CFHS code : MG218

Parish : St Mary the Great

Inscription : In Loving Memory of JOHN PEARCE d 11 Jan 1939 aged 94 also his wife CAROLINE PEARCE d 8 July 1939 aged 88 also WILLIAM J OSBOURN d 4 Aug 1944

Monument : Headstone/Kerb stones/Flowerholder

Above information from Cambridge Family History Society Survey



Relationship: Mother, father and son in  law

John Pearce (1844 – 11 January 1939)

John was born in Triplow and was the son of William and Elizabeth (née Gee). William Pearce was a farmer of 30 acres and also worked as a shoemaker.  John married Caroline Prime on 12 November 1872 and they had twelve children: William John Prime (1871-), Harry Alfred Thomas (1873-1967), Walter Gee (1875-1876), Walter Gee (1877-1964), Kate (1879-1971), Minnie May (1881-1953), Grace Mary (1887-1982), Beatrice May (1892-1983), Victor (1895-1949) and a further three children who died as infants.  The family lived in Colchester from c.1876 where John worked as a baker, but had returned to Cambridge by 1887 when daughter Grace was born.  In 1891/1901 John was working as a woodsawyer and the family were living at 2 Sleaford Street.  They later lived at 130 Gwydir Street (1911) and he died aged 94 years old. The report of his death in the Cambridge Daily News said that Cambridge had lost its oldest cyclist, and that he had continued cycling until the age of 91.

Caroline (Carrie)  Pearce  (née Prime) (4 May 1851 – 8 July 1939)

Carrie was born in Cambridge but grew up in Whittlesford (1861) and Stapleford (1871) . She was the daughter of wood sawyer William and Susan. She died ‘peacefully’ at Gwydir Street aged 88 years old and the funeral took place on 12 July.  The first part of the service was held at St. Matthew’s Church, before interment at Mill Road Cemetery.

William James Osbourn (18 June 1880 – 4 August  1944)

William was the eldest son of James and Julia (née Shorrocks) and grew up at Newnham Path (1881),  17 Castle Street (1891) and 100 Hertford Street (1901).  James Osbourn was a tailor and by the age of 20 William was working as a bookbinder. He married Kate Pearce in 1904 and they lived at 32 Searle Street (1908) and 14 Clarendon Street (1911).  William served as a corporal with the 1/1st Cambridgeshire Regiment in World War One and was discharged in February 1919.  By 1939 William and Kate were living at 34 Thompson’s Lane and he was documented as being a bookbinder’s forwarder (forwarding was the process of sewing, rounding and backing the spine, attaching the boards to the book and covering the book with cloth or leather). He died at Addenbrooke’s Hospital aged 64 years old.

Kate Osbourn died at Thompson’s Lane in October 1971 aged 92 years old.

William’s grandmother Harriet Osbourn is also buried at Mill Road Cemetery.



by Claire Martinsen

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William James Osbourn; Caroline Pearce; John Pearce