Owen Heathcote Lacy Day

OHL-Day-photograph

Date of birth: 27 July 1888
Place of birth: Northlands House, Westrow Road, Southampton
Service No.: Not known
Rank: Captain
Regiment / Division: Hampshire Regiment 67th Foot
Battalion: 2nd
Died: 6th August 1915 aged 27 years
Death location: The Dardanelles

Life before the war
Owen was born to Arthur James Day of Northlands House, Westrow Road, Southampton.
He was a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers (MICE) and chairman of Day, Summers & Co Ltd, engineers and shipbuilders in Southampton.  He was born on 17 April 1847 and baptised on 26 May 1847 in Southampton.  Arthur died aged 76 on 11 September 1923 leaving a fortune of £143,607 4s 10d (£7.3m in today’s money).  Arthur-Day-signature

Owen’s mother was Georgiana Sophia Louisa Lacy, daughter of Major General William Lacy of the 46th Regiment and Staff Officer of Pensioners, and Georgiana Lacy (nee Henville).  She wasborn on 7 August 1850 in Southampton and christened on 23 October 1850.  Georgiana died aged 76 on 28 August 1927 also in Southampton, leaving behind a legacy of £5,197 18s 4d.

His parents were married on 28 November 1872 in St Peters Church, Southampton.

Owen was born in Southampton on 27 July 1888 and baptised at St Peter’s Church in Southampton on 11 October 1888. Educated at Marlborough College and RMC, Sandhurst.  Owen Day was a good all round athlete, being a member of the Hockey XI at Marlborough and captain of the hockey team at Sandhurst.  While stationed at Harrismith in 1911 he, with three officers Captain Parker, Captain Boxall (both also killed at the Dardanelles) and Captain Spencer-Smith, formed the polo team of the 2nd Mounted Infantry which won the Inter Company Polo Cup.

He had 5 brothers and 4 sisters:

Campbell Rowland Lacy Day.  Born 20 November 1873 in Southampton and baptised on 14 January 1874 at St Peter’s Church, Southampton.  By 1917 he was a Colonel commanding 2/5th Battalion, The Hampshire Regiment in India.  Campbell died on 5 April 1941 at Little House, St Clair Road, Canford Cliffs, Poole aged 67 leaving £2,377 5s 6d in his will. He married Frances Lydia Thresher in Winchester (24 February 1873 to 7 December 1965) in 1902. They had twins Edward Campbell Lacy Day and Elizabeth Henville Lacy Day who were born on 17 August 1905 and baptised on 26 September 1905 at St Peter’s Church, Southampton.  Elizabeth died in 1981 in Winchester.

Harold Francis Lacy Day.  Born 1875 in Southampton and baptised on 23 March 1875 at St Peter’s Church, Southampton. He married Ella Gladys Miller at St Mark’s Church, Southampton on 17 April 1907.  They had a son Peter Lacy Day, who was born 4 February 1908 in Southampton and baptised on 18 March 1908.  Their second son Bryan Lacy Day was born on 10 March 1909 in Southampton.  Bryan was baptised on 14 April 1909 in St Mark’s Church, Southampton.   A daughter, Caroline Lacy Day, was born on 29 August 1917 and baptised on 29 September 1917.  Harold, of Brae Cottage, Brockenhurst, died on 15 December 1941 at Brockenhurst Station in the New Forest aged 66.  He left £6,524 8s 2d in his will.  Harold, like many of his family was an engineer and a shipbuilder.

Dudley Alec Lacy Day.  Borne 1876 in Southampton and baptised on 6 September 1876 at St Peter’s Church, Southampton.  Dudley married Mabel Florence Stella Brock on 26 April 1905 in Bombay, India.  By 1917 he was commanding 1st Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment.  He was wounded at Cambrai and taken as a prisoner of war to Germany.  He was later to rise to the rank of Lt Colonel.  He died on 15 September 1947 in Colchester leaving £15,879 9s 8d. Mabel, his wife, died in Colchester on 14 May 1962.

Gilberta“Berta” Georgiana Sophie Lacy Day. Born 9 March 1878 in Southampton and baptised on 1 May 1878 in St Peter’s Church.  She died on 22 April 1967 in Salisbury aged 89.  Berta never married.

Fredrica Geva Frances Lacy Day.  Born 1879 in Southampton and baptised on 28 October 1879 at St Peter’s Church, Southampton.  Fredrica died on 7 May 1964 at 10 Bassett Crescent West in Southampton leaving behind a legacy of £15,797.  She was aged 84 and like her sister, Fredrica never married.

Graham Elers Lacy Day.  Born 1881 in Southampton and baptised on 21 March 1881 at St Peter’s Church. Graham died on 28 August 1959 in Southampton aged 78.  On his death Graham left £4,890 3s 1d to his wife Kathleen Lambert Day (nee Parker) whom he married on 15 February 1919 in Sherbourne, Dorset.

Noel Arthur Lacy Day.  Born 8 December 1882 in Southampton and baptised on 7 February 1883.  Noel served in the Royal Horse Artillery as a Major.  He had been on active service in France since the commencement of the war and was wounded on 31 July 1916 in the Battle of the Somme.  His probate note reveals that he died on 19 January 1932 at the Anglo American Hospital, Cairo.  His effects were £13,077 7s 8d.  His residency is listed as Junior United Service Club, Charles Street, Westminster.  He was the holder of the Distinguished Service Order.  Noel is buried at the British Protestant Cemetery in Cairo.

Norah Caroline Lacy Day.  Born 19 March 1884 in Southampton and baptised on 14 May 1884 at St Peter’s Church. Norah died on 5 July 1971 in Southampton aged 87.

Hilda Mary Lacy Day.  Born 23 April 1886 in South Stoneham and baptised on 15 June 1886 at St Peter’s Church.  She died on 19 May 1979 in Southampton aged 93.

Owen was also the great nephew of Captain George Fiott Day, RN, VC, CB, KLH.

In the 1891 census Owen was registered as living at Northlands House along with the rest of his siblings with the exception of Harold and Dudley.  All of his siblings are shown as scholars.  Arthur, as head of the house, has his occupation listed as a ‘Marine Engineer and Shipbuilder’.  Also registered were 8 members of staff – a nurse, parlour maid, 3 housemaids, a cook and a kitchen maid.

In the 1901 census the family are still registered at Northlands House (incorrectly stated as ‘West Park Road’ instead of ‘Westrow Road’).  Owen was now aged 12.  Brothers Dudley and Noel are not registered whist Harold has been.  Both Campbell and Harold have followed their father into the family business and are shown as ‘Marine Engineer and Shipbuilder’ whilst Graham is a ‘Ship’s Draughtsman’.  The staff registered are a nurse, 2 parlour maids, 2 housemaids, a cook and a kitchen maid.

The 1911 census reveals Owen is no longer registered as living in the family home in Southampton and is serving in the Army in Harrismith, South Africa as a 2nd Lieutenant.

Back in England the family are still residing at Northlands House with only Berta, Graham, Norah and Hilda still registered as living with their parents.  Whilst Arthur is still a ‘Marine Engineer & Shipbuilder’, Graham is recorded as becoming an ‘employer’ and is shown a ‘Shipbuilder’ on the 1911 census.  The staff registered are a nurse, 2 parlour maids, 2 housemaids, a kitchen maid and a cook.

More about the Day family and in particular Day, Summers & Co. can be found in several exhibits in Southampton Sea City Museum.

Military serviceHampshire-Regt-augmentation
8 February 1908   gazetted as a 2nd Lieutenant with the Hampshire Regiment.
April 1908    joined the 2nd Battalion in South Africa and whilst there served for two years in the Mounted Infantry.
1911   travelled with his regiment to Mauritius.
15 July 1911   promoted to a Lieutenant.
1913   posted to India.
11 December 1914   made a Captain.
24 December 1914   returned to England.
20 March 1915   left for the Dardanelles.
8 May 1915   wounded during an attack on the enemy’s trenches at 2nd Battle of Krithia and sent to Alexandria to recover.
9 June 1915   returned to the firing line.
6 August 1915   killed in action at Krithia Vineyard before the battle of Achi Baba.

An account of Owen’s final conflict is described in DeRuvigny’s Roll of Honour:
The Hampshire Regiment was commanded that day by Major Parker with Captain Day Second in Command.  All the senior officers had been killed or disabled in previous fighting.  The Worcesters were on the right, the Essex on the left and the Hampshires in the centre divided into four double companies.  Two under Major Parker, who was killed almost directly the attack began, operated on the left and two under Captain Day on the right.  It had been arranged that the attack should be made in three lines.  Precisely at 4 o’clock the first line was ordered to attack, the men had no sooner sprung out of their trenches than murderous shrapnel, machine gun and rifle fire was poured into them and the whole first line was wiped out. The second line was immediately ordered to advance and fared no better.  The third line was then formed up for the attack together with a small force held in reserve.  This line was led out by Captain Day who is said to have been killed just as he reached the enemy’s trenches together with five men – all that were left to get so far!  Eighteen officers of the Hampshires laid down their lives that day and 620 men of the regiment were killed or wounded.

He died leaving £551 6s 11d.  Owen is buried at Twelve Tree Copse Cemetery in Turkey, Grave Ref VII F.22.  Entitled to the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal, his brother Campbell (then a Lieutenant Coronal) applied for his medals upon his death.

Owen is also commemorated on the family vault in Southampton’s Old Cemetery.  The inscription reads:

“In loving memory of Owen Heathcote Lacy Day Captain 2nd Battalion Hampshire Regiment (67th) who, fighting in the service of his King and Country fell gloriously at the Dardanelles, August 6th 1915 aged 27 years.  Sixth and youngest son of Arthur James Day and Georgiana his wife”. And on the base: “He lies buried at Twelve Trees Copse Cemetery, Cape Helles, Gallipoli, August 1922”.

“In loving memory of Owen Heathcote Lacy Day Captain 2nd Battalion Hampshire Regiment (67th) who, fighting in the service of his King and Country fell gloriously at the Dardanelles, August 6th 1915 aged 27 years. Sixth and youngest son of Arthur James Day and Georgiana his wife”.
And on the base:
“He lies buried at Twelve Trees Copse Cemetery, Cape Helles, Gallipoli, August 1922”.

The family vault at Southampton Old Cemetery.

The family vault at Southampton Old Cemetery.

Owen was originally posted as “missing” but after 7 years and 22 days his parents were informed that his body and identity disc had been found.  The later inscription was then added.

Researcher: Matheu Harris
Published.: 10th March 2014
Updated: Insert dates here

If you have any additional information about the person named above please complete the Comments section below.

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2 responses to “Owen Heathcote Lacy Day

  1. Adrienne Downes

    Excellent article about Owen and his family, thank you for the research and for uploading. A link will be added to the Imperial War Museum’s digital archive ‘Lives of the First World War’ and Owen will be remembered there, too.

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