In 1920 a war memorial was “raised at Chilmark as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by the members of the local community, who lost their lives in the First World War.” Those who died in World War 2 were added later. In 2016 the memorial was given grade II listed status as part of the government’s pledge to commemorate the war.
I wanted to find out more about the three Maceys listed on the memorial, who all died in WWI.
A Macey, F Macey and S Macey
F Macey = Frederick George 1880-1914
S Macey = Sidney Charles Macey 1885-1914
A Macey = I suspect is Albert John who died in April 1918. His parents, Frank and Mary, lived in Chilmark. I want to confirm this before more is written.
Frederick George and Sidney Charles Macey
Sidney Charles (b. 1885) and Frederick George (b. 1890) were the sons of Edwin and Emma Macey (nee Macey) and nephews of my great great grandfather, Charles. A sister was born in-between, Ellen Frances (b. 1888) and a couple of years later another brother came along, Ernest Edwin (b. 1892).
In 1891 the family were living on Mooray Road, Chilmark. Edwin worked as a shepherd whilst Sidney and Ellen were scholars. Sadly their mother Emma died in 1899 at the age of 39.
Two years later in the 1901 census Frederick was living with his father and three siblings in Mooray. Edwin was still recorded as a shepherd and Sidney Charles a groom.
For the 1911 Frederick and Ernest were working as carters on a farm. When Frederick enrolled for service in world war one he was still an agricultural carter.
On the 8th of September 1914 Frederick was killed in action whilst a private with the 1st Battalion, Coldstream Guards, he was 24 years old. He had also served with the Expeditionary Force.
He is buried in France at the Bellot War Communal cemetery in a Commonwealth War Grave. Unfortunately little or no more is known about Frederick’s service as his pension records did not survive the fire of 1940 that destroyed the majority of documents.
Less than two months later Sidney Charles was killed in action at the age of 28 and is commemorated on the Ypres Memorial in Belgium. He died from a wound in the right thigh. Sidney’s records did survive and therefore much more about his military life is known.
He enlisted with the Scots Guards in Southampton on the 2nd February 1906 for a short attestation and five days later he travelled to London for the start of his service. Over the next three years he was based in Caterham, London, Pirbright and Aldershot. His conduct during this period was ‘very good’ and had no offences.
Sidney indicated that he wished to join the police on return to civilian life as he had been in the Regimental force for a couple of months. He also intended to live in London at 23 Iffley Road, Hammersmith, moving away from Chilmark. The electoral register for 1906 shows an Ernest Macey living there which could have been Sidney’s younger brother. Iffley Road has featured in my family research as Maceys lived on the street from 1912 to 1963.
Sidney was able to become a police officer in Guildford, Surrey. The 1911 census saw Sidney living with a fellow officer’s family as a boarder in Guildford. He returned to Chilmark later in the year for the wedding of Ellen Frances and just over 12 months later married Ada Harriet Walt in Guildford on the 26th December 1912.
Sidney was mobilized in London to the 1st Battalion of the Scots Guards on the 5th August 1914 and sent to France eight days later. Ada reported receiving a letter from her husband in the 10th October issue of the Surrey Advertiser. By this point it was known that Frederick had died but it is unclear whether Sidney was aware.
On the 11th of November Sidney was reported missing and presumed dead. It wasn’t until the following August that the British authorities were made aware that he had indeed died on the 2nd of November. He was buried in Dadizelehock, Belgium. A report in the Surrey local paper gives a few more details:
“Pte Macey received two wounds of a serious nature at Ypres, on October 28th when his company was completely surrounded and practically all the men who were not killed were taken prisoners…The last his comrades saw of Macey was as he lay on the field. He was taken prisoner by the Germans and removed to a hospital where he remained for about a fortnight. He was unable to write home…” (Surrey Advertiser 7th Aug 1915)
Sidney was posthumously awarded the 1914 star, British War Medal and Victory Medal. His personal effects including letters and a small pocket book were returned to Ada.
Edwin lived at Mooray Cottage and The Corner Cottage/House in Chilmark during Frederick and Sidney’s service period. He died in 1927 and was buried in Acton, the same cemetery where Ernest and his family would later be interred.
Ellen Frances married Henry Francis Moules and was living at the Corner House in 1939. She died in 1940.
Ernest Edwin also served in WW1 as a Private in the Royal Army Medical Corps. He enlisted in July 1913 and at the outbreak of war was sent to the Western Front. In June 1917 he was severely injured and sent home. A few months later in January 1918 he was discharged due to being medically unfit for service. Ernest was award the 1914 star, General Service and Victory medals. He married Nellie Wren later in 1918 and moved to Acton, Middlesex. They had a two children before Nellie’s death in 1940. Ernest married Ellen Maud Pain (nee Plummer) in 1951 and died in 1958. he was buried in the same plot as Nellie and one of his sons.
Ada appears to have not remarried and stayed in Guildford until her death in 1956.
Sources: Birth certificates, De Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour, Commonwealth War Graves, Censuses, Personal effects register, British Newspaper Archive, Historic England, BBC, 1939 Register, National Roll of the Great War, Cemetery record