Joseph Maddocks was born in Salford, Lancashire, England on 12 July 1895. He was the son of William Maddocks and Martha Elizabeth Phipps and had three siblings.
Maddocks’ father died when he was a small child and his mother struggled to make ends meet, working as a charwoman; the family appeared on the 1901 census as residents of 9 Union Place, Broughton, Lancashire.
When Maddocks appears on the 1911 census he was one of over 200 young “sea apprentices” stationed at a training ship in Birkenhead.
In April 1912 Maddocks was serving as a seaman aboard the eastward-bound voyage of the Carpathia when that ship rescued the survivors of the Titanic.
Joseph Maddocks continued to work at sea for many years and served with the merchant fleet during WWI. In 1916 he married Catherine Banlin and had three children and was still serving at sea as a bosun by 1939. His later whereabouts remain unclear.