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  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone, Dozingham Military Cemetery. Photograph courtesy of Murray Biddle
Person Details
Netherfield Nottingham
Ralph was the son of Ralph Charles Pearce and his first wife Sarah Ann (née Raynor). His father, Ralph Charles, was born in Hitchen, Hertfordshire, on 23 April 1872 (A/M/J Hitchen). In 1891 Ralph (18) an engine cleaner was living with his widowed father Jesse (52) a plate layer and three sisters in Gedling, Nottinghamshire. His mother Sarah Ann was born in Tithby, Nottinghamshire, in 1861 (O/N/D Basford), the daughter of Thomas and Sarah Raynor. In 1871 Sarah was living with her parents and siblings in Cropwell Butler but by 1881 and 1891 was in domestic service in households in Cotgrave and Nottingham respectively. Ralph Charles and Sarah Ann were married at Holy Trinity, Tithby, on 6 August 1895 (J/A/S Bingham). They had five children: Wilfrid Arthur b. 10 May 1896 (A/M/J Basford), Ralph b. 1897 (O/N/D Basford), Sarah Gertrude b. 1900 (A/M/J Basford), Alice b. 15 December 1901 (1902 J/F/M Basford) and Nellie b. 31 May 1904 (J/A/S Basford). Wilfrid and Ralph were born in Netherfield and their three sisters probably in Annesley Woodhouse (Kirkby-in-Ashfield on census). In 1901 Ralph Charles (28) a coal miner/blaster and Sarah (38) were living on Skegby Road, Annesley Woodhouse. Only Ralph (3) and Sarah (under 1 year) were in the home on the night of the census; their brother Wilfrid (4) was visiting his maternal grandparents, Thomas and Sarah Raynor, in Cropwell Butler. Sarah Ann died in 1909 (A/M/J Nottingham) aged 48. The family was living at 11 Fox Street, Annesley Woodhouse, in 1911. Ralph was still a colliery worker and both his sons were pony drivers (below ground) while his three daughters were at school. The census form, which was completed by Ralph Charles, included the name of his wife of two years, Hannah Pearson (59 b. Arnold Nottingham) although no record has yet been found of their marriage or of her death. The family home was at 3 Willow Cottages, Annesley Woodhouse, when Ralph enlisted in December 1915. His father completed a form for the army in October 1919 listing his son's surviving blood relatives; he named himself and Wilfrid, Sarah, Alice and Nellie, all of 3 Willow Cottages. Ralph Charles married Sarah Garner (b. 24 December 1870) in 1916 (A/M/J Nottingham). In 1939 when the England & Wales Register was compiled, Ralph, who was retired, and his wife Sarah were living on Festus Street, Kirkby-in-Ashfield, with Ralph's youngest daughter, Nellie whose occupation was given as 'dress labourer'. Sophia Pearce died in 1947 (A/M/J Basford). Ralph Charles died on 21 October 1952; he was then living at 28 Harcourt Street, Kirkby-in-Ashfield. Wilfrid Arthur married Emma Cundy in 1917 (J/A/S Basford) and they had at least three sons: Lloyd b. 31 January 1918, Jack b. 24 June 1922 and James Ralph b. 13 November 1924. In 1939 Wilfrid, a coal miner (haulage engine) and Emma, were living at Annesley Woodhouse with their three sons, Lloyd and Jack, who were both colliery banksmen and James an apprentice engineer in a shoe factory. Wilfrid died in 1956 (J/F/M Basford). Sarah Gertrude married Fred Chappell (b. 8 April 1901) in 1923 (J/F/M Basford). In 1939 they were living at 1 Festus Street, Kirkby-in-Ashfield, with their children Iris (b. 18 January 1925) a hosiery hand, and Clifford (b. 1 August 1930) who was at school. Sarah Gertrude died in 1949 (J/A/S Nottingham). Alice married Raymond W Jeacock in 1928 (A/M/J Basford). In 1939 they were living at 8 Banks Avenue, Kirkby-in-Ashfield, with their children Ronald (b. 26 May 1929) and Sydney (b. 23 January 1937). Alice died in 1971 (J/A/S Mansfield). Nellie was living with her father and stepmother in Kirkby-in-Ashfield in 1939. She married Albert E Smith in 1940 (A/M/J Basford) and died in 1991 (A/M/J Mansfield).
He was a pit pony driver below ground in 1911 and a coal miner when he attested in December 1915
14 Oct 1917
20
153643 - CWGC Website
G/19535
3 Willow Cottages, Annesley Woodhouse.
Private
7th Bn The Queen's Own (Royal West Kent Regiment)
Formerly 82750 Private, 4th Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment) Ralph attested on 11 December 1915 aged 18 years 81 days and transferred to the Army Reserve the following day. He was mobilized on 28 March 1917 and posted to the 4th Bn Sherwood Foresters. Ralph served in France from 26 June 1917 and was posted to the 7th Bn Royal West Kent Regiment on 21 July 1917. He was suffered a shell wound to the abdomen when in action on 12 October 1917 and died of his wounds at the 4th Casualty Clearing Station two days later on 14 October. Ralph was buried in Dozinghem Military Cemetery (grave ref. 11.F.3). He had served for 1 year 308 days: Home service 11 December 1915-25 June 1917, BEF 26 June 1917-14 October 1917. He qualified for the British War Medal and Victory Medal.
CWGC headstone personal inscription: 'Till we meet again' CWGC: 'Son of R. C. and S. A. Pearce, of 3, Wilton [Willow] Cottages, Annesley Woodhouse, Notts.' Note: SA Pearce - Sarah Ann née Raynor, Ralph's first wife. Ralphs personal property was sent to his father at 3 Willow Cottages in March 1918, who queried some items which had not been returned viz. letters and 'a pair of folding scissors which had been in the family a good many years.' The Memorial Scroll was sent to his father at the same address in March 1920. Probate: Pearce Ralph Charles of 28 Harcourt-street Kirkby-in-Ashfield Nottinghamshire died 21 October 1952 Probate Nottingham 8 December to Wilfred Arthur Pearce cycle works employee. Effects £282 12s. 11d.
Remembered on

Photos

  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone, Dozingham Military Cemetery. Photograph courtesy of Murray Biddle
    Ralph Pearce - Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone, Dozingham Military Cemetery. Photograph courtesy of Murray Biddle