Joseph Wosikowski

Date of birth: 10th June 1887
Place of birth: St Marys, Southampton
Service No.: 14253
Rank: Private
Service: Formerly Royal Marine Light Infantry, Royal FleetReserve
Vessel: Merchant Ship SS Kermoor (at the time of death)
Died: 27th January 1918 aged 31 years
Death location: Mississippi River, USA


This story came to light when researcher Nick Metcalfe made contact with the group through our Facebook page. All details here are gratefully copied with Nick’s permission. This link will take you to Joseph’s story.  You can also read the stories of many others who are commemorated by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in the United States on Nick’s website

Nick identified that Joseph’s surname is incorrectly spelt as Wosekowski on the Cenotaph.  He has raised this with Southampton City Council and they have agreed to add the correct spelling  to the Memorial Wall in time for the 2015 Remembrance Service.


Joseph joined the Royal Marine Light Infantry in 1905.  He spent most of the first world war onboard HMS Venerable (1911-1916). The period of war service from August 1914 included operations in the English Channel; bombardment duties against German positions in Belgium in late 1914 and early 1915; support to the operations in the Dardanelles in the summer of 1915; and, after a refit at Gibraltar in the latter part of 1915, operations in the Adriatic Sea in support of the Italian Navy.  When HMS Venerable was laid up, Private Wosikowski transferred ashore and was officially transferred to the Royal Fleet Reserve on 26th May 1917 at the end of his 12 years of service.  However, Joseph was immediately remobilised and transferred for service as a RMLI* gunner on board DEMS#.

At the time of his death, Joseph Woskikowski was with the Merchant ship SS Kermoor,  which was alongside in New Orleans.  On the 27th January 1918 he was found drowned in the Mississippi River.  The circumstances of his death are unknown.

Joseph is one of 12 men whose names are inscribed on a chalice presented by their families to the Roman Catholic church of St Boniface, in Shirley, Southampton.  Please select this link to read more about the St. Boniface War Dead.

His medals group comprises Africa General Service Medal with clasp ‘SOMALILAND 1908-10’; 1914 Star; British War Medal 1914-20; Victory Medal.

*  Royal Military Light Infantry
# Defensively Equipped Merchant Ship


Researcher: Nick Metcalfe
Published: 3rd September 2015
Updated: Insert dates here

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