy artillery barrage they attacked. They captured the Turkish trench after heavy fighting but were forced back after a counter attack. Joseph was killed the following day.