Albert James LUCAS (1894–1917)
Oxford Journal Illustrated, 6 June 1917.
Reproduced by kind permission of Oxfordshire County
Council, Oxfordshire History Centre
Parents and siblings
- Father: John Butler LUCAS: born in Paddington in 1868/9 (reg. first quarter 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 Lucas, a hide & skin broker, moved to Oxford with his parents in about 1876. His father (and Albert’s eponymous grandfather), who had the same occupation, died in 1877, and his effects came to under £1,500. Albert’s grandmother Emily Amelia married her second husband, the butcher George Walklett, in Oxford in the third quarter of 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 was living at 10 Stanley Terrace, Abingdon Road, Oxford when he married Mary Bate Shutt at St Mary's Church in Hammersmith on 11 April 1893. 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. His father continued to be described as a hide & skin broker.
Albert would have entered the City of Oxford Boys’ High School in George Street In about 1905, when he was 11. According to his obituary, he then moved on to Magdalen College School in Brackley, Northants.
By 1911 the family had moved to the present 92 Botley Road (which was then called “Sunnyside” and numbered 66), below.
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 (16) was an apprentice wool stapler (dealer in wool) boarding at Worcester.
Albert’s father, John Butler Lucas, died at the age of 45 in November 1914 at the Warneford Lunatic Asylum in Headington. 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 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 and is likely to have been a relative, as her grandfather’s surname was Shutt. 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 1917)
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).
- CWGC: Lucas, Albert James
Lucas is also listed on the St Matthew's Church memorial, and on the Oxford City Boys’ High School memorial (below)
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.
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 her husband’s death, 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) and known as Peggy, married her first husband Derek Ernest EVELEIGH 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 the 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, writing about her experiences (published in 1992 as a book called WAAF with Wings). She married her second husband Roger G. GRACE in 1946, and 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 resumed her maiden name. 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”.
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.