Poppy William James PACEY (1888–1917) Poppy

William Pacey
© Images & Voices,
Oxfordshire County Council

William James Pacey was born in Oxford on 25 May 1888, the son of James Pacey (born in Oxford in 1851, registered in Oxford registration district in the second quarter) and his second wife Sophia (surname unknown, born in Lamport, Northants in c.1861).

William’s father James Pacey married his first wife, Alice Lardner (born in Steeple Aston in c.1846) in the Woodstock Registration District) in the second quarter of 1876. They were in Waddesdon in 1879 but moved to 73 Cardigan Street in Jericho, Oxford by 1881. They had the following children:

  • Alice Caroline Pacey (born in Waddesdon, Buckinghamshire in 1879, registered second quarter)
  • Rose Annie Pacey (born in Oxford on 10 February 1884, baptised at SS Philip & James Church on 5 June 1884)

Mrs Alice Pacey died at the age of 38 in the Oxford Registration District in the first quarter of 1886, and James Pacey married his second wife, William’s mother Sophia, by the spring of the following year. They had five children:

  • William James Pacey (born in Oxford on 25 May 1888, baptised at SS Philip & James Church on 2 August 1888)
  • Arthur Pacey (born Oxford in 1891, registered third quarter; died in the first quarter of 1892)
  • Richard Pacey (born in Oxford on 12 March 1893, baptised at St Barnabas Church on 22 June 1893)
  • Elizabeth Sophia Pacey (born in Oxford on 24 March 1895, baptised at SS Philip & James Church on 21 April 1895)
  • Herbert Pacey (born in Oxford on 25 October 1899 and baptised at St Margaret’s Church on 18 March 1900).

William’s father James Pacey was a stonemason. At the time of the 1891 census, when William was two, the family was still living at 73 Cardigan Street.

The family then had three different addresses in Hayfield Road (originally in SS Philip & James parish, but in St Margaret’s parish from 1896). They must have moved to 78 Hayfield Road by 1893, when they start to register the births of their children in the Headington Registration District instead of the Oxford one. They are not listed in Kelly’s Directory at this time, however.

At the time of the 1911 census William (23) was also a stonemason, living at 61 Hayfield Road (their second address in the road) with his parents and his younger siblings Elizabeth and Herbert.

By 1912 the family had moved to 57 Hayfield Road in St Margaret’s parish.


Poppy In the First World War William 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.


Left: 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 in the first quarter of 1925 when he was 73.
William’s widow
  • Mrs Sophia Pacey was still living at 57 Hayfield Road in 1936. She died at the age of 77 in the Oxford registration district in the second quarter of 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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