Joseph Walton Hedley was the son of the Rev Matthew and Jane Alice Hedley, late of Langho Vicarage, Whalley, Lancashire. B.A. Brasenose College, Oxford.   
 
He was born at Langho Vicarage, Whalley, Lancashire on the 20th February 1880 and was baptised the same day by his father, Vicar of Langho.
 
His father died at Langho in 1894 and by 1901 Joseph was living with his widowed mother and siblings at 70 Talbot Street, Southport.
 
Joseph was Assistant Master at Copthorne School, Crawley, Sussex in 1911.
 
Probate of his estate was obtained at London on the 17th February 1917 by his brother, George Ward Hedley, schoolmaster. His address was 1 East Lawn, Old BAth Road, Cheltenham and his effects were valued at 1478 19s 5d (110,000 at current values.)