The Great War saw many families separated from their husbands, fathers and sons as they joined up to fight for King and country.

But the war also joined people together who under normal circumstances would never have met.

Joseph Cox from Somerton in Somerset was in his late 20s when war was declared.

“I don't know a lot about my grandfather except that he was a stonemason before he joined the 11th Cheshire Regiment”, said Arthur Cox of Bournemouth.

He had five brothers, who also possibly served in the war, and three sisters, one of whom died at a young age.

Various regiments were billeted in Bournemouth during the war, including the East and North Lancashire Regiments, Lancashire Fusiliers, the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, plus the 11th and 13th Cheshire Regiments.

Formed at Chester in 1914, the 11th Cheshire came under the orders of 75th Brigade, 25th Division. The Battalion moved to Codford St Mary and by November 1914 was in billets in Bournemouth until it moved to Aldershot in May 1915 and landed in France as part of the British Expeditionary Force in the September.

“My grandmother, then Miss Annie Cardew, came to Bournemouth from London in search of hotel work just before the war,” said Arthur.

Arthur is uncertain where his grandparents met, but it is likely Joseph could have been staying at the hotel where Annie was working.

When Joseph was sent to France, he sent Annie at her address in Norwich Avenue, Bournemouth, beautiful embroid-ered silk cards expressing his devotion and she in return sent him cards, some of which were of comical boy soldier characters.

Annie also received satirical postcards from her brother Tom, who was seeing action abroad as a stretcher bearer in the Royal Army Medical Corps.

After the war Joseph was discharged from the Cheshire Regiment and he and Annie moved to Wales and got married.

Joseph worked in the mines and soon after their son Cyril was born. A few years later the family moved to London.

The city was expanding and was in need of builders and stonemasons.

Just before the Second World War, Annie returned to work in hotels in Bournemouth.

Joseph died in Wales in 1989.