Saturday, December 18, 2010

2Lt Geoffrey Plateras Lawson Jacques

Perhaps the most unusual name in my ancestry is my maternal gg-grandfather, Plateras Lawson Jacques (1828-1870) of Keighley, Yorkshire. The Lawson part of the name is fairly straightforward. Plateras's maternal grandparents were John Corlass and Alice Lawson (1767- ?). The Plateras part is a bit trickier, but is most likely a corruption of Playtress. Alice Lawson was the daughter of Robert Lawson and Mary Playtress.

My gg-grandfather died young, however, he did have two nephews named after him, as well as one grandson: Geoffrey Plateras Lawson Jacques. Geoffrey was the son of John Henry Jacques (1868-1939) and Marion Cane (1869) of Loughton, Essex. Geoffrey was born in 1898, two years after his cousin, my grandfather, Alfred George Jacques (1896-1939). Geoffrey joined the Royal Flying Corps during the Great War and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant on 3 Jul 1916. Unfortunately 2Lt Jacques died in a mid-air collision on 5 Oct 1916 while flying a Royal Aircraft Factory BE2 over Salisbury Plain. Although Geoffrey's death was a tragedy, accidents involving the BE2 were quite common. What was remarkable about this accident was the identity of the other deceased pilot, Captain Keith Lucas, inventor of the aeronautical compass.

2Lt Geoffrey Plateras Lawson Jacques was buried in the Loughton Cemetery and is commemorated on the Loughton War Memorial.

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