C. W. Pace
Service no. 722461
Private, London Regiment, 1st/24th Battalion
Enlisted in Lambeth; lived in Lambeth
Killed in action on 15 September 1916, aged 28
Remembered at Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France
British Army WWI Service Records 1914-1920
The records for Charles William Pace in the main show nothing very remarkable. He was 26, lived at 55 Dawlish Street and was working as an outdoor porter before he signed up at Camberwell on 4 March 1916. He stood 5 feet 1 inch tall, with a 33½ inch chest, which he could expand by 2½ inches. He gave his mother Sarah as next of kin, but this was later amended to his new wife, Florence, of 21 Seaham Street. William married Florence Meredith at St Barnabas, South Lambeth on 23 July 1916.
One item does stand out – a letter from ‘per pro’ Mrs. Pace (Pace’s mother as the address given is Dawlish Street), in which, on 18 October 1916, over a month after Pace had died, she pleads, “I have received no letter or tidings from him for some time now … If he has been wounded or fallen sick and has been removed to hospital would you please endeavour to trace him through your Records.” Clearly, for his mother, the possibility that Pace is dead was too dreadful to admit in a letter.
Pace’s record for the 15 September 1916 merely states “missing after action”. He was probably absorbed into the mud of France, lost without trace. He had served 280 days.
Information from the 1911 census
Charles William Pace, 21, was a tea packer, born in Walworth. He, and his elder brother James Stephen Pace, 24, a window cleaner, also born in Walworth, lived with their widowed mother, Sarah Ann Pace, 56, who was from Bermondsey, at 14 Gladstone Street, Stockwell (now gone), where they had two rooms. Sarah had nine children, seven of whom survived to 1911.