Joseph Miles played a significant part in village life, although not amongst the elite who served as a Parish Officer on the Vestry.
His baptismal record, dated October 1794, in the hamlet of Normandy to parents Joseph and Ann Miles might suggest that he was an incomer. However, the baptismal register at St Michael’s Church in Aldershot reveals that there were at least three generations before him in the village, all named Joseph Miles.
Thomas’ elder brother Richard, born 1821, had left home. Now also married and agricultural labourer, he was living in Shawfield Lane, Ash. His daughter Mary had been baptised at St Michael’s Church exactly four weeks ago, on November 6th. He had first stayed up at The Moors towards Lynchford with two women named Mary Knowles: one was his grandmother, the other his aunt.
There is an interesting report in the Aldershot Military Gazette (26 January 1861) concerning the fatal accident of Joseph Miles on the 15th January 1861. Joseph had been the Town Crier for the four years (1857 – 1860) before that. By 1861 Joseph’s widow Mary was recorded in the Census as living in one of the Miles Cottages as ‘Proprietor of Houses’. She had a grandchild of 10 years old staying with her, named Ann Knowles like her daughter.