Joce, T. J.


Published in DA Transactions, 1942.

THOMAS JAMES JOCE was the son of Thomas Joce by his wife Sarah Trickey. The Joces had been settled at Stoke Rivers from the seventeenth century. The Trickeys were well known in the Black Downs, and the family derived its name from the high land at Rick Hey, the settlement on the ridge. Through his mother he descended from the Devon family of Wood. Mr. Joce was born in London on 25th August 1860, and trained at St. John’s College, Battersea, the former mansion of the Bolingbrokes. He was very familiar with old London, particularly those places mentioned by Charles Dickens. He was engaged in scholastic work at Ewell and elsewhere, and in 1896 he retired to Newton Abbot, and became the secretary there of the Young Men’s Christian Association.

He was a member of the Teign Naturalists’ Field Club, being much interested in nature study, and joined the Devonshire Association in 1911. He contributed to the Transactions many valuable papers on the ancient roads and trackways of Devon, between 1921 and 1936. During a memorable right-of-way action many years ago, he was the principal witness in support of the public’s right to the Teign from Penn Inn, as he had traced the old pack-horse track from Cornwall to London, and the road in question was part of the original track. On more than one occasion he successfully protested when part of the old track, in places simply a ditch by the side of the present road, as is the case at Abbotskerswell, was obstructed. Only recently he discovered part of a Roman pavement at the top of Milber Pine Woods, and a notice of this was to have been incorporated in a paper to be read to the Devonshire Association.

A few years ago he heard that digging operations were to take place in a small East Devon town, and wrote to the authorities asking them to look out for the remains of an old Roman road which cut across the main street at a place he indicated. The suggestion was not taken seriously, but a watch was kept, and Mr. Joce subsequently received a letter stating that the remains were discovered just where he anticipated, and thanking him for the hint.

In 1895 he married Miss Lucy Helen, daughter of Cyrus Gamble of Leicester, well known in musical circles, but had no children. After a long period of heart weakness Mr. Joce died in his sleep on the 6th October 1942. Mrs. Joce survives him. He was buried at Newton Abbot.

Works published in DA Transactions

Year  Vol.Pages
1911J. T. JoceAn Ancient British Trackway [through South Hams]43262-268
1912T. J. JoceThe Exeter and Dartmouth Road44597-604
1915T. J. JoceThe Secret of the Fosse Way [discusses its southern end]47299-305
1918T. J. JoceThe Original Main Road West of Exeter50411-416
1919T. J. JoceCob Cottages for the Twentieth Century51169-174
1927T. J. JoceThe Earliest Southern Way from Exeter [road]59271-277
1931T. J. JoceGoatpath [ancient road from Haldon to Staverton]63307-310
1936T. J. JoceWestward from Dorchester [the route of the ancient road]68351-354
1943T. J. JoceExeter Roads and Streets75121-134