Poppy William James PACEY (1888–1917) Poppy

William Pacey
© Images & Voices,
Oxfordshire County Council

William James Pacey was born at 73 Cardigan Street, Oxford on 25 May 1888, the son of James Pacey (born in Oxford in 1851) and his second wife Sophia Cooper {born in Lamport, Northants in 1861).

On 17 April 1876 at North Aston Church, William’s father James Pacey married his first wife Alice Lardner (born in Steeple Aston in 1847): he was then living in St Mary Magdalen parish in Oxford, and she was living in North Aston.

They appear to have lived in Waddesdon, Buckingham for a short while but by July 1879 had moved to 73 Cardigan Street in Jericho, Oxford. They had the following children:

  • Alice Caroline Pacey (born in Waddesdon, Buckinghamshire on 21 March 1879 but living at 73 Cardigan street when baptised at St Barnabas' Church on 13 July)
  • Rose Annie Pacey (born at 73 Cardigan Street, Oxford on 10 February 1884 and baptised at SS Philip & James Church on 5 June)

William's father's first wife Mrs Alice Pacey died at the age of 38 at 73 Cardigan Street and her funeral was at St Barnabas Church on 3 January 1886.

In the second quarter of 1887 in the Bromsgrove district, James Pacey married his second wife (William’s mother) Sophia Cooper. They had five children:

  • William James Pacey (born at 73 Cardigan Street, Oxford on 25 May 1888 and baptised at St Barnabas Church on 2 August)
  • Arthur Giles Pacey (born at 73 Cardigan Street, Oxford on 18 July 1891 and baptised at St Barnabas Church on 6 September;
    died aged six months, with funeral at St Barnabas Church on 23 January 1892)
  • Richard Pacey (born at 78 Hayfield Road, Oxford on 12 April 1893 and baptised at St Barnabas Church on 22 June)
  • Elizabeth Sophia Pacey (born at 78 Hayfield Road, Oxford on 24 March 1895 and baptised at SS Philip & James Church on 21 April)
  • Herbert Pacey (born in Oxford on 25 October 1899 and baptised at St Margaret’s Church on 18 March 1900).

At the time of the 1891 census William (2) was living at 73 Cardigan Street with his father James (40), who was a stonemason, his mother Sophia (29), and his half-sisters Alice (12) and Rose (7).

From 1893 the family had three different addresses in Hayfield Road (originally in SS Philip & James parish, but in St Margaret’s parish from 1896). Their first address was 78 Hayfield Road. They are not listed in Kelly’s Directory at this time, however.

At the time of the 1901 census William (12) was living at 78 Hayfield Road with his mother Sophia (39) and his three full siblings Richard (8), Elizabeth (6), and Herbert (1). His father James (50) was boarding in Colberly near Cheltenham, where he was presumably working as a stonemason.

At the time of the 1911 census William (23) was a stonemason like his father, living at 61 Hayfield Road (their second address in the road) with his father James (60) his mother Sophia (49), and his sister Elizabeth (16), who was a dressmaker's apprentice, and his brother Herbert (10). His brother Richard (18) was working as a footman and boarding at the Hall stables, Repton, near Burton-on-Trent.

By 1912 the Pacey family was listed at 57 Hayfield Road in St Margaret’s parish.

Poppy In the First World War William James Pacey served as a Lance Corporal in the 2nd/4th Battalion of the Oxford & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry (Service No. 200401).

He was killed in action in France at the age of 29 on 7 April 1917 and is buried in the Vadencourt British Cemetery, Maissemy (I.A.46). He is remembered on the war memorial outside St Margaret’s Church in north Oxford.

Right: Photograph of W. J. Pacey’s grave in France, kindly supplied by British War Graves. The text reads:

[Emblem of the OBLI]

7TH APRIL 1917  AGE 29


This is one of the 40% of war graves that bears a personal message at the end (for which the family had to pay 3½d per letter).

St Margaret's Church War Memorial

After the War

William’s father
  • James Pacey died at the age of 73 and was buried at Wolvercote Cemetery on 8 January 1925.
William’s widow
  • Mrs Sophia Pacey was still living at 57 Hayfield Road in 1936. She died at the age of 77 and was buried at Wolvercote Cemetery on 2 July 1938.
William’s half-sisters
  • Alice Caroline Pacey (born 1879) married John Thomas Sykes at St Margaret’s Church on 1 August 1904.
  • Rose Annie Pacey (born 1884) married William Henry Belcher at St Margaret’s Church on 2 November 1903.
William’s full sister
  • Elizabeth Sophia Pacey (born 1895) married Ernest Suik at St Margaret’s Church on 22 April 1918.

See also

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