14th Apr 1861 – James Joyce is born at Bagenalstown, County Carlow, the son of John Joyce, Sergeant in the Royal Artillery. His
army records later state that he was born on the 5th of September 1861, although a baptismal certificate states this date.
Bagenalstown (or in Gaelic ‘Muine Bheag’) is the second largest town in County Carlow and lies in the South East of Ireland. The
town lies on the Dublin-Kilkenny line which may explain why he was born in a place not normally associated with the military.
22nd Oct 1875 – James Joyce is enlisted at Churat, Bengal at 9am by his father, Armourer Sergeant John Joyce. The witness at
the attestation was A/Bombardier William Lane. His medical examination at Cherat finds him fit to serve. He has already passed his
Military 2nd class certificate of Education the previous year.
25th Oct 1875 – Stated as being 14 years and 6 months old, James Joyce joins the 8th Brigade of Royal Artillery at Peshawar at
12 noon for a period of 12 years. He is stated as being 5ft 1in tall, fair complexion, light blue eyes and light brown hair, his weight
at this time is only 78lbs and a pulse of 64 beats. He is given the number 4562 of the 8th Brigade. He is initially ranked as a
Trumpeter. G Battery of the 8th Brigade would have been his initial unit under the command of Major G.F. Blackwood.
7th Nov 1875 – Joyce is admitted to hospital suffering from Ague, he is treated for 6 days with quinine.
21st Jan 1876 – G/8 Battery arrives on station at Rawal Pinde after marching from Peshawar.
29th Jul 1876 – Joyce is admitted to hospital suffering from Ague at Rawal Pinde, he is treated for 9 days with quinine.
15th Aug 1876 – Joyce is admitted to hospital suffering from Febricula, he is treated for 4 days.
4th Sep 1876 – Joyce is admitted to hospital suffering from Febricula, he is treated for 9 days.
30th Sep 1876 – Joyce is admitted to hospital suffering from Febricula, he is treated for 5 days.
1st Feb 1877 - Joyce is admitted to hospital suffering from a contusion, he is treated for 12 days.
21st May 1877 – Joyce is admitted to hospital suffering from Ague, he is treated for 3 days with quinine.
1st Jul 1877 – The RA has a change of establishment and Joyce finds himself as #6905 of G Battery, 3rd Brigade.
8th Aug 1877 – Joyce is admitted to hospital suffering from Ague, he is treated for 4 days with quinine.
9th Nov 1878 – Joyce arrives at Camp Kohat. G/3 had marched from Rawalpindi on the 30th of October 1878 to join the Kurram
Valley Field Force. Three guns with crews under Captain J.C. Bell remain at Kohat (including Joyce), remainder push on to the
20th Nov 1878 – Trumpeter Joyce is mustered as a Gunner.
21st Nov 1878 – One half of G/3 Battery arrive on the Afghan Frontier at Khull.
2nd Dec 1878 – One half of G/3 is in action at Peiwar Kotal, remaining at that place.
Apr 1879 – The three guns at Kohat (under Captain Bell) arrive at Peiwar Kotal. Major J. Charles was then commanding the
Battery, having assumed command from G.F. Blackwood in January 1879.
17th Apr 1879 – Joyce is appointed as an acting Bombardier.
29th Jun 1879 – Cholera breaks out and the camp at Peiwar Kotal is moved to Zaran.
10th Sep 1879 – G/3 Battery ordered to march to Cabul.
6th Oct 1879 – Action at Charassia.
9th Oct 1879 – G/3 Battery with A/Bombardier Joyce arrives at Cabul.
Nov 1879 – Battery moves to Sherpore and is engaged in the defence of that place from the 13th to the 23rd of December 1879.
29th Mar 1880 – Joyce is admitted to hospital with tonsillitis, he is treated for 8 days.
25th Apr 1880 – Joyce is granted his 1st penny of Good Conduct Pay.
6th Aug 1880 – G/3 Battery leave the Kabul Field Force and begin marching back to India, crossing the border on the 24th of
August 1880 on route to Peshawar.
Oct 1880 – G/3 Battery leave Peshawar on route for Cawnpore (1080 miles) under command of Capt. H.T. Curling.
1st Jan 1881 – After a journey of two months the battery arrive at Cawnpore. Here they entrain on the 23rd of January.
5th Feb 1880 – G/3 Battery arrive at Bombay and embark on the Troopship Serapis. The command of the Battery was now with H.
de S. Isaacson.
3rd Mar 1881 – Joyce returns to the UK. The Battery disembark at Portsmouth the following day and proceeded to Woolwich.
17 Jun 1881 – Battery left Woolwich for Romney in Kent where they carried out annual practice, leaving there on the 1st of July
and returning to Woolwich by the 4th.
7th Dec 1881 – Joyce is promoted to Paid Acting Bombardier.
1st Apr 1882 – G/3 Battery is redesignated as S Battery of the 2nd Bde. RA, Joyce becomes #13317 of the Royal Artillery as
numbering is now corps wide and no longer by brigade.
26th Apr 1882 – Joyce passes a Detachment Schoolmasters Certificate.
24th Jun 1882 – S/2 Battery are on annual practise camp at Shoeburyness until the 1st of July.
10th Jan 1883 – Joyce is promoted to Bombardier.
8th Jun 1883 – S/2 Battery leave Woolwich for annual practise at Okehampton, arriving there on the 22nd. They leave
Okehampton on the 13th of July, arriving back at Woolwich on the 27th.
16th Sep 1883 – Joyce is promoted to Corporal.
19th Nov 1883 – Passes a short course in Gunnery with a Good rating.
21st Apr 1884 – S/2 Battery leave Woolwich and march via Brentwood and Chelmsford to their new station at Ipswich, arriving on
25th Apr 1884 – Joyce is granted a 2nd penny of Good Conduct Pay.
1st July 1884 – Annual practise camp at Aldeborough until the 9th of July.
22nd Jun 1885 – S/2 Battery arrive after a march from Ipswich to their annual practise camp at Hay. They leave Hay on the 13th of
July, taking two weeks to march back to Ipswich.
19th Sep 1885 – Joyce is promoted to Sergeant.
30th Nov 1885 – Major J. Alleyne assumes command of S/2 Battery on promotion of Major Isaacson.
12th Feb 1886 – Major P.E. Monckton assumes command after Major Alleyne is posted to the staff.
8th Jun 1886 – S/2 Battery leave Ipswich for Hay, arriving at that place on the 22nd of June. They carried out annual practise and
left Hay on the 13th of July, arriving back in Ipswich on the 27th.
25th May 1887 – Sgt. Joyce and the remainder of S/2 Battery move from Ipswich to their new station at Shorncliffe, arriving on
18th Oct 1887 – After a period of 11 years and 359 days, Sergeant Joyce of the S Bty /2nd Bde RA re-engages at Shorncliffe to
complete to pension. The request is granted at Dover on the 21st.
29th Sep 1888 – S/2 Battery arrive at Shoeburyness for annual camp until the 6th of October, returning then to Shorncliffe.
10th Nov 1888 – Joyce, with the battery, arrives in Woolwich after a 3 day journey from Shorncliffe.
1st Jul 1889 – S/2 Battery is redesignated as the 6th Field Battery.
16th Oct 1889 – Sergeant Joyce marries Caroline Ventris Mayes at the Holy Trinity Church, Eltham.
25th Apr 1890 –Joyce is entitled to 3 Pence of Good Conduct pay, had he not been promoted to SNCO rank.
22nd May 1890 – 6th Field Battery leaves Woolwich for Aldershot, arriving the following day. The Battery is on temporary duty as
the Aldershot Batteries are away on annual practise camp.
28th Jun 1890 – Battery at Shoeburyness to the 5th of July during annual firing camp.
16th Jul 1890 – 6th Field Battery leave Aldershot and arrive back at Woolwich the following day.
23rd Oct 1890 – The first child of the marriage of James and Caroline is born in Woolwich, the girl is named Kathleen Annie.
Mar 1891 – The census taker finds the Joyce family living at No.7 Plumstead Common Rd, Plumstead. James is shown as a 29 year
old Sergeant, his wife Caroline is 26 and born in Peterborough, Northampton. His daughter, Kathleen A. Joyce is 6 months old.
Joyce is sharing the house with QMS Richard Bourke of the RA with his family.
26th Jun 1891 – Joyce arrives in Okehampton, the 6th Field Battery having left Woolwich on the 12th of June. Having carried out a
practise camp the battery leave Okehampton on the 20th of July and arrive back at Woolwich on the 3rd of August.
17th Sep 1891 – Sergeant Joyce arrives in Exeter where he is posted to 37th Field Battery R.A.. The 6th Field Battery departed
the UK for service in Bombay on the 29th of September on board the troopship ‘Crocodile’. Joyce had been in the same battery for
16 years at that time, having seen it change name four times and served under a multitude of Battery Commanders. 37th Field
battery are under command of Major P.F.P. Hamilton.
4th Nov 1891 – Joyce is promoted to Battery Quartermaster Sergeant (BQMS) and posted to 58th Field Battery RA who were also
in Exeter, the Battery is under command of Major H.T. Curling, a former BC of Joyce’s.
17th Dec 1891 – The second child of James and Caroline, James William, is born in the St. Thomas District of Devon. He was not
however to live out of infancy.
24th Aug 1892 – Joyce arrives in Okehampton with 58 Field Battery for annual practise. The battery left Okehampton on the 7th of
September and arrived at Aldershot nine days later.
31st May 1893 – 58 Field Battery arrive at Shoeburyness for annual practise, leaving that place on-route to Aldershot on the 6th
10th Nov 1893 – 58 Field Battery leave Aldershot, arriving in Woolwich the following day.
25th Apr 1894 – Joyce is entitled to 4 pence of Good Conduct pay, had be not been promoted.
19th May 1894 – 58 Field Battery arrive at Shoeburyness for annual practise, leaving on the 26th for passage back to Woolwich.
20th May 1894 – The third child of James and Caroline, Herbert Lawrence, is born at Woolwich, plainly his father was present at the
birth. He dies at the age of 1 on the 4th of July 1895.
24th May 1894 – BQMS Joyce is issued the Long Service & Good Conduct medal.
5th Jan 1895 – Major Curling is promoted to Lt. Colonel and replaced by Major T.S. Baldock.
31st May 1895 – 58 Field Battery arrive at Aldershot for the Summer Drills. They are then at Shoeburyness from the 8th to the
15th of June for the annual practice.
10th Sep 1895 – 58 Field Battery with Joyce arrived back at Woolwich.
27th Feb 1896 – 58 Field Battery receive 15pdr Breech loading guns.
23rd May 1896 – 58 Field Battery are on annual practise until the 30th of May.
Mar 1896 – A fourth child, James Ventris Joyce, is born in Woolwich - he is not shown on the army service papers as being a child
of James Joyce, although he almost certainly was. He died the following quarter.
31st Mar 1896 – BQMS Joyce passes his 1st Class Certificate of Education.
15th Sep 1896 – 58 Field Battery leave Woolwich, arriving at Clonmel the following day.
7th Oct 1896 – Battery QMS Joyce of the 58th Field Battery RA requests permission to extend his service beyond 21 years at
Clonmel. The Battery Commander, Major T. Baldock describes him as a ‘very efficient N.C.O. in every way’, at that time he had 4
good conduct badges and had a character of exemplary. He is issued deferred pay of £62 3s & 8d.
1st Jan 1897 – Joyce arrives at Devonport. 58 Field Battery are still in Ireland so it is likely he was detached at this point.
1st Jan 1898 – BQMS James Joyce transfers to the Ordnance Store Corps as #3776. He is employed as a clerk and ranked as Sub
Conductor with the 10th Coy AOC.
3rd Feb 1898 – Joyce arrives at Woolwich where he is employed as an instructor in Army Ordnance Duties.
12th Apr 1898 – Joyce is sent to Okehampton to carry out duties as the I/C Ordnance Depot.
28th Jul 1898 – Joyce is posted to Cairo for employment in the Ledger Branch.
2nd Aug 1899 – After nearly a year in Egypt, Joyce arrives at Woolwich. He carries out a course of instruction in Army Ordnance
Drills for which he is awarded a ‘very good’ rating.
12th Dec 1899 – The 5th child of James and Caroline, Eva Constance M., is born in Plumstead..
13th Dec 1899 – Joyce is promoted to Conductor in the 7th Coy AOC.
Mar 1901 – The census taker finds the 39 year old Conductor Joyce living at Nightingale Place, Woolwich in the No.2 Warrant Officer’
s Quarters. Along with his 36 year old wife are his two daughters (Kathleen A. & Eva C.) aged 10 and 1.
1st Apr 1901 – Joyce is commissioned as Assistant Commissary, a minute addressed to the Military Secretary in his file states:-
‘In consequence of the increase of establishment of Assistant Commissaries of Ordnance on account of Staff for the new Clothing
Depots, a vacancy exists, and to fill this I beg to recommend for approval of the Commander-in-Chief that Conductor James Joyce
Army Ordnance Corps be promoted Assistant Commissary of Ordnance with the Honorary rank of Lieutenant dated 1st April 1901’.
A later statement of services stated that Joyce had been at the Royal Arsenal, Woolwich for nearly 2 years at this time, on special
work in connection with the Boer War, under Major-General Sir John Stevens.
9th May 1901 – Questions sheet answered by the Officer Commanding of the ASC on the suitability of Conductor Joyce to hold a
commission finds that he is suitable by ‘observation of his capacity for work, general bearing and character and from the report of
officers under whom he has immediately served’. A second form from the Auxiliary Hospital at Woolwich dated on the same day
finds that #3776 Conductor Joyce is also medically fit for service at home and abroad.
5th July 1901 – Joyce is posted to his new station at Jamaica.
Approx 1903 – Birth of the 5th child of Caroline and James, James Wilfred Cecil Joyce, is born in Kingston, Jamaica.
3rd May 1904 – After three years in the West Indies, Joyce returns to England and takes up a post at Devonport, also being
responsible for the Okehampton Artillery Practise Camp.
18th Aug 1909 – Joyce is promoted to Deputy Commissary of Ordnance.
10th Feb 1910 – DCO & Captain Joyce is sent for service in South Africa and posted to Bloemfontein where he serves until
Mar 1911 – The census taker for 1911 finds the 49 year old Captain Joyce at Bloemfontein. His family are also separately listed, his
two daughters aged 20 & 11, and his son who was born in Kingston, Jamaica in around 1903.
Dec 1912 – Posted from Bloemfontein to Pietermaritzburg, Natal to carry out the duties of Ordnance Officer and subsequently
Chief Ordnance Officer.
13th Dec 1913 – Letter from Joyce at Fort Napier, Pietermaritzburg to Officer Commanding Troops, Natal.
I have the honour to request that my application may be made for my retirement in South Africa as early as possible under the
conditions named in Article 612 of the Royal Warrant 1913. As directed by paragraph 257 King’s Regulations 1912 my address will
be c/o Mrs. De Carrey, Allen’s Post, Waschbank, Natal. I have the honour to be etc. etc..
20th Jan 1914 – Letter from the Lt. Gen. W.E. Frankly, Military Secretary, War Office to the General Officer, CiC in South Africa at
With reference to your letter of the 24th of December 1913, I am directed to inform you that approval has been given to the
retirement of Deputy Commissary of Ordnance (Hon. Captain) J. Joyce on retired pay at £210 per year. This retirement will be
notified in the Gazette as soon after the 1st of April 1914 as may be found possible, and it will bear date in accordance with article
511 of the Royal Warrant for Pay and Promotion, 1913. The accompanying memorandum regarding the issue of retired pay &c., is
forwarded for the information of Captain Joyce.
4th Apr 1914 – Deputy Commissary of Ordnance (Hon. Captain) J. Joyce retires from the army with a pension of £210 per annum.
The retirement is shown in the London Gazette of 3rd of April 1914, page 2881.
15th Apr 1914 – Letter to Captain Joyce at Glenora Town Hill, Maritzburg to The Secretary at the War Office requesting that as he
is remaining in South Africa to take up farming he kindly be allowed to commute £100 of his £210 pension in order that he be able
to purchase land and stock.
14th May 1914 – Letter sent to Captain Joyce, Glenora Town Hill, Maritzburg, South Africa to explain that his retired pay of £210 is
made up of 13 years in the ranks (£10), 14 years as a Warrant Officer (14 x £5) and 13 years as a commissioned officer (13 x
11th Aug 1914 – Recalled from the Reserve of Officers in South Africa, Joyce is employed at Pietermaritzburg as Ordnance Officer.
Nov 1914 – The Ordnance Depot at Pietermaritzburg is closed and Joyce ordered to Cape Town for duty employed in special
Ordnance work in connection with all South African units in the Peninsula.
7th Jan 1915 – The Pensions Commutation board allow payment to Captain Joyce of £1108 18s in commutation of £100 per
annum, being a part of his £210 per annum.
11th Sep 1916 – Joyce is sent for employment in East Africa (Kilindini) where for a short period he acts as Chief Ordnance Officer.
Nov 1916 – Joined at Daressalaam.
12th Dec 1916 – Posted to Morogoro and took up duties of Ordnance Officer.
1st Jul 1917 – Joyce is granted the Hon. Rank of Major.
19th Dec 1917 – Still in Morogoro, Joyce sends statement of services along with a request for information on his possible
advancement as he is a Reserve Officer.
7th Mar 1918 – Depty. Commissary of Ordnance & Hon. Captain J.Joyce, Ordnance Services is mentioned in despatches in the
London Gazette, p2885.
7th Apr 1918 – Joyce returns from East Africa to South Africa.
18th Jul 1918 – Note from a Lt. Colonel (D.A.D.E.O.S.) in South Africa to the War Department:-
‘According to a wire received from Dar-es-Salaam, this officer (Joyce) proceeded to South Africa from East African Expeditionary
Force on duty on the 9th April 1918. As he is not fit for General Service, and is not required for duty in South Africa, we
recommend that he be relegated to retired pay. He was called to service from the Reserve of Officers on the 11th of August 1914
while in South Africa. He is now 57 years of age. If you concur perhaps you would cable South Africa and inform the G.O.C. that he
will be so relegated from a suitable date.
16th Aug 1918 – Joyce is sent back to the Retired list, a telegram is sent to him with thanks from the Army Council for services
rendered during the present campaign.
1st April 1919 – Retired pay of Joyce is stated at £200 a year, his address at that time is given as 82 Queen Victoria St., Cape
8th Oct 1919 – Letter from Captain Joyce Retired at 82 Queen Victoria Street, Cape Town, to the War Office:-
Sir, I beg to state that some few months back I wrote to the ‘Ministry of Pensions’ on the subject of an increase of my Retiring
Allowance, through being invalided after service in East Africa, and for the period I was called back for duty from the Reserve of
Officers, but to date have not received a reply to my communication. I therefore kindly request I may be informed what action is
being taken with regard to same, and further ask if I applied through the right channel.
8th Nov 1920 – Major Joyce applies for his medals from the War Office (War & Victory with MID emblem). His address at the time is
170 Millbrook Rd., Southampton. By the time the medals are sent he is at Line Cottage, La Rocque, Jersey.
18th Aug 1921 – The disability retired pay of Joyce is suspended and replaced by service retired pay.
16th Jul 1923 – Letter from Mr. G.H. Shreeve, War Office to Major Joyce at 3, The Parade, St. Helier, Jersey.
In reply to your letter of 13th June, addressed to the Prime Minister, I am directed to acquaint you that no amendment in the
existing regulations is contemplated which would entitle you to an increase in your present rate of retired pay. I am to add that
when commutation is effected, the transaction is final and at no future date can the commuted portion of retired pay be restored.
24th Jul 1924 – Letter from the War Office to Major Joyce, Bantwood, Harre-des-Pas, Jersey.
In reply to your letter of the 8th of July, I am directed to inform you that your retired pay was increased to £300 a year under the
provisions of Army Order 324/19. Army Order 324 stated that the rates therein provided would be subject to revision in
accordance with the cost of living. It did not state that the amount subject to revision would be the amount in issue after
commutation. In the circumstance, the reduction of £16.10.0 from the 1st July is in order.
I am to say that your reserved right under the former Royal Warrants, is to £60 a year only (i.e. £210 a year less £150
commuted). I am .. etc. etc..
22nd Mar 1927 – James Joyce, a widower, marries Edith Rosla Perchard at St. Helier, Jersey. The rector was Samuel Falle and the
two witnesses being present are R.J. Withecombe and E.M. Barter.
12th Jun 1928 – Captain (Hon. Major) James Joyce dies at the Terminus Hotel, St. Aubins, Jersey. His widow sends a telegram to
the War Office at Whitehall that evening stating that fact.
14th Jun 1928 – Letter from a branch of Holt’s Bank for Glyn, Mills & Co. to the Under Secretary of State at the War Office stating:
We have the honour to inform you that the above named officer (Major James Joyce R.A.O.C.) died on the 12th instant.
21st Jun 1928 – Letter from Hon. Major Cecil Morley to the Secretary at the War Office, London.
I have the honour to inform you that I have been asked by Mrs Joyce, widow of the late Major James Joyce, Army Ordnance Corps,
Retired, to enquire the amount of pension she is entitled per annum.
Will you oblige me with an early reply to this letter, as I understand the matter is somewhat urgent. Any necessary pension forms
will you kindly send to me and I will forward them to her. She is at present living in Jersey. I have the honour etc..
1st Jul 1928 – Letter from Pensions Department from Mrs Joyce, Terminus Hotel, St. Aubins, Jersey stating that she was born on
the 27th of September 1867 and that she was not living apart from her husband at the time of his death. The details of her private
income she states as ‘pending investigation’.
6th Jul 1928 – Letter from Mr. R. North at the Pensions Department to Mrs E.R. Joyce, Terminus Hotel, St. Aubins, Jersey.
With reference to your letter of the 1st of July, I am directed to inform you, with regret, that as your marriage to the late Major
James Joyce, Royal Army Ordnance Department, did not take place until after his retirement from the army and as moreover he
was over 60 years of age at the date of marriage, you are not eligible to be considered for a widow’s pension from Army Funds.
The marriage certificate forwarded by you is returned herewith.
Officers File WO 374/38681
Census Records from 1891, 1901 & 1911
Medal Index Cards for WW1
Battery Records of the RA (Laws to 1877, Rollo to 1898)
|James Joyce –RA, AOD & RAOC.