Thomas Lacey



Village memories: Cherry Tree Pub (picture from SWOP website)

No picture available


PRIVATE 3893 OXFORD LIGHT INFANTRY. LATER 2164 1/8TH HANTS REGIMENT
HE DIED ON 23 JUN 1915 AGED 37YRS
NOT IDENTIFIED ON CWGC WEBSITE OR SDGW
REMEMBERED WITH HONOUR

Thomas Lacey was born in 1879 in Penn in Buckinghamshire. He was the son of Reuben and Caroline nee Howlett. In 1881 the family were living in Penn and Caroline is a widow as Reuben died aged only 32yrs on 27th January 1880. Thomas is a year old and his older siblings listed are Edward, Sarah and Emma. He also had a brother Henry who is listed as a general labourer on the 1891 Census.

Thomas first enlisted with the Oxford Light Infantry in 1895 aged 17yrs 10mths. He enlisted for 6 yrs. He was 5’6” tall with grey eyes and light brown hair. His service number was 2519. He was discharged and later he re-enlisted with the Militia from 1905 until 1909 (see below). He presented as a 26yr old labourer living at Flackwell Heath. By 29th April 1905 he had qualified for the rank of Sergeant.

The details from his service record (Find my Past) are as follows:
31/1/1895 Militia 2519 Oxford Light Infantry 3rd Battalion. Only 49 days recorded in 1895.
24/1/1905 Militia or reserve Division of the Militia 3893 3rd Battalion. 41 days in 1901, 27days in 1906. 41days in 1907. Discharged time expired 23/1/1909.
04/1/1915 Territorial Force 2164 enlisted for the duration of the War. Discharged 04/6/1915 (see below) Medical reason for discharge given when chest expansion only half an inch from 33 to 33.5 inches on 01/6/1915.

Thomas married Ada Winifred Roberts in 1906. In 1911 the family were living at Flackwell Heath and Thomas was “a labourer in gardening”. His widowed mother Caroline was living with them. There are three children listed, Thomas, William and James, the latter two being twins.

Thomas had re-enlisted in 1914 with the 1/8th Hants Regiment but was discharged on 4th June 1915 due to ill health. His pension record shows he was a patient in June 1915 and was “suffering from malignant disease of the liver, is jaundiced and emaciated”. His death was announced in the Bucks Free press. He died on 23rd June 1915 in Wycombe Cottage hospital. His address was given as 43, Gordon Road, High Wycombe. He had been a market gardener employed for some time by a Mr Clifford of Bourne End. There is a recorded burial of a Thomas Lacey in Wycombe Cemetery in June 1915. He was survived by his widow Ada and three children.

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