1886 - 1916
ARTHUR JOYCE was born in 1886 at Felsted, Essex, one of ten children born to Peter and Eliza Joyce (Joice) (née Hockley). He was baptised in the Parish Church at Great Leighs, aged 8 years on the 14th February 1894, together with his elder brother Frederick, who was 9 years old.
Peter and Eliza were married on the 1st November 1884 at the Parish Church, Felsted where they were both living. Peter was a Labourer. They had five sons and five daughters. Arthur was their second child and second son.
In 1891 the family were living at Willows Green in Felsted and Peter was an Agricultural Labourer. Arthur was 5 years old.The 1901 Census shows the family living at Chatham Green.
On the 26th September 1902, Arthur enlisted as a Gunner, Regimental No. 11761, for three years with the Royal Garrison Artillery at Chelmsford. He states he is 18 years and 3 months – in fact he was 16 years old and a Labourer.
He was 5ft 8¼” tall and weighed 131 lbs and was declared medically fit on the 27th September at Warley and joined the RGA at Great Yarmouth the same day.
He was posted on the 1 November 1902 to the No. 5 Depot Company RGA, then No. 2 Company Eastern Division RGA and on the 25th September 1905, after three years, he was transferred to the 1st Class Army Reserve, where he stayed until the 8th September 1914, a total of 11 years and 348 days.
On the 16th November 1912, Arthur married Mabel Florence Oddy at St Paul’s Church in the Parish of Highwood, Chelmsford where she lived. Mabel was 28 years old and Arthur 27 years and a Labourer.
There followed three children, between 1912 and 1915, Horace, Ivy and Lucy and they were now living in Chatham Green.
On the 9th September 1914, Arthur joined the British Expeditionary Force in France and returned to England on the 10th March 1915. At the 2nd Western General Hospital, Manchester on the 11th March until the 21st May he was found to have a tubercle on his lung and was discharged as being ‘no longer fit for War Service’ on the 30th June 1915 at Fort Rowner, Gosport.
He had ‘good Military Character’ on his Discharge report. He was awarded a Pension of 18s.9d a week for 12 months conditional from the 31st August 1915.
Death and Memorial
Arthur died at Chatham Green on the 26th May 1916, aged 30 years. He was buried on the 31st May in St Martin’s Churchyard, Little Waltham.
Arthur is also remembered on the War Memorial in Great Waltham.
Arthur's Headstone in St Martin's Churchyard, Little Waltham
Mabel, his widow, received the total sum of £5 on the 9th January 1920.
Arthur was awarded the Victory Medal, the British Medal and the 1914 Star Medal.