Born at Bawtry in 1894, Joseph was one of the six children of John and Elizabeth Burrows. His father was a farm labourer from Colchester, and his mother was from Epworth. In 1911 the family lived in Rossington and at some point before 1916 they moved to Penny Green Row, Eastoft. When Joseph attested for the army his father worked at Adlingfleet Grange.
Joseph was also a farm labourer. In 1911 he was working for William Stones at Bankside Farm, Cowick near Goole. However when he attested for the army he was a waggoner at Grange Farm, Waddingham near Kirton-in-Lindsey and when mobilised he was working for Mr Ford at Manor Farm, Redbourne.
Joseph attested for the Lincolnshire Regiment at Kirton-in-Lindsey on 12th February 1916, following which he was placed on army reserve. Mobilised on 5th July 1916 he reported the next day for training with the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion at Lincoln.
Following his training Joseph was posted out to France as a reinforcement for the 1st Lincoln’s on 9th March 1917. However only a few days later he was transferred to the 7th Battalion, joining them on 31st March 1917.
Almost immediately Joseph was thrust into the preparations for the Second Battle of the Scarpe, part of the Battle of Arras. Originally planned to take place on 21st April, the 7th Lincoln’s were near Feuchy, east of Arras, waiting for the signal to go when Joseph was wounded.
Shot in his left arm and right hand he also suffered compound fractures of both legs. Taken initially to 5th Field Ambulance from here he was evacuated to No 8 Casualty Clearing Station and from there to No 7 Canadian General Hospital in Etaples arriving on 23rd April, the day of the actual attack. Shortly after arrival at the hospital Joseph Burrows was to die there of his wounds. He would soon be joined by 200 of his colleagues.
Joseph is buried in Etaples Military Cemetery. He is also remembered on the Roll of Honour of St Andrew’s Church, Redbourne.