LINCE – Charles William John Lince (1887-1917)

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War Memorial – Hadleigh, Essex

The St James The Less church WWI plaque lists C. W. J. LINCE as having died in 1917, and the memorial plaque names him as Charles J. W. LINCE.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission states:

  • Private CHARLES W. J. LINCE
  • Service Number: G/43364
  • Regiment & Unit/Ship: Middlesex Regiment, 23rd Bn.
  • Date of Death: 22 September 1917
  • Buried or commemorated at TYNE COT MEMORIAL, Belgium. Panel 113 to 115.
  • Country of Service: United Kingdom

Charles William John LINCE

Charles William John LINCE was born early 1887 in Ramsden Bellhouse, Essex (other places of birth were given as Ramsden Heath, Runwell and Little Bearstead). He was the forth of twelve children born to Thomas LINCE, an agricultural labourer, and Elizabeth Mary Agnes WARREN, daughter of an agricultural labourer.

Thomas married Elizabeth in mid 1879 in the Chelmsford district of Essex (possibly Ingatestone) when they were 24 and 17 years old. They had twelve children together born in Ingatestone, Galleywood, Ramsden Bellhouse (Ramsden Heath and Runwell were also given for two of the children), Margaretting, Stock, Beggar Hill, Mountnessing and finally Thundersley. Of their twelve children, they lost one child at age 10 in 1901.

  1. Philip George Lince, aka Thomas Philip Lince / Frederick Philip Lince (16 Oct 1880 – 1947) – m.1903 to Emily Taylor, and m.1920 to Edith Ellen Barber ~ Engineer Blacksmith
  2. Mary Ann Elizabeth Lince (1882 – ?)
  3. Martha Lince (1 Jul 1884 – 1960) ~ m.1919 to Reuben Dines (Labourer)
  4. Charles William John Lince (1887 – 1917) ~ m.1917 to Eliza Webb ~ Labourer
  5. Charlotte Mary A Lince (1888 – 1928) ~ m.1912 to Charles Ryan (Labourer)
  6. Joseph Lince (1890 – 1901) ~ died age 10
  7. William Lince (13 Sep 1892 – 1950) ~ m. 1919 to Jessie Blanche Raven ~ Labourer
  8. Elizabeth Agnes Lince (13 Apr 1895 -1970) ~ m.1919 to Harry James Lionel Denyer (Refuse Collector)
  9. Agnes Lince (7 Sep 1897 – 20 Jan 1963) ~ m.1920 to George Ryan (Labourer)
  10. Marie Lince (24 Nov 1899 – 1974) ~ m.1920 to Charles Leonard M Thompson (Bricklayer)
  11. John Lince (2 Apr 1902 – 1968) ~ m.1935 to Isabella O’Neil Metcalf ~ Light Watchman
  12. Francis George Lince (19 Apr 1908 – 1 Jan 1967) ~ m.1931 to Ivy Buckley ~ Brickmaker

In 1881 the young family were living at Ingatestone, Essex. Their son Philip was 5 months old and they had a lodger also living with them. The family moved around a lot over the next ten years (as shown by where their children were born), settling briefly in Margaretting, Essex when the 1891 census was taken. Their eldest son Philip was living with his maternal grandparents at the time. The family continued to move around Essex over the next few years, and by 1895 were living in Stock. On 23rd Nov 1896, a 56 year old man named Jonathan BREWSTER “criminally assaulted” their 14 year old daughter Mary. The case went to court the following year and Brewster was found guilty and sentenced to six months hard labourer.

On 28th Jun 1898, eldest child Philip enlisted into the Essex Regiment under the name “Thomas Philip Lince“. He was 18 years old, working as a farrier and blacksmith and had already been serving with a different battalion within the Essex Regiment. He went on to serve in the Boer War, and was awarded the Queens South Africa with 3 Clasps, and Kings South Africa with 2 Clasps.

By 1901 the family had moved to Mountnessing where 10 year old son Joseph sadly died in. Charles was now 14 and working as a cattleman on a farm. Thomas and Elizabeth had their eleventh child at Mountnessing in 1902, and by 1908 had moved to Thundersley, Essex where they had their twelfth and final child. The family were still living in Thundersley when the 1911 census was taken, at Burden Road. Thomas was working as a Carter and son Charles a labourer age 24.

Charles enlisted as a Private into the Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge’s Own) c.1916 (his brother Philip was still in the Army, and brother William had enlisted in 1915). He was living in Northfleet, Kent at the time and enlisted at Purfleet, Essex just over the river, starting in the 1/7th Battalion and moving into the 23rd (previously 16th) Battalion.

Charles married Eliza WEBB in 3Q 1917 during the height of the war in the Romford district of Essex when he was age 30 and Eliza was 48 (although may have given her age as 44). They were married only very briefly before Charles was sent to Belgium and became missing in action and presumed dead on 22nd Sep 1917, Eliza was informed on 2nd Nov. He was posthumously awarded the Victory Medal and British War Medal, and is also honoured on the Tyne Cot Memorial in Belgium.

In 1918 when Charles’s widow Eliza first received his war pension she was living at Tilbury Docks, Essex. Eliza’s date of birth was given as 26th Dec 1872, but later research puts it at 1868 and born in Thundersely. Also listed were three children with “husband’s stepchildren” noted. All children had expiry dates for the end of the pension when they reached 16, and the card shows Eliza was awarded Separation Allowance for 2 people.

  • May NEAL born 10 Aug 1906
  • Hilda NEAL born 24 Apr 1914
  • Lily NEAL born 20 Nov 1915

Why did Eliza’s children have the surname NEAL when she was married as WEBB? Things got more confusing when trying to track down the births for these three children, until finally it began to make sense. May, Hilda and Lily were Eliza’s three youngest children, of a total of twelve with first “husband” William NEAL, although they were not officially married. Both William and Eliza came from Gypsy families, and may even have been cousins. Neither of their parents were officially married either, and their surnames alternate from record to record. William’s father was Zachariah PRINT, who also went by NEAL and WEBB. His grandfather was David PRINT (aka David NEAL) and his grandmother was Rhoda WEBB. Eliza’s father was John WHITNEY, a surname she used along with WEBB which was one of her mother’s surnames (Charlotte PRINT, who also went by NEAL and WEBB just like Zachariah). In 1891 William and Eliza were living in Rawreth, Essex with three children, all of which were registered with mother’s maiden name WEBB and born in Rayleigh. In 1901 the family were living in Mucking, Essex with four more children, none of who’s births seem to have been registered (all born Rayleigh). In 1911 the family were living in Leigh-On-Sea with ten children now born (all still living). Children eight and nine were born in Stanford Le Hope with mothers maiden name WHITNEY, and the tenth at Canvey Island with mothers maiden name WEBB again (May in 1906). They had moved to Gravesend, Kent by 1914 where her last two children were born (Hilda and Lily with mothers maiden name WEBB).

Gravesend and Northfleet are very close by, explaining how Charles and Eliza came to meet, although not whether this was before or after her last two children were born. Had Eliza left her husband by the time she met Charles, or was something else afoot? Eliza LINCE remarried in 1920 in Gravesend to a Thomas NEAL, but I wonder whether Thomas was actually William as the 1921 census shows Eliza living with back with William NEAL again along with their four youngest children (which included May, Hilda and Lily). William and Eliza had moved to Canvey Island by 1937 where William died age 70. Eliza was living on her own when the 1939 Register was taken, and gave her date of birth as 26th Dec 1868 (four years older than on her pension card). She died later that same year age 66.

Back to the LINCE family! Charles’s parents had moved from Thundersley to Hadleigh by 1918, and were living at “Belgiumville” on Broadway (now London Road). Could they have named the house themselves, after the country Charles was killed in? Thomas died towards the end of 1925 age 70, and Elizabeth remarried three years later in 1928 to Harry Edgar WINN. Elizabeth was 66 and Harry 49, and both had been widowed in the same year. Harry had been living in the Medway area of Kent with his four children up to this point, so I don’t know how he and Elizabeth came to meet. The 1929 electoral roll shows the couple were living in Elizabeth’s house “Belgiumville” in Hadleigh along with her son John (27). Harry’s children were now 21, 19 and 17 (twins), but I don’t think any moved to Essex from Kent with him. Elizabeth and Harry had left Hadleigh by 1930, leaving son John on his own at “Belgiumville”. Elizabeth died in the Rochford district in 1935 age 73, and Harry in 1943 age 65.

What became of Charles’s siblings?

Philip‘s army career continued on his return from South Africa in 1902. He spent a year and a half back in England and married Emily TAYLOR in 1903, then was sent to Malta where he remained until 26th Jun 1914. I haven’t found mention of Emily in any records, so perhaps she died out in Malta if she joined him there. Philip was discharged on 27th Jun 1914 but rejoined the army once war broke out. He was sent abroad on 29th Oct 1915 (Balkans) and was discharged on 31st Mar 1920 (all as Thomas Philip LINCE). He married Edith Ellen BARBER, who was 15 years his junior, later that year in the Kingsclere distinct of Hampshire as Frederick Philip LINCE. The couple lived in Thatcham, Berkshire from 1928-1936 and were at Burghclere, Hampshire when the 1939 Register was taken (still as Frederick Philip LINCE). Philip was 58, working as an Engineer Blacksmith, and noted to be “Berks Special Police Reserve”. He died in the Kingsclere district in 1947 age 66 (as Philip George LINCE), and Edith died in 1962 also aged 66. They didn’t have any children.

I don’t know what happened to Mary after 1901 when she was age 19. She was still alive in 1911, but I haven’t found her in the census records.

Martha was working as a servant for the Gerrans family in 1911 in Westcliff-On-Sea, Essex age 28. She married Reuben DINES in 1919 when they were age 38 and 35, no children. Reuben worked as a gas works labourer and had served with the Army Service Corps during WWI (his father had been in the 20th Hussars as a young man). Martha died in 1960 age 76 and Reuben in 1961 age 80, both in the Southend area.

Charlotte married Charles RYAN in 1912 and had five children together between 1914-1920 (including twins). Sadly Charlotte died in 1928 age 39, but Charles remarried three years later to Helena BAKER and had two more children. Charles was working as a builder’s labourer in 1939, and died in 1956 aged 69. Helena died the following year aged 64.

William enlisted as a Private in the King’s Royal Rifle Corps first seeing action on 4th Sep 1915 in France as part of the British Expeditionary Force. He started in the 12th, moving to the 11th and finally 9th Battalion. On 4th Sep 1916 William was admitted to the Military Hospital in Bagthorpe, Nottinghamshire suffering with shock, but no further details were added to the record. He became a Prisoner of War at Cassel on 21st Mar 1918 (reported as missing), captured on the Western Front in the Saint Quentin sector. The paperwork recorded his name, rank, where captured, date and place of birth, home address and next of kin. After the war ended William was awarded the Victory Medal, British War Medal and 1915 Star. On his return to civilian life, William married Jessie Blanche RAVEN towards the end of 1919 in the Rochford district of Essex and had one daughter together. In 1939 the family were living in the Southend area where William was working as a builder’s labourer. William died towards the end on 1950 aged 58 and Jessie in 1975 aged 85.

Elizabeth married Harry James Lione DENYER in 1919 in the Westhampnett district of Sussex and had one son together. Elizabeth and brother Philip were the only siblings to leave the county of Essex. Harry was a Sussex chap, and had enlisted into the Territorial Force for four years as part of the 4th Royal Sussex Regiment in 1913 when he was 18. He was discharged early in 1916 as a Sergeant, having served at home only during that time and received the Victory Medal and British War Medal. In 1939 the family were living in Bognor Regis, Sussex where Harry was working as a refuse collector. Elizabeth died in 1970 age 75 and Harry in 1973 age 78.

Agnes married George RYAN in 1920, the younger brother of sister Charlotte’s husband. They had five children together, the first of whom was born just before they married. The family were living in Grays Thurrock, Essex in 1939 where George was working as a dock labourer. Agnes died in 1963 age 65.

Marie married Charles Leonard Morgan THOMPSON in 1920 and had five children together, the first of whom was born just before they married (just like her sister Agnes). They very sadly lost their third child in 1930 age 7. In 1939 the family were living at “Wangway”, Elm Road, Hadleigh, Essex where Charles was working as a bricklayer. Charles died in 1970 age 70 and Marie in 1974 age 74.

John married Isabella O’Neil METCALF in 1935 when John was 33 and Isabella 48 (not previously married). The couple were living in Rayleigh in 1939 where John was working as a light watchman for Essex County Council. John died in 1968 age 65 and Isabella the following year age 81.

Francis married Ivy BUCKLEY in 1931 in Eastwood, Essex and had three children together. Two were born before WWII and one at the end in 1945. In 1939 the family were still living in Eastwood were John was working as a brickmaker (age 31). Francis died in 1967 age 58, and Ivy in 1993 age 83.

Family Tree

Charles’s father Thomas LINCE was born 1855 in Great Baddow, Essex and the last of four children born to George LINCE, an agricultural labourer, and Elizabeth COX. George and Elizabeth married 24th Jan 1848 at St Mary The Virgin, Great Baddow, Essex when she was several months pregnant with their first child. George was a widower, having married Lucy French WARREN in 1839. They had three children together before she died in 1845 age 24, shortly after the birth of their last child (who also died). Elizabeth had also had a previous unmarried relationship and had three children of her own, and when the 1841 census was taken Elizabeth was living in Chelmsford Union Workhouse with her 1 month old daughter whilst her 3 year old son was living with her parents.

When the 1851 census was taken, only Elizabeth’s youngest child from before she married George was living with them, along with George’s first two children plus the first two of their own children together. Elizabeth’s daughter from her previous relationship had possibly died by this time, but her other son was still alive and living elsewhere. Tragedy then struck this family when George and Elizabeth’s first child died age 3 in Jun 1851, followed by George’s daughter from his first marriage age 13 in Nov 1853. Elizabeth then died in Sep 1856 age 40, only a year after the birth of their son Thomas. George never remarried and in 1861 the only children now living with him were his three surviving children with Elizabeth. Elizabeth’s two sons were living together elsewhere and George’s eldest son was visiting with another family. George lived the rest of his life in Great Baddow, Essex, dying in 1885 age 73.

Charles’s mother Elizabeth Mary Agnes WARREN was born 1862 in Ingatestone, Essex. She was the seventh of eight children born to Charles WARREN, an agricultural labourer, and Elizabeth WARD. Charles and Elizabeth married 26th Feb 1848 at St Margaret, Margaretting, Essex where their first five children were born. They moved to Ingatestone, Essex in 1858 where they had three more children but may have lost two by 1871. Charles died in 1878 age 69, when daughter Elizabeth was 16 (she married Thomas LINCE the following year). To support herself after the death of her husband, Elizabeth took in laundry. In 1891 still living with Elizabeth was son William (age 46 and a mat maker), who had been blind since age 16, and invalid daughter Mary (age 39). Her grandson Philip LINCE (age 10) was also living with her. Daughter Mary married three years later to a man aged 19, then Elizabeth died in 1896 age 73.

Link To Hadleigh

Charles’s parents lived at “Belgiumville” on London Road, Hadleigh from at least 1918, which explains why his name is on the memorial.

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