Born around 1894, Joseph George was the son of John and Elizabeth Sarah Walton. Joseph's obituary in the Teesdale Mercury describe him as the Waltons' only son. The 1901 Census shows that Joseph had an older sister called Minnie, a younger sister called Mary, both Waltons, and an older half brother called Roland Collinson. Army records, dated 1919, show another full blood sister, Freda Walton (then aged 15) and a half brother called Alfred Collinson (36) and a half sister called Isobelle (Isobella?) Farn (38).
Joseph enlisted on 11 September 1914 at the age of 20 and was posted as a Private to the D.L.I. 15th Battalion. He was promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal on 1 November 1914 and to Corporal on 12 April 1915, that rank being confirmed on 11 September the same year. He was ill with Bronchitis from 15 - 29 April 1915. In June 1916, he was wounded in his left arm and leg, rejoining his Battalion on 23rd of that month. Records suggest he may have been an acting Sergeant during the early months of 1916. His promotion to the rank Sergeant was dated 6 July 1916, not long after which, on 16 September, he was killed in action.
After the war, his grave was amongst those the Army Graves Service was unable to trace and his name is therefore commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial in France.
In April 1916 Joseph wrote home describing the fight at Loos which involved several Middleton men, including T. Walton, W. Bell and E. Bousfield. The D.L.I had led the advance and took hundreds of German prisoners. Joseph described W. Bell as having some marvellous escapes in France, saying "the Germans cannot kill 'Kelly'. Once a bullet passed through his cap. Another time a piece of shrapnel fell and demolished his kit whilst he had just temporarily left the spot. On another occasion he and three comrades were buried and he was the only one who escaped uninjured".