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Oxford War Memorials: St Frideswide’s Church, Oxford

William Joshua MACE (1888–1918)

Mace in OJI
Oxford Journal Illustrated, 15 May 1918
Reproduced by kind permission of Oxfordshire
County Council, Oxfordshire History Centre

Parents and siblings
  • Father: Joshua Calloway MACE: born in Braunston, Northants in 1849 (reg. fourth quarter);
    died in Warwick area in 1919/20
  • Mother: Jane Elizabeth BIRD: born in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire in 1853 (reg. fourth quarter); died in Warwick area in 1933

William’s parents were married in the Warwick district in the fourth quarter of 1886.

They had three children, all of whom survived infancy:

  • William Joshua Mace: born in Leamington Spa on 26 August 1888
  • Albert Victor Mace: born in Leamington Spa in 1891 (reg. third quarter)
  • Ethel Jane Mace: born in Leamington Spa in 1893/4 (reg. first quarter of 1894).

William Joshua Mace has the wrong initials (“N. J.” instead of “W. J.”)
in the newspaper (right); and he is listed as Joseph rather than
Joshua on the St Frideswide’s Church war memorial (below).

St Frideswide Memorial: Mace#

As his father was also called Joshua, it is possible that
his son used the name Joseph; but it may just be an error.

William’s father was a house decorator, and he settled in his wife’s town of Leamington Spa, where they appear to have spent the rest of their lives. Their first child William was born there in 1888, and the he 1891 census shows William (4) living with his parents at 45 Eagle Street. They were still there in 1901, with Albert and Ethel making heir family of three children complete.

By 1911 William (22) had moved on his own to Osney. He was then a gas fitter, lodging with the family of William Taylor, another gas fitter, at 33 Bridge Street. Meanwhile his parents were still in the same house back in Leamington Spa with Albert (19), who was now a clerk in an iron works, and Ethel (17), who was a draper’s shop assistant.

Soon after this census William became a GWR linesman.

In the second quarter of 1915 in Oxford, William Joshua MACE married Delilah Elizabeth LOWE. Back in 1911 Delilah (born in Paddington in 1884/5, reg. first quarter of 1885) had been keeping house at 77 Bridge Street, Osney for her widower father and her brother (respectively a GWR engine driver and ticket collector).

They had one daughter:

  • Ethel E. Mace: born at 11 South Street on 8 November 1917 and baptised at St Frideswide’s Church on 13 January 1918.

William was described in the baptism register as a “GWR linesman (now a soldier)”, and he was killed before his only daughter was five months old.

Poppy In the First World War William Joshua Mace enlisted in the Royal Marines on 17 July 1917 at the age of 29, and embarked Royal Marine Brigade on 7 September 1917. He was drafted for the British Expeditionary Force on 12 November 1917, and joined the 1st Royal Marine Battalion in the Royal Navy Division of the Royal Marine Light Infantry as a Lance Corporal on 25 November 1917 (Service No. CH/2441(S)). He was killed in action in France at the age of 29 on 23 March 1918.

He has no known grave, but is remembered on the Arras Memorial (Bay 1).


William Mace’s parents

  • Joshua Calloway MACE (born 1849) died in 1919/20 at the age of 70 in the Warwick district (reg. first quarter of 1920)
  • Jane Elizabeth BIRD (born in Leamington in 1853) died in 1933 at the age of 79 in the Warwick district (reg. second quarter).

William Mace’s widow

  • Mrs Delilah Elizabeth MACE continued to live at 11 South Street after her husband’s death. She married James Robert BUSBY in Oxford in the third quarter of 1920, and they were living at 10 The Hamel in 1935.

William Mace’s daughter

  • Ethel E. MACE (born 1917) married Reginald H. LEE in Oxford in the third quarter of 1941. They had four daughters in Oxford between 1943 and 1951.

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© Stephanie Jenkins

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