Skip to main content

AGG, William Decimus – emigrated 1914

William Decimus Agg was born at Badsey on 20th November 1892, the eldest of ten children of Decimus and Alice Agg.  He was baptised at St James’ Church, Badsey, on 19th February 1893.  William attended Badsey School from 1896-1905.  On leaving school, he followed his father into market gardening.  At the time of the 1911 census, he was described as, “Market Gardener’s Son working on Garden”.

Following in the wake of his uncle, Joseph Foster Agg, who had emigrated to Canada in 1913, William sailed from Liverpool on 15th April 1914 and arrived at St Johns, Newfoundland on 23rd April 1914.  “British Bonus allowed” appeared against his name.  As a gardener who intended to take up farming, he was thus a desirable emigrant.

Like his uncle, Joseph Foster Agg, he joined the Canadian Regiment, signing up on 31st January 1917.  He came over to England in the summer of 1917, paying a flying visit to Badsey.

In the first quarter of 1918, he married Badsey-born Rosa May Moisey in the Newcastle-upon-Tyne district in 1918.  William and Rosa had presumably been childhood sweethearts as they were close neighbours in Badsey, William growing up at what is now No 3 Sands Lane and Rosa growing up at what is now No 9 Sands Lane

William returned to Canada some time in 1918.  On 15th March 1919, Rosa sailed from Liverpool to join William in Whitby, Canada.  Rosa and William had three sons:  Gordon (1920), George (1921-1921) and Bernard William (1925-2015).  At the time of the 1921 census they were living at 81 Dufferin Street, Whitby, William working as a gardener.  William’s nephew, Harold Agg, who had emigrated the year before, was staying with them.

In the summer of 1924, Rosa returned for a holiday to England with her son, Gordon.  She had possibly gone in order to attend the wedding of her only brother, William George Moisey, to Elsie Green.  Shortly after the wedding, the newly-wed couple were on the same boat as Rosa and Gordon on the voyage back to Canada.  They sailed from Liverpool on 27th June 1924, William stating that he was going to join Rosa’s husband, William Decimus Agg, in running his farm.

William and Rosa Agg later divorced and William and Elsie Moisey decided not to remain in Canada, returning to England nearly in early 1936.  In a Voters’ list for 1935, the Aggs lived at 2875 16th Avenue East, Vancouver but they had divorced by 1945 when he lived at 2875 Sixteenth Avenue East, Vancouver.

William had married again by 1953 when he was described as a city employee, still living at 2875 Sixteenth Avenue East.  His bride was Evesham-born Eulalie Frances Grigg (née George), who had emigrated to Canada in 1911 with her parents and younger sisters.  By 1974 they had moved to 3497 East 23rd Avenue, Vancouver.

Eulalie died on 4th January 1984, aged 82, and William died on 12th September 1990, aged 97.  He was buried in Mountain View Cemetery, Vancouver, two days later.  Notice of his death appeared in "The Vancouver Sun":

Agg - William Decimus passed away Wednesday Sep 12, 1990 at the age of 97 years.  Born in Badsey, Worcestershire, England, emigrated to Canada in 1913 to Whitby, Ontario.  Served in France in the First World War and returned to Canada in 1919, came to Vancouver in 1924.  Survived by [mentions two sons, two daughter-in-law, six grandchildren and three great-granchildren]. Funeral service on Friday Sep 14 at 1pm at Hamilton's Mortuary 5390 Fraser Street, Vancouver. Rev. J. Parker officiating.