Walter Pacey

RMA/16431 Gunner, Royal Marine Artillery

Royal Marines cap badge
Royal Marines cap badge

Walter Pacey is one of the men named on the Bottesford ‘church list’ of WW1 Servicemen.

Family background

Walter Pacey was born on the 22nd June 1900 at Woolsthorpe by Belvoir, Lincolnshire. His parents were William Pacey, born in 1868 at Woolsthorpe, and Hannah A. Pacey, born 1869 at Great Gonerby, Lincolnshire.

William senior and Hannah (born Frances Ann Clay) were married in 1889 at Grantham. In 1891, William was an ironstone labourer. He and Hannah lived on Mill Lane, Barrowby, with baby Frederick. They went on to have a large family. In the 1901 census, they were recorded living at Woolsthorpe. By this time, William had become a ‘plumber & grazier’. They had seven children: Frederick (10 years old), Charles (8), Frank (6), Sarah E. (5), William (3), Henry (2) and Walter (less than a year old).

By the date of the 1911 census, they had moved to 4 Easthorpe Lane, Bottesford. Charles Pacey had emigrated to Canada, but Frederick, Frank, Sarah, William and Walter were still living at the family home, together with two later children, James (8) and Albert (6). Walter was ten years old, a schoolboy attending Bottesford village school. William Pacey senior had established the family plumbing business which continued for many years.

Out of the eight boys, five would enlist during WW1. Two sadly lost their lives in the fighting. Frank Pacey died of wounds sustained while fighting with the 1/5th Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment on the 21st April, 1916, near Ypres. Charles joined the 8th Battalion (the 90th Winnipeg Rifles), part of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, but was tragically killed on the 2nd December 1916 at Vimy Ridge, less than a year after his brother. The other three, Frederick, William and Walter, all survived.

It is also noted that Henry Pacey died when only four years old, and was buried on the 11th March, 1903, at Bottesford. James and Albert were too young to have been eligible for military service until after the war. James was born in 1902 and lived to be 80. Albert was born in 1904 and lived to be 76. Both James and Albert were buried at Bottesford.

Military record

Walter Pacey enlisted at Nottingham on the 3rd June 1918, aged 17 years 11 months and 12 days, and joined the Royal Marines. He was RMA/16431 in the Royal Marines Artillery, and had the rank of Private from the 3rd June 1918, then Gunner from the 8th July 1919 to the 10th September 1919 when “his services were no longer required”. He was awarded the British War Medal.

He was a member of the Marines for just over a year, but it is unlikely that he served overseas in view of his age and lack of experience.

Life after the war

In the early 1920s, Walter lived in Bottesford, on Belvoir Road and then on Orston Lane with his mother Frances. His father, William Pacey, died on the 11th  March, 1929, in Lincolnshire, aged 61. Frances died in 1942 and was buried on the 23rd December, in Bottesford.

Walter Pacey married Edith Annie Challands on the 24th June, 1926, at Bottesford. He was twenty six and she was twenty five years old. By 1928, Walter had moved back to Easthorpe, leaving Frances and her youngest son Albert in the house on Orston Lane. Walter’s brother James was also in Easthorpe, with his wife Amy. In due course, the brothers would become proprietors of the family plumbing business. Curiously, the Registers of Electors from 1926 to 1931 do not mention Walter’s wife, probably because she did not register (or was not at that time eligible).

The 1939 Register records that Walter (master plumber) and Edith were still in residing in Easthorpe at this date. There was also Charles G Pacey, born on the 23rd November 1927, presumably their son (though the Pinfold-Harby3 public family tree states that there were no known children).

Walter Pacey died in Bottesford in 1966, and was buried on the 22nd June. Edith Annie Pacey died in 1973 in the Melton registration district.

We wish to acknowledge that our enquiries have been assisted by the Pinfold-Harby3 public family tree (Ancestry.co.uk).

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