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Oxford War Memorials: St Frideswide’s Church, Oxford

Albert James LUCAS (1894–1917)

Lucas in OJI
Oxford Journal Illustrated, 6 June 1917.
Reproduced by kind permission of Oxfordshire County
Council, Oxfordshire History Centre

Lucas on war memorial

Parents and siblings
  • Father: John Butler LUCAS: born in Marylebone on 15 February 1869; died in Oxford in 1914
  • Mother: Mary Bate SHUTT: born in Birmingham in 1864 (reg. second quarter), later Mrs BAILEY; died 1952

Albert’s father John Butler Lucas moved to Oxford with his parents in about 1876. Albert’s grandfather, also called Albert James Lucas, who was a hide & skin broker, died at 6 Park End Place at the age of 34 on 4 June 1877, and his effects came to under £1,500. Albert’s grandmother Emily Amelia Lucas married her second husband, the Kirtlington butcher George Walklett, at St Thomas's Church in Oxford on 14 September 1884, and at the time of the 1891 census they were living at 6 Park End Place with one servant.


Albert’s father John Butler Lucas became a hide & skin broker like his father. He was living at 10 Stanley Terrace on the Abingdon Road, Oxford when on 11 April 1893 he married Mary Bate Shutt at St Mary's Church in Hammersmith. They had four children:

  • Albert James Lucas: born at 12 Abbey Road, Oxford on 9 September 1894 and baptised at All Saints Church on 28 October
  • Alice Mary Lucas: born at 12 Abbey Road, Oxford in 1896 and baptised at All Saints Church on 26 January; died in Oxford aged 4 (reg. first quarter of 1900)
  • Hilda Mary Lucas: born at 12 Abbey Road, Oxford on 19 December 1900 and baptised at St Thomas’s Church on 13 January 1901
  • Doris Emily Lucas: born at 12 Abbey Road, Oxford on 11 October 1902 and baptised at St Thomas’s Church on 9 November.

Albert and his younger siblings were all born at 12 Abbey Road in west Oxford. The 1901 census shows Albert (6) living there with his parents and his surviving sister Hilda (3 months), plus one servant, and his father continued to be described as a hide & skin broker. His youngest sibling Doris was born the next year.

Albert entered the City of Oxford Boys’ High School in George Street in January 1903 when he was aged nine. He left in December 1904, and then boarded at Magdalen College School in Brackley, Northants.

By 1911 the family had moved to the present 92 Botley Road (below), which was then called “Sunnyside” and numbered 66.


The 1911 census shows Albert’s parents living at this house with his sisters Hilda (10) and Doris (8), looked after by a lady’s help and a general servant. Albert himself (16) was an apprentice wool stapler (dealer in wool) boarding at Worcester.

Albert’s father John Butler Lucas died in November 1914 at the age of 45 at the Warneford Lunatic Asylum in Headington and was buried in Botley Cemetery in the same grave as his baby daughter Alice on 25 November (Plot A2/39). His effects came to over £4,500.

On 15 July 1916 at St Frideswide’s Church, Albert’s mother, Mrs Mary Bate LUCAS (50) of Botley Road married her second husband, William Batten BAILEY, a widower of 92 who lived in Abingdon. Her elderly husband was recorded as the son of a leather dresser, which implies that he may have had a business connection with her first husband.


Albert James Lucas joined the Royal Flying Corps as an air mechanic in 1915, and transferred to a cadet battalion the following year. He obtained his commission on the day of his marriage:

On 1 August 1916 at St Frideswide’s Church. Albert James LUCAS (21) married Violet Cordelia CHAUNCY (22) . (They were first cousins: Albert's mother Mary Bate Shutt was the sister of Violet's mother Aimee Ann Shutt.) A photograph of them leaving the church after their wedding was published in the Oxford Journal Illustrated of 9 August 1916.

Violet was a British citizen born in Buenos Aires in Argentina in 1893. She was living at Rochester House in Pembroke Street, Oxford (now the Story Museum) prior to her wedding and was the daughter of Edward Louth Chauncy, who worked at the Stock Exchange.

John was already a Royal Flying Corps cadet at the time of his marriage. They had one daughter, born three months after her father’s death:

  • Yvonne Margaret Lucas (born in Marylebone, London on 18 August 1917 and baptised at St Frideswide’s Church on 28 October)

Albert Lucas and his wife Violet



Left: Albert James Lucas and his wife Violet

Reproduced by kind permission of the Maidenhead Heritage Centre & Air Transport Auxiliary Museum

Grave of Lucas

Poppy In the First World War Albert James Lucas served as a Second Lieutenant in the Royal Flying Corps (66th Squadron and General List). He was wounded on 3 May 1917 while flying over the German lines, but managed to reach his aerodrome and make a perfect landing. His leg was amputated, and slow blood-poisoning set in, and he died of wounds in France at the age of 22 on 16 May 1917.

He was buried with full military honours in the Warlincourt Halte British Cemetery, Saulty, France (grave ref. XI.A.4, right). His wife paid to have the inscription EVER IN MY THOUGHTS added to the headstone.

Lucas is also listed on the St Matthew's Church memorial, and on the Oxford City Boys’ High School memorial (below)

Lucas on OBHS memorial

His obituary appeared in the Oxford Times of 26 May 1917.


Albert Lucas’s mother

  • Mrs Mary Bate BAILEY’s second husband, William Batten Bailey, died in Oxford at the age of 95 in 1920 (reg. second quarter). Mrs Bailey had moved away from the Botley Road by 1928, and she died on 4 March 1952 in Stratford-upon-Avon, but was buried in Botley Cemetery with he first husband John Butler Lucas and their daughter Alice..

Albert Lucas’s widow

  • Mrs Violet Cordelia LUCAS, née Chauncy (born 1893/4) went into partnership with Mary Margaret Gaudin to run the Vernon Court Private Hotel in Torquay after Albert's death in the war, but this partnership was dissolved on 5 October 1921. She married her second husband Douglas G. SHRUBSALL at St George’s, Hanover Square in the first quarter of 1932. He died in 1943, and she married her third husband Ashley Reginald COURTENAY in the Westminster district near the end of 1947. She died in London on 23 February 1954.

Albert Lucas’s Daughter

  • Yvonne Margaret LUCAS (born 1917) was known as Peggy. She married her first husband Derek Ernest EVELEIGH in Surrey in the second quarter of 1939. He was an RAF pilot, and he died in a plane crash in the north of England on 22 April 1940. In his death notice in The Times, their address was given as the Bramleigh Grange Hotel near Guildford. Peggy joined the Air Transport Auxiliary and became a pilot herself, flying 178 hours between February 1944 and September 1945: what she wrote about her experiences was published in 1992 as a book called WAAF with Wings. Mrs Eveleigh married her second husband, the farmer Roger George GRACE, in the Aylesbury district in 1946, but the marriage appears to have ended in divorce. She married her third husband Major Charles E. KAISER in 1952. Following her divorce from Major Kaiser, she married her fourth husband, an Austrian called Edouard STAMFER, but that too ended in divorce. She returned to the UK, and reverted to her maiden name of Lucas. She died on 8 January 2008 and is buried at St Nicholas Church in Remenham, Berkshire under the name Peggy Eveleigh (née Lucas). Her tombstone includes the inscription “WAAF with Wings”.
    See Ferry Pilots of the ATA: Yvonne Margaret Lucas (with photographs) 

Albert Lucas’s sisters

  • Hilda Mary Lucas (born 1900) married William John Simms in the Brentford district in 1928. She died in Shrewsbury on 12 November 1963.
  • Doris Emily Lucas (born 1902) married Thomas Buchanan Gray in the Brentford district in 1928. She died in Bath in 1978.

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© Stephanie Jenkins

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