Service number EC/15549
Born: July 29th 1904
Died: February 23rd 1947
Jimmy was the elder son of James Joseph Pearce and his wife Margaret Sarah Perkins and was born in Barnstaple.
James Joseph was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1872 and died in Moreton in Marsh, Gloucestershire in 1966. He was a well-known horse trainer who in the 1960s trained the Australian Olympic Equestrian team. His mother, also known as Peggy, was born in 1882 and was a member of a well-known New York banking family. The couple married in 1902 in a church in a country village outside New York City, and eloped to England.
The New York Times of May 30th 1902 reported, “Margaret's home is 5 East Fortieth St. Daughter of the late Edward H. Perkins, she was thought to be visiting an aunt, but days later it was learned that she had married James Pearce, who worked as a trainer of horses. Mr. Pearce was from Brooklyn and was an expert horseman who studied in Paris, Berlin and Vienna. Miss Perkins has an annual income of $45,000.” Her father had died the previous month.
In 1911, they were living at White Barn, Boars Hill, Oxford with their two sons and a daughter and ten indoor staff. James Joseph claimed that he was a student of Political Economy. The marriage did not last.
Jimmy was educated at Rugby and came up to Christ Church in 1922. From the records, it appears that he stayed only one year. In August 1924, he sailed for New York on the Baltic. Travelling with his mother, he described himself as an undergraduate. Their address was c/o A. Walsh, 115 St. Aldates, Oxford,
In 1928, Jimmy married Olive Sylvia, a daughter of Arthur Sainsbury, the son of the founder of the grocery company. They had been engaged in their teens, but she married the 4th Lord Inverclyde. She and Jimmy had a daughter.
On November 19th, they had arrived in London from Mombasa on the Llandaff Castle. She was listed on the manifest as Lady Inverclyde and they had separate addresses; his in Cranley Gardens and hers in Park Lane. They divorced in 1933. [The following year, she married the antique dealer, Frank Partridge.]
In 1931, he was living at 21 St. James’s Square, London and was mentioned in a Receiving Order in the London Gazette.
The Straits Times of January 1st 1933 carried a report
“FOR TRIAL. Husband Of Former Lady Inverclyde James Townsend Pearce of White Barn, Boars Hill, Oxford, was at Oxford committed for trial on a charge of driving a car while under the influence of alcohol and driving dangerously. Defendant, who was described as a horse dealer, married the former Lady Inverclyde (Miss Olive Sainsbury). He was said to have visited the Trout Inn at Godstow, near Oxford, and to have been followed afterwards by a member of the mobile police force. It was alleged that defendant's car narrowly missed a collision with a bus, and zigzagged across the road in a way which made it impossible for the policeman to pass. When stopped and told that he was under the influence of drink, he replied: Have I done anything frightfully wrong? Defendant, who pleaded not guilty, asked that he might go for trial. Mr. Pearce married the then Lady Inverclyde at a London register office in December, 1928. At the time of the engagement she described him as a very old friend. She had previously married in 1926 Lord Inverclyde, who, two years later, was granted a divorce decree in Edinburgh.“
He joined the Finnish Army, enlisting in London and describing himself as a farmer. He had both a Finnish and a Norwegian War Medal
The London Gazette of March 2nd 1945 listed him as Sgt. James Townsend Pearce I.A.C.C.being granted an emergency commission in the Indian army with the rank of Second Lieutenant.
He died at Meerut, as the result of a riding accident at a Point-to-Point, on February 23rd 1947. He was a Captain in the Royal Indian Army Service Corps.
He is buried in the Karachi War Cemetery Plot 10. A. 3.
In 1953, a Memorial notice in The Times from his mother, said “In deep gratitude for the radiant and ever present memory …. Time hath cleared not dulled my loving. I can see love’s passing ecstasies endeared in aspects of eternity”