Joseph Edward Greathead was born in 1890 in Alcester, Warwickshire, England. He was the son of Edward Greathead and Annie Green. He married Carrie Eleanor Ward in 1910 in St Catherine, Burnley, Lancashire, England. He was Private in 134th Field Ambulance, Royal Army Medical Corps, enlisting in Burnley, Lancashire. He died on 25 June 1917 in Flanders, Belgium, from wounds he received in action. His home address was 21 Olympia Street, Burnley in Lancashire. Joseph was buried in Popperinge New Military Cemetery, II.F.20, Popperinge, West Vlaanderen, Belgium, He seems to have been buried under his second name of Edward.
Administration papers were issued with a will on 30 July 1925 in London to Carrie Greathead his widow. They had two daughters Carrie, who died in infancy and Constance Ann who went on to marry and have a family of her own.