Esther was born in Chelmsford in 1883, the younger daughter of Andrew Meggy (1845-1928) and Eleanor Meggy (1841-1927). Her parents had married in 1875 and had four other children including: Harry Meggy (1877-1958), John Meggy (1879-1959), and Mary Meggy (born in 1881). The other child is beleived to have died in infancy.
In 1891 the census found seven year-old Esther living with her parents, three siblings and two servants at 2 Waltham Villas, New London Road in Chelmsford (today's number 137). Her father was a solicitor. He was well-known locally for his practice with Francis Stunt.
A decade later the next census recorded 17 year-old Esther boarding at 174 Church Street, Stoke Newington, Middlesex where she was a kindergarten student. By 1911 Esther was back living with her parents and a servant at 104 New London Road, Chelmsford.
Esther's mother died on 25th August 1927 at 104 New London Road, Chelmsford (today's number 137). A Chelmsford newspaper reported:
"Death of Mrs. Andrew Meggy. The death occurred on Thursday of Mrs. Eleanor Meggy, aged 87, wife of Mr, Andrew Meggy, at their residence, 104 London Road. Deceased had been in indifferent health for some time and passed away in her sleep.
For many years Mrs. Meggy and her husband carried on Mission work in a hall in Moulsham Street. Advancing age, however, made the work too difficult for them and they were obliged to give it up, although they remained keenly interested in all kinds of evangelistic work.
Mr. Meggy was a partner in the firm of Meggy and Stunt, solicitors, now Stunt and Sons, but has been retired for a number years. Both the deceased and her husband are very well known and have lived in the same house for over fifty years. There are two sons and two daughters."
Esther's father died four months later. A Chelmsford newspaper reported:
"Death of Mr. Andrew Meggy. We regret to record the death, which occurred on Wednesday evening at his residence, 104 London Road, of Mr. Andrew Meggy, a well-known solicitor. Mr. Meggy, who was 82 years of ago, suffered a heavy bereavement by the death of his wife four months ago. He never fully recovered from the shock, and he had been seriously ill for some time.
Esther MEGGY, Civilian
Killed in an air raid on Coval Lane, Chelmsford. Aged 58
The deceased gentleman for a great many years practised as a solicitor at 71 Duke Street, having succeeded his uncle [another Andrew Meggy) in the business on the latter's death. He retired about the year 1913. During practically the whole of his life Mr. Meggy was actively associated with the religious life of the town. He founded what was then known as the Gospel Hall, in Moulsham Street, where he conducted gospel meetings for many years. In this work he received great help from his late wife who conducted Mothers' Meetings and Bible Classes at the Hall.
Mr. and Mrs Meggy gave up their mission work in 1917 much to the regret of those who attended the meetings. During the whole of their married Mr. and Mrs. Meggy had lived at 104 London Road - a period extending over fifty years. They were both highly esteemed. There is a family of two sons and two daughters. The funeral of Mr Maggy will be tomorrow (Saturday) at p.m., at the London Road Cemetery."
Her father left an estate of £6,200 16s. 2d. with probate granted to Esther's brothers Harry and John. After her father's death Esther moved to 18 Coval Lane in Chelmsford, one of ten flats in a block on the road's western side.
She was five feet four inches tall with brown hair.
At 12.50 a.m. on 21st May 1941 Esther was one of six people who died as a result of a heavy calibre bomb dropped by a German aircraft onto the block of flats. She was killed by falling masonry. What the intended target may have been is unclear. The resulting explosion demolished the flats. Sleeping residents, many of them elderly, were buried in the debris.
The rescue services, consisting of three stretcher parties, four ambulances, a sitting case car, police wardens and fire brigade were quick to arrive on the scene. Five seriously injured and three slightly injured people were rescued from the wrecked flats. However, five bodies were recovered and a sixth was to die in hospital later. Some 244 properties in the area suffered some degree of blast damage.
The other deaths were Winifred and Barry John Gowen killed at 26 Coval Lane, Winifred Kate Stokes killed at 28 Coval Lane, and William Howard, who was injured at 28 Coval Lane and died later in hospital. Ellen Charlotte Mary Barritt of 24 Coval Lane died on 29th May 1941 having been buried in her home until rescued.
Despite the large number of deaths in the Coval Lane incident and that at Marconi’s New Street factory two weeks earlier, none of the emergency graves, which had been dug in the Borough Cemetery for such contingencies were required.
The Coval Lane bombing would prove to be Chelmsford’s last major bombing incident for more than a year. Indeed there were to be just three more occasions when bombs would fall on the whole Chelmsford district in the rest of 1941.
Esther was buried at Chelmsford Borough Cemetery on 24th May 1941 (grave: 6272).
She left an estate valued at £3,972 4s. 2d. with proabte granted to her brothers, Harry Meggy (an insurance official) and John Meggy (laundry proprietor).
Esther Meggy, the daughter of a solicitor was born into a prominent Chelmsford family. She never married and lived the majority of her life with her parents in New London Road, Chelmsford. After their deaths she moved into a block of flats in Coval Lane, Chelmsford and it was there that she was killed in May 1941 when the flats were devastated by a German bomb.