Adams, Horace

Private, 201471/4291 OBLI

Horace (‘Notty’) Adams died of wounds received in action, aged 21, on 5 Feb 1918 (the memorial in St John’s says 6 February), and was buried in South Hinksey churchyard. He was a private in the 2/4th Battalion OBLI. The Oxford City Roll of Honour says he died at home, probably meaning in Britain as his obituary in the Oxford Times says he died in the 2nd General Hospital Nottingham.

He enlisted in Oxford in February 1915 as a volunteer, and in December 1917 the Oxford Times carried a report that he had been wounded, as had two of his brothers. In August 1915 the Oxford Journal Illustrated celebrated the family’s patriotic contribution with photos of the 5 sons of Mrs Adams of 50 Lake Street ‘serving king and country’:  Pte G[eorge] Adams, 1st/4th OBLI; Pte R[eginald] Adams, 1st/4th OBLI; Trooper F[rederick or Frank] Adams, Queen’s Own Oxfordshire Hussars; Pte H[orace] Adams, 1st/4th OBLI; Pte F[rank or Frederick] Adams, Army Service Corps. Further pictures of G.B. Adams of Lake Street, R. Adams, H. Adams and F. Adams all of the same address appeared as a heroes of the war, probably on reports of their being wounded. All but Horace eventually survived.

At the time that Horace enlisted the battalion was based in Oxford, moving to Northampton, Chelmsford and Salisbury Plain before embarking for France in May 1916. News reached Oxford in December 1917 that Horace had been wounded. In the autumn of 1917 the battalion was with the force occupying the trenches near Arras. In November 1917 German activity increased with British retaliation. On 30 November the battalion was moved to Bertincourt and then to the Hindenburg Line where a German attack led to heavy losses and the taking of prisoners and the division was pushed back with heavy casualties, though it was said that the 2/4th battalion suffered less than most. It was probably in this engagement that Horace was wounded.

Horace was born in 1897, the fourth son and fifth child of Sarah Elizabeth (‘Lizzie’) Adams (née Bennett) and William Adams. He went to Hinksey School and in 1911, aged 15, he was working as an errand boy. At the time of his enlistment in 1915 he was working for R. Alden, butchers in the covered market.

His mother was born in Wootton, Berks and his father in the parish of Holy Trinity, Oxford. His father was a wheelwright at a coach builder and in 1891 his mother was described as a tailoress. The couple had six sons and a daughter, all of whom were born in Hinksey (the eldest son was born in 1887, the youngest in 1902). In 1891 they were living at 28 Lake Street with two children and a lodger, moving to a five-room house at 50 Lake Street in about 1906, where Mrs Adams remained until 1919. All six sons and their daughter were living with their parents in 1911. William Adams died in about 1913.

Horace’s brothers, George and Reginald, both served in the 1/4th OBLI. George enlisted in 1914, was wounded on 31 August 1916 and discharged in May 1917. Reginald was discharged from the army in February 1919. His brother (William) Frank  served in the Yeomanry and Frederick in the Army Service Corps. Their sister Agnes was married to Herbert Lee who died of wounds in the Radcliffe infirmary in November 1919 and is commemorated in St John’s church.

After the war members of the family remained in and near New Hinksey, three of them moving to the new houses built south of Sunningwell Road after the war and four of them working at the motor works. In 1919 Lizzie married George Wells, of 51 Church Street, described in the marriage register as a bricklayer, though in the trade directories he is described as a beer retailer. He was a widower with three daughters.

The eldest brother, (William) Frank Adams was working as a porter in 1911. That year he married Dorothy Jane Trueman and they had a daughter, Freda Elizabeth Grace. Frank was then working as a labourer and the family lived at 64 High Street, St Thomas. From 1912 they were living at 29 Lake Street where in 1913 their daughter Hilda Dorothy was born, Frank now working as a butcher.  In 1939 Frank was working as a storeman at the motor works and living at 32 Norreys Avenue with Dorothy and 13-year-old Megan.

In 1919 George Bennett Adams (a storekeeper and living at 50 Lake Street) married Janet Alfreda Justice, of 17 Crescent Road, Cowley, daughter of William Justice, a gardener. In 1922 they were living at 50 Lake Street. In 1939 they were living in Lincoln Road; he was described as a motor chassis foreman storekeeper and their 23-year-old son Ernest as a motor chassis erector. Ernest had been named Ernest Justice when he was born and later took the name Adams.

Frederick P. Adams married Mabel Rhoda Smith in 1920. In 1939 he was a records clerk at the motor works, living in Iffley Road with his wife and their 18 year old son, Gord[on]  F., an estate agent’s clerk.

Reginald was in 1939 living in Monmouth Road with his wife Gladys (nee Turner) and their 16-year old son Horace. Reginald was a storekeeper at the motor works, Gladys was a part time glove machinist and Horace a wood dulling(?) machinist at the Morris company.

Cyril Adams, the youngest, was only 12 years old when the war broke out. In 1924, when he was living at 49 Lake Street and was a chassis assembler, he married Dorothy May White a waitress from Grove Street, Summertown in the church of St John the Evangelist. In 1939 he worked as a motor chassis assembler and lived in Northampton Road with Dorothy, and their two school age children Rex and Mary.

In 1922 the widowed Agnes Maud Lee (nee Adams) married Alfred Edwin Hewlett, a gardener, at the church of St John the Evangelist. He was from Summertown. Agnes died in 1932 and in 1939 Alfred married Alice Mabel Rawlings (nee Juggins). She was a widow with about 6 children whose husband John Rawlings had died in 1934. In 1939 the couple was living at 17 Summerfield with the Rawlings family. Alfred was a cemetery employee.

 

[i] See The Project Gutenberg eBook, The Story of the 2/4th Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, by G. K. Rose, originally published in 1920. http://www.gutenberg.org/files/20395/20395-h/20395-h.htm#page156, accessed 11 May 2018

Bayliss, Joseph

Private, 031820, No 18 Sect (Didcot) Army Ordnance Corps

Joseph Bayliss lived with his wife Mary Selina Bayliss at 4 Sunningwell Road, New Hinksey. He died on 18th August 1918 of acute myelogenous leukaemia at the Third Southern General Hospital, St Peter in the East, Oxford, and was buried at Botley Cemetery (ref I1.115)

Joseph was the son of Samuel and Lucy Bayliss, who arranged for the following inscription on his gravestone: ‘Until we meet again’.

Joseph Bayliss was born in the third quarter of 1876 at Oxford. He was the son of Samuel Bayliss (a coal labourer, born 1841/2 in Oxford) and Lucy Bayliss (born 1839/40 in Oxford). The couple had at least 7 children, all born in Oxford: Amelia (born 1866/7) Thomas (born 1867/8), Joseph (born 1866) Frederick (born 1877/7), Lucy (born 1879/80), Nathanial (born 1881/2), Annie (born 1883/4).

In 1881, the family were living in 13 Gloucester Green, with Samuel’s parents, Thomas ( manual labourer still aged 80, born 1800/1 in Flitstock) and Ann (born 1810/11 in Leafield) and Stephen Flexon, their unmarried lodger (a bricklayer’s labourer, born 1854). The family (minus the grandparents but still with the lodger) were still living there in 1891, by which time Joseph was a porter, sister Amelia was a charwoman and brother Thomas was a plumber.

In 1901 Joseph was single and working as a College Servant and Underporter at Pembroke College.

Aged 25 and then a college messenger, Joseph married Mary Selina Messer (born in Whitwick, Leicestershire), aged 24 of Great Milton, in Milton Parish Church, Oxfordshire, on 7th August 1901.

By 1911, Joseph and Mary were living at 4 Sunningwell Road, Hinksey, a 6-roomed house, and he was still working as a college servant. They had one child born alive who was still alive but not living in the house on the night of the census.

Joseph developed acute myelogenous leukaemia and died within two months of his diagnosis at the Third Southern General Hospital, St Peter in the East, Oxford, on 18th August 1918.

Bellinger, Joseph Cyril John

Corporal, Y1st Trench Mortar Battery, Royal Field Artillery

He disembarked on 18th August 1914 (war was declared on 5th August 1914). He was killed in action on 4th September 1917 and is buried at Cambrin Military Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France.

 

Joseph was born 23rd June 1893 at Cowley St John, Oxfordshire to William (a labourer and later a carter to Oxford Tramway Company) and Harriet (née Reeves). The couple married on 28th August 1887 at St Mary and St John, Cowley. They had 6 children, all born in Oxford: William Joseph, 1888-1967, who served in the Royal Army Veterinary Corps and married Emily Tanner whilst on active service, Edith May, born 1890 who married Ernest James Simmons (fitter’s mate) in 1919, Joseph who died in infancy in 1891, Beatrice Louise, 1895-1983, who married Thomas George Smith (cattle dealer) in 1922, and Emily Elizabeth, 1899-1902. The couple was still living at the Eagle Tavern (William’s uncle was the publican) in 1891 but had moved to 93 Temple Road in 1901 and lived at 1 Temple Road, Cowley, in 1911. William and Harriet were buried in the same grave in Rose Hill Cemetery, William on 10th December 1938 aged 73 and Harriet on 17th December 1941, aged 75.

Joseph was baptised Joseph Cyril John on 24th August 1893 in South Hinksey, while his parents were living at the Eagle Tavern, Magdalen Road. By 1901 he was living aged 8 as a lodger in South Hinksey village in the cottage of Joseph Flexon, next to the General Elliot pub, but his mother’s sister Ann (17 years her senior) and her husband John were also lodgers there. His elder sister, Edith was a lodger there with Ann and John aged 16 months in 1891 (when brother William was living with his uncle Joseph Reeves at 53 Percy Street).

He is not on the 1911 census which suggests that he was already in the army.

Joseph married Hilda May Hiscock at Kingsclere in the fourth quarter of 1916. She was born in 1894 in Kingsclere and was a housemaid in Reading in 1911.

Joseph was killed in action on 4th September 1917 and is commemorated on the Oxford City Roll of Honour. £26 19s 10d were paid to Hilda his widow and sole legatee on 7 Feb 1918, and she was paid his war gratuity. He was awarded the British War Medical and Victory Medal.

Brocks, Archibald W

2nd Lieutenant, 3rd Battalion Cheshire Regiment attached to the 10th Battalion Devonshire Regiment

Lived at 43 Church Street (now Vicarage Lane), New Hinksey, and was the brother of Leslie Brocks.

He died on Sunday 10th March 1918, aged 24, whilst a prisoner of war of wounds and typhus, and was buried at Baghdad (North Gate) War Cemetery.

Archie was the son of Emma Brocks, who arranged for the following inscription on his gravestone: ‘At rest’.

 

Archibald William R Brocks was born in 1893/4 to William Brocks (a police constable in Oxford City Police, born 1864/5 in Standlake, Oxfordshire) and Emma Brocks (born 1869/70 in Cumnor, Berkshire). The couple married in 1895 (their banns were read out on April 28th, May 5th and May 12th 1895); William was a bachelor of the parish of St Martin and All Saints, Oxford, and Emma a spinster of the parish of Cumnor. They had at least seven children, all born in Oxford except Archie who was born in Standlake: Archie (born 1893/4 ), Gilbert Arthur (born 6th August 1898), Lesley (born 1900/1), Violet Winifred (born 26 July 1902), Lillian (born 1904/5), Irene (born 1906/7) and Ivy (born 1909/10).

By 1911 Archie was single and living at home as a printer apprentice, machine minder at 43 Church Street, New Hinksey (a six-roomed house).

Archie’s father died before his brother Leslie died in November 1918 and likely before Archie died in March 1918, and by 1924 the house was occupied by Mrs Brocks in Kelly’s directories.

His brother Gilbert Arthur was on the Absent Voters list of 1918 for 43 Church Street, as Gunner Gilbert Henry Arthur Brooks (sic) of 279 SB, RGA, service number 107241. He then worked for the Great Western Railway at Oxford station from 12 Aug 1920 aged 21.

His sister Violet Winifred aged 24, spinster and tailoress, married Victor Alfred James Savage, age 24, bachelor and cabinet machinest, also living at 43 Church Street, on 6th Aug 1927. She died Oct 1991 Aged 89 in Oxford.

Archie enlisted as 288916 Pte Brocks Archibald W, in the Queen’s Own Oxfordshire Hussars and was discharged to a commission in the Cheshire Regt on 28th August 2017. He was taken prisoner and died as a prisoner of war, on 10th March 1918 of wounds and typhus and was buried in Baghdad. Various sums of money were paid out after his death, including £56 2s 4d on 9th Nov 1918 and for ‘CP Egypt’ and a war gratuity but it is not clear to whom the money was transferred.

It is likely that he is commemorated on the Oxford University Press war memorial as William AR Brocks as on the Oxford City Roll of Honour he is also called WAR Brocks.

Brocks, Leslie Baden

Officer’s Steward 3rd class served on HMS Superb, Royal Navy

He died on Thursday 12th December 1918, aged 18 of double bronchopneumonia following influenza, and was buried at Sevastopol Russian Cemetery and commemorated at Haidar Pasha Memorial, Turkey

 

Leslie Baden Brocks was born on 17th June 1900 in Oxford to William Brocks (a police constable in Oxford City Police, born 1864/5 in Standlake, Oxfordshire) and Emma Brocks (born 1869/70 in Cumnor, Berkshire). The couple married in 1895 (their banns were read out on April 28th, May 5th and May 12th 1895); William was a bachelor of the parish of St Martin and All Saints, Oxford, and Emma a spinster of the parish of Cumnor. They had at least seven children, all born in Oxford except Archie who was born in Standlake: Archie (born 1893/4 out of Wedlock), Gilbert Arthur (born 6th August 1898), Lesley (born 1900/1), Violet Winifred (born 26 July 1902), Lillian (born 1904/5), Irene (born 1906/7) and Ivy (born 1909/10).

By 1911 Leslie was at school and living with his parents at 43 Church Street, New Hinksey (a 6-roomed house). The census return is incorrect William Brock clearly stated that the parents had been married 18 years not 16 years.

Leslie’s father had died by 1918 and in 1924 the house was occupied by Mrs Brocks in Kelly’s Directories.

His brother Gilbert Arthur was on the Absent Voters list of 1918 for 43 Church Street, as Gunner Gilbert Henry Arthur Brooks (sic) of 279 SB, RGA, service number 107241. He then worked for the Great Western Railway at Oxford station from 12 Aug 1920 aged 21.

His sister Violet Winifred aged 24, spinster and tailoress, married Victor Alfred James Savage, age 24, bachelor and cabinet machinest, also living at 43 Church Street, on 6th Aug 1927. She died Oct 1991 aged 89 in Oxford.

Leslie enlisted having been a clerk and was noted to be of height 5’6”, chest 33”, hair dark brown, eyes brown and dark complexion. He served on HMS President as a Boy, from 26th June 1916, then Officers Steward third class from 7th June 1918 to 10th June 1918 before he was transferred to HMS Pembroke from 11th to 21st June 1918 and then HMS Superb from 22nd Jne to 12th December 1918. His character was described in his war record as very good and ability satisfactory.

Leslie died of disease on 12th December 1918 of double bronchopneumonia following influenza.

Carter, Harry Hubert

Private, Service no. 29069, 7th Bttn, 1st Border Regiment

Private Harry Hubert Carter (29069) served in the 7th Battalion Border Regiment, formerly Queen’s Own Oxford Hussars, and died of wounds in France and Flanders on 21 March 1918 aged 27.  He had previously served in 1/1st Westmoreland and Cumberland Yeomanry (40219) which was absorbed into the Border Regiment in September 1917. His battalion lost 11 officers and 243 men in the German onslaught in March 1918. Harry was awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal in November 1920. He is commemorated at The Arras Memorial at Faubourg-D´Amiens Cemetery, amongst almost 35,000 servicemen from the United Kingdom, South Africa and New Zealand. These soldiers died in the Arras sector between the spring of 1916 and 7 August 1918, the eve of the Advance to Victory, and have no known grave.

Harry seems to have had a difficult start in life and his exact family circumstances are not clear. He was born in 1890 and then Harry and his mother Emily, aged 21, went into the Workhouse on the Cowley Road; they are listed as having come from the parish of St Thomas. There is no record of exactly when Harry and Emily stayed there but the records are for the year ending 25 March 1891. At the census in April the same year Harry is shown as staying with his grandfather and his sister Alice, aged six, though there is no record of her having stayed at the Workhouse with him. His mother Emily was not staying with Harry’s grandfather.

By 1901 Harry was recorded as being a guest of George Banning, a groom, and his wife Emily, a needlewoman, in Jericho Gardens, the next road along from Cardigan Street where Harry’s grandfather lived. At the next census in 1911 Harry is listed as being the adopted son of the now widowed Emily Banning in the same two-roomed house off Walton Street. Harry was working as a grocer’s assistant at Sainsbury’s which had just opened its first shop in Oxford at 4 High Street. His adopted mother Emily remained at the house until her death at the age of 74 and she was buried at her local church of St Paul’s (now Freud’s).

On 7th August 1911, aged 21, Harry married Elizabeth Kate Young, a domestic servant, at St Aldate’s Church and his adopted mother’s daughter Sarah Banning was one of their witnesses. Harry gave his father’s name as Harry and said that he was an engine driver – deceased – while Kate’s father worked as an ostler.

Harry and Elizabeth moved up the road from the Banning household to 17 Jericho Gardens and just three months later their son Harry George was born and christened a month later at St Paul’s with Harry’s job listed as porter. In February 1914 Harry and Elizabeth had their second child, Emily Augusta – the first name of both his birth mother and his adopted mother and the middle name of his adopted sister who had been the witness at their wedding. The family then moved to 29 Church Street, New Hinksey. Elizabeth, who had not remarried, moved to 3 St Clements in 1937 where she lived with Alfred Harry Carter, born in 1921, and she died in 1947.

In July 1918 Harry’s widow was paid the sum of £3 8s 7d by the army. At the outbreak of war, Harry was working as an insurance agent and he was also commemorated on the Pearl Assurance War memorial in Peterborough which was dedicated on 4 July 1921 by Bishop of Truro:

OF THE STAFF OF THE PEARL ASSURANCE COMPANY THESE GAVE THEIR LIVES FOR THE FREEDOM OF THE WORLD IN THE YEARS OF OUR LORD 1914-1918

THEY PASSED AWAY IN THE DAYS OF THEIR STRENGTH. THEY LIVE FOREVER IN THE UNDYING FACT OF THEIR SACRIFICE

Chandler, George Henry

Lance-Corporal, 15928, of 6th Bttn. OBLI

Lance-Corporal George Henry Chandler of 6th Battalion of the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry was killed in action on Wednesday 16th February 1916, having reached his 19th birthday just two weeks earlier.

 

The 6th (Service) Battalion was formed at Oxford in September 1914 as part of the Second New Army (K2) and was then moved to Aldershot to join the 60th Brigade of the 20th Division. In March 1915 they were moved to Larkhill, Salisbury Plain before being mobilised for war on 22 July 1915. They landed at Boulogne after trench familiarisation and training and engaged in various actions on the Western front. George is commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing in Ypres, Belgium, dedicated to the British and Commonwealth soldiers who were killed in the Ypres Salient of World War I and whose graves are unknown.

 

Just over two months earlier on 8 December 1915 the Oxford Journal Illustrated featured George, his father William John Jefferies (Royal Army Medical Corps), brother William Leonard (9th Black Watch) and John Edward (Army Service Corps, Military Transport) as an example of a patriotic family whose men had all enlisted. This left only Alice Chandler, George’s mother, and his younger brothers, Fred and Harry (both too young to go to war) and their little sister Mary Maria at their family home. However, while the men were away, there were other family members who lived locally. George’s older sister Eleanor Maud had married Arthur Uriah Doman in 1907 and lived at Weirs Lane with her two daughters. Her husband, a woodworker, was called up in 1916 and served in the Military Port Police. George’s uncle Arthur Nutt lived with his wife Esther Rose and their five children at 9 Church Lane (Vicarage Lane) and there were other members of the Nutt family at 16 Gordon Street.

 

George was born on 4th February 1897 when his father was working as a painter and plumber. The family lived at 6 Gordon Street that year and moved up the road to 7 Gordon Street by 1901. George was employed as a van boy in 1911 by which time the family had moved again to 28 Gordon Street. His brother John Edward, also a van boy in 1911, joined the Royal Army Service Corps (service no. M2/102193). George’s father, William John Jefferies was 49 years old when he enlisted in 1915 (service no. 446099) and his records show that his hair was already turning grey. He was fined for being absent from parade and being 28 minutes late reporting for duty on 22 April 1916 (two months after his son George died) and drunkenness while on duty on 14 July 1916 (two months after his son William was killed). He served in the Royal Army Medical Corps, Regiment of the Third Southern General Hospital (a territorial-force hospital based in Oxford) without any other disciplinary incidents for the rest of the war.

 

The surviving son, John, used the skills he acquired during the war to become a motor mechanic after he was demobbed. The 1939 General Register shows that William was still living in the family home, 28 Gordon Road, with his youngest daughter Dorothy Alice, her husband, Edward G Boswell, and their two children Sheila and Janet. William, the father of that patriotic family of 1915, lived to see another World War; he died in 1948 aged 81.

Chandler, William Leonard

Private, S/9332, 9th (Service) Battalion Black Watch Royal Highlanders

Private William Leonard Chandler died of his wounds on 1st May 1916 in France and Flanders.

His father, William John Jefferies, was the son of a college servant and worked both as a painter and plumber. On 14th April 1889 he married Alice Nutt and they set up home at 28 Lake Street just a few houses away from Alice’s parents at number 44. Their daughter Eleanor Maud was born in June 1889 and William was born in October 1892 and christened at the parish church of South Hinksey in December. William John Jefferies and Alice went on to have another five children – John, George, Fred, Henry and Mary Maria and by 1911 they were all living in 28 Gordon Street (Dorothy Alice was born in 1913). By this time William had followed his father’s profession and was also working as a painter.

The 9th (Service) Battalion landed at Boulogne-sur-Mer as part of the 44th Brigade in the 15th (Scottish) Division in July 1915 for service on the Western Front. It suffered over 700 wounded or killed-in-action at the Battle of Loos in September 1915. The Oxford Times reported on 20 May 1916:

Pte W.H. Chandler, Black Watch, eldest son of Mrs W. Chandler of 28 Gordon St, died in West Riding Casualty Army Station from gas poisoning. This is the second son Mrs Chandler has lost in the war in six weeks.

West Riding Casualty Army Station operated at Lillers between October 1915 and April 1918. These Casualty Clearing Stations were part of the casualty evacuation chain, further back from the front line than the Aid Posts and Field Ambulances. It was manned by troops of the Royal Army Medical Corps, with attached Royal Engineers and men of the Army Service Corps. The job of the CCS was to treat a man sufficiently for his return to duty or, in most cases, to enable him to be evacuated to a Base Hospital. It was not a place for a long-term stay. CCSs were generally located on or near railway lines, to facilitate movement of casualties from the battlefield and on to the hospitals.

William’s army records said he died of wounds on 1st May 1916 while the the Oxford Roll of Honour (which wrongly gives his name as WH Chandler) recorded that he ‘died from gas poisoning’. William’s battalion fought on but were reduced to cadre strength by May 1918 and the remainder of the men were transferred to 118th Brigade in 39th Division. William’s father was paid £1 17s 7d upon his son’s death.

The family asked for his memorial to read FAR AWAY BUT NOT FORGOTTEN and he was buried at Lilllers Communal Cemetery in Pas de Calais, one of 844 casualties interred there.

Collins, Albert Percival

Lieutenant Corporal, 26336, 5th Bttn OBLI

Albert Collins died at home in 162 Abingdon Road on 8 December 1919 of endocarditis, a rare infection of the inner lining of the heart.

Albert was born to Joshua Collins, a labourer, and his wife Diana (nee Gurden) in September 1876. He was baptised in the church of St Laurence in South Hinksey and grew up in 68 Church Street, now Vicarage Road, the youngest of twelve children. His father was a labourer and his widowed mother was listed as a midwife in the 1911 census.

Kate Elizabeth Pearce, the daughter of a mason, grew up near Chipping Norton but moved to Oxford to find work as a housemaid; Albert worked first as a messenger for the Great Western Railway and then joined the GPO as a postman. They married in September 1901 and had Edith Lilian in January 1902, then Ronald Bertram in July 1904; Kate gave birth to twins in July 1913 but sadly they both died soon after.

Albert joined up in Oxford at the age of 39 on 8 December 1915 and was mobilised in August 1916. His enlistment records show that he was 5’3” tall with a 37½ inch chest. In September 2016 he had been promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal and served with the 5th Battalion of the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry at the Somme.

However, in 1917 he was diagnosed as suffering from melancholia and depression. His medical records indicate that he had previously suffered from mental illness in 1911 and suggest that he had probably only partially recovered from that episode. He remained in Middlesex War Hospital from 13th December 1917 to 18th April 1918 in a ‘depressed and miserable state’ and there attempted to strangle himself with his own tie because of ‘delusions of unworthiness’. His doctors described him as insisting that there was nothing really wrong with him and that he had brought this ‘everlasting trouble’ upon himself. The doctor concluded that this was a ‘constitutional problem’ that had not been caused by the war but had been aggravated by it and his heath was unlikely to improve within the next twelve months. On 15th February 1919 he was discharged, being no longer fit for military service but he was awarded a military pension. He died at home in December that year.

His wife Kate stayed on in their house on the Abingdon Road until her death in 1963 aged 82. She is buried with her husband, her daughter Edith and Edith’s husband Norman Crowder at St John the Evangelist, the church at the end of the road where Albert grew up and where his sacrifice in the war is now commemorated.

Donohoe, William Edward, DCM

Corporal, Service no. 7452, OBLI

William Edward Donohoe, DCM, Corporal, 7452, 1st Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry died ‘from sickness as a POW in Mesopotamia on July 3rd 1916’.

William’s father, Malachi Edward Malachi was born in Gort in Galway but joined the 17th Brigade based in Bury in April 1881, transferring to the newly formed Oxfordshire Light Infantry in January 1882. William’s mother, Selina Lydia was the second youngest of a large Oxford family with five sisters and three brothers; her father was a waterman and the family lived in various houses in the Grandpont and St Aldates area. In 1888 she and Malachi married and the couple lived in the barracks at Cowley where their first son, William Edward, was born the next year. By 1891 the family had moved to Temple Crescent and Selina was supplementing the family income by working as a machinist until July when she gave birth to their daughter Rosina Caroline. The family appeared to be thriving and Malachi signed up for 21 more years in the army.

However, in 1892 their family life was disrupted when Caroline’s mother died and later in the year her daughter Rosina too aged just fifteen months. In April 1893 Selina gave birth to her third child, Kathleen Frances, only to lose her husband to consumption, or tubercle of lung, in September 1894, aged just 32.

Between 1903-1904 William, aged 14, followed in his father’s footsteps and joined what had become the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry.. He served in the 1st battalion based at Ahmednagar in India until the outbreak of World War I in August 1914. With the entry of Turkey into the war on the side of Germany, it was considered vital to safeguard British interests in Mesopotamia and the Persian Gulf and to protect the new British oilfields on the Karun River. On 19 November 1914, William embarked with the 1st Battalion at Bombay, arrived at Qurnah on the 29th December and then set off towards Kut-al-Amara with the intention of capturing it from the Ottomans. They succeeded in capturing the town but lost their next battle and had to retreat to Kut where they were besieged by the Ottomans. The British launched numerous attempts to relieve them, all of which failed with heavy losses. On 26 April 1916 when supplies had dwindled significantly and many of the garrison's defenders were suffering from sickness, the garrison negotiated a ceasefire and on 29 April the British-Indian force of 8,000 surrendered. The men were then marched across the desert and suffered horrific mistreatment by the Ottomans with many succumbing to the heat, their illnesses aggravated by malnutrition and beatings.

William’s mother, who had by this time remarried and had two more children, had moved to 29 Norreys Avenue. In April Selina was notified that her son had been taken prisoner and also that he had been awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for his actions before the surrender at Kut. In July the news came through that he had died a prisoner of war; only 71 of the 400 men of the 1st Ox and Bucks who were taken prisoner returned home to the UK.

In January 1918, Selina’s husband, William Sherlock (himself a former colour sergeant in the 85th, or The King's Regiment of Light Infantry) died and in March her daughter Kathleen Frances also died aged just 24. On 1 May 1918 Major-General McGrigor handed Corporal Donohoe’s medal to his mother at a presentation of medals ceremony at Christ Church. Selina remained in the family home until her death in 1938.

Eldridge, Thomas H.

Corporal, RGA

Thomas Henry Charles Eldridge served with the Royal Garrison Artillery in the latter half of the war. He survived the war only to die of pneumonia whilst home on leave on 25 February 1919.

Thomas was born in Oxford in 1886, the eldest of three siblings. In 1901, Thomas was 15 and lived with his parents Thomas and Caroline at 9 Holly Bush Row. His father, born in Summertown in around 1845, was a Head Brewery Engine Driver. It is likely he worked at the nearby Lion’s Brewery in St Thomas Street, run by the Morrell’s family. His mother Caroline was born in Abingdon around 1850. At 15 in 1901, Thomas (junior) was working as a chemist’s errand boy.

On October 31 1909, Thomas Eldridge, at 23, married  Ethel Amelia, also 23, at St Andrew’s Church, Headington. By the 1911 census, the young family were living in 16 Christ Church New Buildings with their 10-month-old son Charles Henry Thomas (d.o.b. 25/5/10). Thomas Henry was working in the brewery as a stoker, responsible for the brewery burners.

From his surviving British Army records, we know that Thomas Henry Eldridge enlisted on 10 October 1915 when he and his family were living at 22 Gordon Street in New Hinksey. Amelia and Thomas had had a second child, Vera Alice, born on 25 August 1915, just two months before he enlisted.

Thomas joined the Royal Garrison Artillery. On enlistment, he was 30 years old, working as a fitter’s mate, perhaps to do with the local water works. He stood at 5ft 6½ inches tall having a 32-inch chest with a three-inch expansion. Thomas reached France on 26 May 1916. He was promoted to Corporal on 5 July 1918, and assumed those duties on 20 October 1918. He was sent home from France on 8 September 1918, and recorded as being at home from 9 February 1919 to his death on 25 February 1919. He died of pneumonia at the Third Southern General Hospital in Oxford.

He was buried by his family at Osney Cemetery. His wife requested the inscription “A loved one sleeping”

Ferriman, James C.

Private, OBLI

Private James Charles Ferriman served in the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry and died during the Third Battle of Ypres on August 22, 1917, aged 20. He is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium.

 

James was the younger son of Thomas and Agnes Ferriman, of 1 Summerfield. He was one of four children. In 1901, the Ferrimans lived in 1 Summerfield, Thomas as head of the household was listed as a pastry cook worker / bread maker. They had three children: Daisy Harriet (8), Thomas Alfred (6) and James Charles (4). By 1911, Agnes was widowed and was described as having four living children, three of whom lived with her. Daisy, by now 18 and working as a domestic worker, James (14) an apprentice fitter at the Iron works and Ethel, only 4 years old. In addition, the household comprised Enrnest Woolhead, a 27-year old boarder, employed as a confectioner and baker.

James was born in 1897. We don’t know his exact enlistment date but can presume it was relatively early in the war after he turned 18 as the Oxon and Bucks Light Infantry Roll of Honour have him listed as being wounded on April 3, 1916 with the 1st/4th OBLI. On recovery, he later served with the 10th OBLI before being killed in action with the 2nd/4th OBLI. He was killed at the capture of Pond Farm. A detailed description of the battles of the 2nd/4th OBLI can be found in the book “Story of the 2/4th Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry by Captain G. K. Rose KC (Oxford: BH Blackwell 1920). This information is summarised on: https://oxfordshireandbuckinghamshirelightinfantry.wordpress.com/tag/pond-farm/

Greenstreet, Frederic George

Major, 105th Mahratta Light Infantry, British Indian Army

Born 7th March 1881, died 9th January 1917

Frederic Greenstreet is comprehensively written up on the website for the First World War casualties of Compton Bassett, Wilts. http://comptonbassett.org.uk/village-information/pdf/1914-18-War-Records.pdf

He died in Mesopotamia and is listed as the son of Col. W. L. Greenstreet and Maud Greenstreet, of The Rectory, Compton Bassett, Calne, Wilts. His family in England was peripatetic as much of his father’s adult life had been spent in the army in India. His brother Lawrence became vicar of Compton Bassett, Wilts in 1915 which explains Greenstreet’s appearance on the war memorial there.

He also appears on the war memorial in the churchyard at Pattingham. Staffs. His grandfather W.G. Greenstreet had been vicar of Pattingham and Pattishall 1847-1900, and died in 1900. He was succeeded as vicar by his son (Frederic’s uncle) Alfred. Another grandson, Captain Frederick Herbert Emmet, is commemorated there as well. Emmet is also appears on the memorial at St Margaret’s, North Oxford. He was the son of William Edward Emmett and Ellen Maude Greenstreet. W.E. Emmett was a curate and later vicar of various London churches and moved to Staverton Road, Oxford around 1909 when Herbert went to Keble College. Herbert was killed on 14 July 1916, aged 26. He appears on war memorials of Keble, Pattingham, Thiepval, St Margaret’s and has been written up in: Liz Wade, 47 Men of North Oxford, Graffiti Press, Oxford, 2013.

 

https://www.search.staffspasttrack.org.uk/Details.aspx?&ResourceID=14165&SearchType=2&ThemeID=3, accessed 29 May 2018

So why was Greenstreet also commemorated in New Hinksey (a place he probably never visited)? His sister Minna Lucy in 1901 or 1902 married the Rev William Wellesley Gordon Lloyd, who became vicar of New and South Hinksey before 1914 where he remained until about 1922.

Hay, Alexander Macdonald

Royal Naval Air Service

Alexander Macdonald Hay was born on August 5, 1881 in Elgin, Scotland, one of five siblings. A tailor by profession, Alexander married his wife Mary Hannah Hay (nee Stafford), in Middlesbrough in 1906. Alexander and Mary continued their journey and in 1907 they are living in Sunningwell Road and have one son, Alexander Macdonald Stafford Hay, born on October 24, 1907.

By 1911, Alexander, a tailor (outfitter) and Mary are living at 29 Sunningwell Road, with Alexander, now three, and their two-month old daughter Margaret Jane. The Oxford Times, 28 April 1917, recorded the tribunal of Alexander Macdonald Hay of 15 Sunningwell Road. He is reported to be “a cutter in the employ of Walters and Co, tailors”. He was granted an exemption from call-up on 6 April 1916, initially for two months. The work of Walters and Co being “of a military nature” and Alexander the only cutter barring one of the “principals of the firm”. The firm would take a substitute if one became available.

Clearly, a substitute must have been found as Alexander Macdonald Hay enlisted in the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) on December 1, 1917. The RNAS was the precursor of the Royal Air Force and all RNAS men were transferred into the RAF when it was formed in April 1918. On the war memorial Alexander is listed as dying on December 7, 1919. It is unclear from records as to his cause of death or why he was listed on the memorial when he died over a year after the end of the war.

Mary lived until March 2, 1929, when she died her address is given as 13 Sunningwell Road and one Donald Alexander Hay, a hosier’s assistant was granted her probate.

Higgins, Harold V.

Private, 1st/4th OBLI

Private Harold Victor Higgins served with the 1st/4th Oxford and Buckingham Light Infantry, he died during the Somme Offensive on July 23, 1916, aged only 18 years old. He is commemorated at the Thiepval Memorial in France.

Harold was the youngest child of George and Tryphena Higgins. His father, George, (and his uncle, John) were furniture dealers and employers. His mother, Tryphena (nee Hawkins), came from Bloxham. George and Tryphena were married in 1883. By 1891, they lived at 8 Abingdon Road with their five children Elizabeth (6), William (5), Norman (2), Dorothy (1) and Hilda (1 month). Also in the household was Clara G. Noon, a servant working as a monthly nurse.

Harold was born in 1898 and by 1901, George and Tryphena had moved to 260 Abingdon Road (this building is now the Duke of Monmouth public house) with their children, Lizzie (16), Norman (12), Dorothy (11), Hilda (9), Ethel (8), Kate (4) and Harold (3). William, the eldest son was not present on the night of the census.

George Higgins died in 1910 and by 1911 Ethel, Kate and Harold are found living with their uncle, John Higgins and aunt, Harriet Higgins, at 112 Abingdon Road, whilst his mother Tryphena and sister Hilda were staying at a boarding house in Bournemouth, seemingly working for the Bournemouth Corporation as Inspectors of Midwives. Tryphena is registered as having eight living children so we know all the children were still alive.

Harold enlisted into the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, and is commemorated in their Roll of Honour, as being killed in action on July 23 1916, at age 18. At the time of his death, his mother was once more living at 260 Abingdon Road. Tryphena Higgins died 15 years later at Warneford Hospital in Headington on February 2 1931. Her address is given as Grosmont, Cumnor Hill, Oxford. Her eldest son William Higgins, also a house furnisher, inherited her estate.

Higgins, Wilfred Victor

Private 302097, Rifleman 1st/5th Btn, City of London Regiment (London Rifle Brigade)

Private Wilfred Victor Higgins of the 1st /5th battalion of the City of London Regiment of the London
Rifle Brigade, aged 26 (actually 24), was reported wounded and missing on 2 October 1916 and was
officially confirmed killed on 9 October. He is commemorated on the Thiepval memorial.


He joined the army in October 1915 (though his service number suggests that it was November)
when the 5th battalion of the London Regiment (a volunteer territorial unit) was already in France. In
1916 they were in action on the Somme*. During the very wet weather of 25-30 September 1916
Morval, Combles, Lesboeufs and Guedecourt were captured and the Germans suffered many
casualties. The Germans recouped their forces and a bombardment began on 1 October persisting in
the pouring rain. The battle of Transloy Ridges continued until 20 October with inconclusive results.
Wilfred was probably mortally wounded during the attack on German positions with hand grenades
and mortar fire. Wilfred’s elder brother Percival served in the Army Service Corps from May 1915.
His younger brother Reginald was in 1918 listed as serving in the 3rd AM [??} School of Photography.


Wilfred was the son of Albert Higgins and his wife Emily (née Saunders) of Rose Bank, Lake Street.
Albert, like other members of the numerous Higgins family was a furniture dealer—Higgins Brothers
had premises in New Inn Hall Street. Wilfred’s grandfather William Higgins had four sons (John,
George, Albert and Walter), all of whom became furniture dealers, and two daughters (Laura and
Harriet). Five of this generation were living in or near New Hinksey in 1911 (George had died in
1910). Between them they had 29 children, one of whom was Wilfred’s cousin Harold, killed on 23
July 1916 with the OBLI and also commemorated at Thiepval. Wilfred’s cousin Norman Higgins was
in the 1/4 th OBLI. The Higgins family were among the more prosperous of the parish, they were
among the few who had a living-in servant and they occupied some of the larger houses such as
Rose Bank in Lake Street and 260 Abingdon Road (now the Duke of Monmouth pub).


Albert and Emily were married in 1886 when Albert described himself as an ironmonger. They had
four sons and three daughters between 1890 and 1902. Wilfred Victor was born in 1891 and went to
the Wesleyan school. He was, according to his obituary in the Oxford Times engaged in the outfitting
and hosiery trade. He was not in Oxford at the time of the 1911 census but was working as an
outfitters’ assistant in Maidenhead, presumably in one of the four outfitters’ shops there. He was
living as a boarder on the house of the Preece family, (Wilfred is listed as aged 29, he was actually
20).

* http://www.wartimememoriesproject.com/greatwar/allied/battalion.php?pid=709 accessed 15 June

Hounslow, William

Private, Royal Warkickshire Regiment, died 8 September 1915

William Hounslow, added last to the memorial in St John the Evangelist’s church, died of heatstroke aged 40 in Port Sudan on 8 August 1918. The Oxford City Roll of Honour gives Hounslow’s regiment as the Royal Berkshire regiment which is either a mistake or Hounslow transferred very quickly from the Royal Berks to the Royal Warwickshire regiment. He served in the 1st Garrison Battalion, a force made up of men not fit for the usual kind of military service. He is commemorated with 16 other members of the Royal Warwickshire regiment in Khartoum War Cemetery.

The 1st garrison battalion of Royal Warwickshires was formed in Weymouth and landed in Khartoum in August 1915 and remained in Egypt for the rest of the war. The force was sent in response to the attack on British-occupied Egypt co-ordinated by the Ottoman empire to gain control of Egypt and, in particular, the Suez canal. Hounslow and the two other men who died in the first week of September must have expired very soon after arriving in Port Sudan. Hounslow was reported to have died of heatstroke, the temperature in Port Sudan in September being normally above 30 degrees Celsius and often reaching 40 degrees.

William Hounslow left a wife living at Northside Cottage, Stewart Street and at least four children. He had married Edith Kate Humphries in 1903 at St Paul’s church, he was then a 29-year-old labourer living in Little Clarendon Street, she, aged 20, of 113 Walton Street. In 1911 he was a stonebreaker for the municipality, living in a three-room house in Plough Yard, St Aldate’s with his wife and four children under the age of six. By 1914 the family had moved to Stewart Street. In 1918 Mrs Hounslow was still living in Stewart Street, but had moved away by 1924. In an article from an unidentified newspaper, Bill Hounslow, William’s son William Alfred born in 1908, recounted how he collected horse manure from outside the corporation yard and sold it for garden manure and his mother took in washing and lit the boilers at the gas works to support her seven children.

William was born at Hardwick, near Witney, the son of Edward, a labourer. His mother Charlotte came from the neighbouring village of Yelford. The couple had three children when they lived in Ducklington, then in around 1876 they moved to Oxford living first in New Headington where they had three more children, then in a now vanished street called Radcliffe Row which ran between Walton Street and Woodstock Road to the north of Little Clarendon Street where they had another child and where Charlotte and her son Arthur were doing laundry. The couple had a total of 15 children of whom in 1911 seven were still living. By 1911 the family consisted of parents Edward and Charlotte at 16 Little Clarendon Street with their 15-year-old daughter Charlotte and their six-year old nephew George (probably their grandson, son of Alfred who was married in 1903 but widowed before 1911 when he was working as an engineer in a laundry in Banbury). Charlotte lived until 1928.

William was the third child and second son. By the age of 16 he was working as a general labourer. There’s no trace of him in the 1901 census when he would have been 26 years old, but in 1903 he was living in Jericho when he married.

King, John G.

Lieutenant Corporal, Queen's Royal West Surrey Regiment, formerly OBLI

He was killed in action on 3rd July 1918 and was buried at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.

 

*Lijssenthoek was the location for a number of casualty clearing stations during the 1stWW. The village was situated on the main communications line between the Allied military bases in the rear and the Ypres battlefields. Close to the front, but out of the extreme range of most German field artillery, it became a natural place to establish casualty clearing stations.

 

The Service Battalions
The 6th, 7th, 8th, 10th and 11th Service Battalions were made up of mainly Kitchener Volunteers. All of them served on the Western Front with distinction. The 7th went to France in 1915 and suffered appalling casualties on the Somme, at Ypres and at Amiens. The 8th lost heavily on the Western Front, particularly at the Somme and in the Third Battle of Ypres. The 10th and 11th were both with the 41st Division in 1916 and were decimated at Fleurs, but later contributed to the campaign in Italy.

 

John George King was born on 22 July 1888 in The New Hinksey Inn, 216 Abingdon Rd, Oxford.

 

He was the son of George, (born in Southmoor, Berkshire), a publican, and Harriet Ann (born in South Hinksey) who were married on 31 August 1887 at New Hinksey. George was the landlord of The New Hinksey Inn from 1889 until his death in 1901. (See The Changing Faces of South Oxford Book 2, Carole Newbigging for more information on the New Hinksey Inn.)

After his father’s death the family moved to 9 Gordon Street with his sister Mary Elizabeth aged 9, and Mary Ann Keen his grandmother, aged 82.

 

In 1911 John was 22 years of age and working as a College Clerk at Balliol. The family were still at 9 Gordon St, his mother and grandmother were of private means and his sister Mary Elizabeth (single) now 19, was working as an Assistant Milliner.

 

He has a memorial gravestone in the graveyard of South Hinksey Parish Church, the inscription reads:

IN LOVING MEMORY OF/ LCE. CPL. JOHN GEORGE KING/ 11TH QUEEN’S R.W. SURREYS/ THE BELOVED SON OF/GEORGE & HARRIET KING/KILLED IN FRANCE/JULY 3RD 1918. AGED 29 YEARS/BURIED IN THE MILITARY CEMETARY/AT LIJSSENTHOEK NR POPERINCHI/MAY HE REST IN PEACE

Lee, Herbert George (1892-1919)

Private, Service number 3918, Welsh Guards

Herbert George Lee was the eldest son of Henry Herbert and Margaret Bessie Lee, b. 1868, of 27 Temple Street. The house had seven rooms. He was baptised at William Street Wesleyan Chapel on 27 November 1892.

Herbert was 9 in 1901 and his family consisted of eight souls - George Stevens, woodturner, age 72 (working from home), born in W. Wycombe Bucks; Sarah Florence Stevens his mother’s sister, unmarried, b. 1859 in Oxford; Herbert’s father Henry Herbert Lee age 36, a master plumber/employer, born in Chelmsford/Barking, Essex and his wife Margaret, born in Oxford. Herbert was their fourth child, the others were Frances John, b. 1896 age 5, Reginald Ernest b. 1898 age 3, and Percival Arthur age 1.

In 1911 when Herbert was 18 his occupation was apprentice plumber, and he had two further siblings – Arnold William b. 1905 age 6 and Margaret Florence b. 1903, age 8.

He may have been the Bertie Lee who is recorded as laying one of the foundation stones of Wesley Hall in 1903 as a representative of the Sunday School scholars.

When he was 21 he married Agnes M. Adams who was the sister of Horace Adams who is one of our 37 Men. The 1891 census shows Agnes living at 28 Lake St with her father, a wheelwright and her mother a tailoress.

They married at South Hinksey Parish Church on 11 September 1911 and moved to 57 Lake St. They were both 21. Their son, Herbert Henry William Lee was born on 18th December of that year and was baptized at the same church on 26 Feb 1912.

Herbert George was exempted from call up for a short while, as reported in the Oxford Times, 31 March 1917:

‘Herbert George Lee, 25, married, Lake Street, fitter and heating engineer, conditionall exepted from call up on business grounds 23 March 1916. 8 men had gone from the business leaving only him. His father was not active enough to do the work and he had two brothers in the army and another going shortly. Lee was passed for general service [ie fit enough AL] but the business would have to close down if he left. His application as granted for a month.’  Oxford Times, 31 March 1917, p.3. 

Herbert Lee served as a Private in the Welsh Guards. The Oxford Journal Illustrated of 17 April 1918 reported that he had been wounded.  He died in the Radcliffe Infirmary on 12 November 1919, aged 27 from bronchiectasis, a chronic condition most likely brought about by the effects of mustard gas.

He was awarded The Victory Medal (also called the Inter Allied Victory Medal) - a bronze medal that was awarded to all who received the 1914 Star or 1914-15 Star and, with certain exceptions, to those who received the British War Medal.  It was never awarded alone.  These three medals were sometimes irreverently referred to as ‘Pip, Squeak and Wilfred’. He is remembered in the Oxford City Council Roll of Honour. His wife was awarded a War gratuity of £12, and a total pension of £31/4s/6d. His father was still listed as a plumber in Kelly’s Directory of 1924.

 

Agnes went on to marry a second time - on 5 August 1922 she married 68 year old Alfred Edwin Hewlett (1854-1930) (CofE Banns) who was a gardener. The 1861 census shows that his father was an agricultural labourer in Headington.  

There is a large memorial gravestone in South Hinksey/St Laurence Churchyard. The inscription reads:

‘In loving memory of/ a devoted wife and mother/Agnes Maud Hewlett/ died 15th December 1931/ aged 41 years/ also of /Herbert George Lee/ died Nov 12th 1919/aged 27 years’.

Mace, Frederick Earle, 1887-1916

Private, Ox & Bucks Light Infantry, 1st/4th Battalion, service no. 5843.

Frederick Mace was killed in action aged 27, on 14 August 1916 during a German counter attack on Skyline Trench, NE of Ovillers, during the Battle of Pozieres Ridge, the Somme. His name is on the Thiepval Memorial (Panel Reference: Pier and Face 10 A and 10 D).

He was the son of John Frederick Mace, a Journeyman butcher, who was born in 1849 Little Compton, Glos., (the parish of Little Compton transferred to Warwickshire in 1844) and Fanny Mace (maiden name Earle) who was born in 1850/51 at Northleach Glos. They had married in 1871 in Northleach  and had six children in all, see (https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Earle-992).

 

Fanny’s father William Earle was a master builder born in Northleach and employed three men. The 1871 census at East End, Northleach, shows they had five children, the eldest son age 24 was a builder, Fanny age 23 was a shopkeeper, Mary A. age 16 no occupation recorded, George age 12 was a telegraph clerk, and there was also Herbert C. age 3.

The 1881 Census taken on 3 April shows John and Fanny had by then moved to Oxford and were living at Church St, (now Vicarage Rd) New Hinksey and John age 32, was working as a Journeyman Butcher.  Their first child Gertrude Mary died as a baby in 1872-73, but in 1881 they had their son Philip G. Mace, age 4, occupation scholar, Caroline J. Mace, daughter, age 6, occupation scholar, both born in Northleach, Gloucester, and Theresa K. Mace, daughter, age eight months, born in South Hinksey, Berkshire. Visiting on that night was Florence Bunting, unmarried, age 19, occupation dressmaker, born Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire. John Mace appears to have died in the last quarter of 1887.

In 1901 the family is still living at 22 Church Street, Fanny Mace widow, with daughter Theresa Kate, age 20, a shirt machinist, and sons Herbert Edwin age 16 and Frederick age 14 both journeyman butchers. There was also Dorothy Winifred Mace, granddaughter, age four.

In the 1911 census Dorothy is 14 years old and working as a capmaker, and there is another granddaughter Mary Bamford aged six. Caroline Bamford, daughter age 35, is working as a dressmaker on ‘own account’.

Frederick worked at Alden’s butchers who were based at Eastwyke Farm on the Abingdon Road. He appears on Alden’s Roll of Honour.

There are three categories of butcher - the apprentice, journeyman and master. The apprentice would work for a master for a number of years until graduating to journeyman. At this point the journeyman would work for a number of different shops and had a high level of skill. So in 1911 Frederick’s older brother Herbert, also a butcher, had left Oxford and was boarding with another butcher Thomas James Duffy and his family at 2a Mill Lane, Croydon, Surrey.

In the summer of 1911 Herbert married local girl Memmie Humphreys who lived at The Grandpont Arms, 143 Edith Road as a general domestic servant (she was born in 1886 in Granville, America and is listed as sister-in-law to head of household publican James Mansell). Herbert joined the London Rifle Brigade as a Private, no. 26202.  He died about two months after his brother in the autumn of 1916.

Frederick left a War Gratuity of £2 3s 6d of which his sister Mrs Caroline Bamford was authorised 10s 11d, and sister Mrs Theresa K. Bryan 10s 11d.

Martin, Charles

Corporal, Service Number 291924, 132nd (Oxford) Heavy Bty., Royal Garrison Artillery

Husband of D. E. Martin, of 54, Norreys Avenue, Oxford. Late of Oxford City Police.

Oxford City Roll of Honour: Cpl Charles Martin, RGA, died of wounds, 15 May 1917.

Obituary:

'Corporal Charley Martin, RGA, died from wounds in France on May 15. He joined an RGA Battery on its formation in Oxford on May 17, 1915, and was attached to the observation party. The following letter, received by his widow, shows the true character of the man. "I have the very sad duty of conveying to you my most heartfelt sympathy on the death (from wounds) of your husband, Corpl Martin. He had been under my immediate command for nearly a year, and during that time we had been in many dangerous places together, and he was always an example of courage, cheerfulness, and devotion to duty to every man in the battery. You will be glad to hear he was not very long in great pain after being wounded, and was brave and cheerful to the very last. I can't tell you what a loss he is to me and the battery, but our loss is as nothing compared to yours, and I can only pray that God will comfort you in this time of trouble, when England is losing so many of her bravest and best. he died nobly for his country and for the right." before joining the Army, Corpl Martin was a member of the City Police Force for nearly 12 years. and was well known in the athletic world. he was a regular competitor at sports meetings throughout the county, and won numerous prizes on the cinder track, but it was as an all-round sportsman that he would wish to be remembered by his many friends in Oxford. he was a the City Police cricket, football, tug-of-war, and swimming teams, and was holder of the bronze medallion for life-saving. He was a fine type of manhood, and a clean sportsman, and his death will come as a blow to a wide circle of friends. Deceased (sic) was 37 years of age, and leaves a widow and two young children, to whom the deepest sympathy of his comrades in the Police Force is extended.

 

"There will be many on Oxford," writes another correspondent "Who will associate themselves with the above sentiments. Martin was an ideal policeman, tactful in his handling of any situation, courteous to all inquirers, manly and chivalrous. Those who met him in the realm of sport soon learnt to appreciate his gifts as an athlete, no less than his qualities as a man. Well endowed by nature physically, he threw himself heart and soul into anything he undertook. He was a clean-living fellow, and hated anything under-handed. The Chief Constable would probably describe Martin as one of his bast men, for Mr Cole is always proud of those who, while attending to their daily duties, do not neglect their physical welfare, and such a one was Martin. This is the second death in action in the police Force within a short time. Sergt Collett having been killed last month.'  Oxford Times 26 May 1917, p.7

Mitchell, Levi Edward

Private, Service No. 240409, 2nd and 4th OBLI

He was killed in action during the capture of Pond Farm on 22 August 1917 and is buried at Tyne Cot Cemetery.

 

Levi Edward Mitchell was born in the first quarter of 1897 at Oxford. He was the son of Henry Robert Mitchell (a shepherd, born 1868/9 in Kirtlingham, Oxfordshire) and Elizabeth Hathaway (born 1864/5 in Crawley, Witney, Oxfordshire), who married on 11 December 1889 at St Mary’s Church, Kirtlington. Elizabeth’s father George was also a shepherd. George appears to have been illiterate as he made ‘his mark’ (a cross) on the wedding certificate which was countersigned by the vicar as his. The couple had 10 children, Laura Martin (born 1890/1 in Kirtlingham), George William (born 1892/3 in Stanton Harcourt), Alice Ellen (born 1894/5 in Oxford), Levi (born 1897 in Oxford), Percy Reginald (born 17 Oct 1899 in Oxford), Rose May (born 1901/2) Olive Mary (born 1903/4), Ivy Isabel (born 1904/5), Henry Robert (born 1906 and died in infancy 1907), and Cyril Martin (born 3 Nov 1907).

In 1901, the family were living at 65 Church Street with Henry working as a shepherd on a farm, and by 1911 they were still living at 65 Church Street (a five-roomed house), with Henry still working as a shepherd, and by now George William was working as a greengrocer and Levi as a greengrocer.

Levi served in a number of units, including the 10th Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry (which was a Territorial Force formed on 1 Jan 1917), and the 2nd/1st Bucks Battalion (a Territorial Force, formed in Aylesbury in Sept 1914), as well as the 2nd/4th Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry.

Levi was killed in action at the capture of Pond Farm on 22 August 1917 along with 47 of his comrades, and one who later died of his wounds. Forty-four other ranks were listed as missing. He was awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal. From the UK Army Register of Soldier’s Effects, £3 18s 9d was paid to his father Henry R on 25 Sept 1918 and a further £8 on 7 November 1918.

Parsons, Reginald W.

Service no. 292638, Gunner, 136th Heavy Battery, RGA

Gunner Reginald William Parsons, aged 20, died of wounds on 18 April 1918. He was a gunner in the 136th Heavy Battery of the Royal Garrison Artillery (formerly 940/ 135th Oxford Heavy Battery, R.G.A). He was buried at Haringhe (Bandaghem) military cemetery in Belgium, near Ypres.

 

Reginald had been recruited to the army in Oct 1915, from the family home in Jericho. For some time he was stationed at Wolvercote; he then spent 13 months in France. Most of the 37 Men who had other family members in the services served with men of their own generation, but Reginald’s father was a Pioneer Sergeant in the 1/4th OBLI and was invalided home in March 1916 at the age of 43.

The 136th Heavy Battery of the Royal Garrison Artillery travelled to France in May 1916. Originally formed to guard the British coasts, the heavy guns were positioned behind the front line in France and Belgium to bombard the enemy lines. In April 1918 the Germans undertook their spring offensive (the battle of Lys) aimed at capturing Ypres. The offensive lasted from 9 to 29 April and some 80,000 British troops were killed.  

Reginald was the only son of Pioneer Sergt William John Parsons OBLI and Minnie Parsons, of 53 Norreys Avenue and was working as a plumber at the time that he joined the army.

 

Reginald’s Oxford Times  obituary [4 May 1918, p.6] quoted the text of the letter his parents received from his battery officer: ‘I am writing to tell you that your son was badly wounded on the night April 17-18. He was a very brave lad and I cannot express in words my admiration of the spirit in which he bore his wounds. I have never seen such cheerfulness under such conditions. He had done excellent work and his officers and chums we were all sorry to lose him. He was such a good lad. We all hope he will recover, though it will take a long time. I did the best I could for him and got him away to a doctor. Whatever happens you will have good reason to be proud of such a brave son.’

He was educated mostly at SS Philip and James school, presumably when the family was living at Plantation Road, and later at St Paul’s where he was an active member of St Paul’s church, probably after the family had moved to Juxon Street in Jericho. His father was a plumber and painter and was born in Oxford in 1873, his mother Minnie came from Uley, Gloucestershire. They had three children: Reginald the eldest, and his two sisters Gladys May (born 1900) and Marjorie Kathleen (born 1904). By 1917 the family was living in Norreys Avenue where they remained for some years, moving by the 1920s to the house in Plantation Road where Reginald’s grandparents had lived.

Quinion, Richard Cecil

Private, Service no. 1897, Queen's Own Oxfordshire Hussars

Service no. 1897, Household Cavalry and Cavalry of The Line (Incl. Yeomanry And Imperial Camel Corps), Queen’s Own Oxfordshire Hussars. Private Cecil was killed in action on 17 May 1915 in Belgium aged 22 and was the first of the soldiers commemorated at the church to die.

Richard was born in Richmond in 1892, the son of Samuel Cook Quinion, a saddler and harness maker, and Elizabeth Kay. He was the second youngest in the family with one older brother, William, and four sisters, Lily, Dorothy, Bertha and Olive. The family moved from Claremont Terrace in Ealing to 27 Norreys Avenue in 1899, though Richard’s father kept their home in London for several years. Though the first three children were baptised in London, the Quinion family had their three youngest children, Bertha, Richard and Mary, christened at the church in South Hinksey on 25 June 1899 though they were already nine, seven and five years old respectively.

By 1911 Richard’s parents had moved to 42 Southfield Road, a five-bedroomed house, though only two of his sisters are still living at home, their son William having died in 1908 aged just 15. In the 1911 Census Richard is listed as living and working at 133 Cowley Road and his occupation is given as cycle-maker. Samuel Cook Quinion’s business was obviously thriving following his move from London and Kelly’s Directory shows that Richard’s house was owned by his father who also had a shop in Littlemore Court off St Aldates.

Richard’s service number, 1897, was issued between 22 January and 7 August 1914 so it would appear he enlisted into 1/1st Queen's Own Oxfordshire Hussars promptly following the outbreak of war on 28 July. After only a month's training the regiment saw early service in the autumn of 1914 in the doomed attempts to save Dunkirk and Antwerp from the German advance. After experiencing a German gas attack in the second battle of Ypres in April 1915, which they warded off with primitive respirators, the unit continued to serve in the salient. As cavalry they spent long, frustrating periods waiting to push on through the gap in the enemy's line, a gap which never appeared. Instead they dug out defensive positions and brought supplies up to the front, dismounting to fight fierce engagements on foot and in the trenches themselves.

Richard is one of six of the regiment’s hussars commemorated on panel 5 of the Menin Gate Memorial at Ypres in West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. His uncle, Robert Bradbury Kay, served in the Army Ordnance Corps and was killed on 9 January 1918 and buried at the Duhallow A.D.S. Cemetery also in West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. At the end of the war, his parents moved to 168 Divinity Road; his mother died in 1938 but his father lived until 1948 and so knew that his son’s death was not in ‘the war to end all wars’.

Sawyer, Horace A.

Service no. 201027, ‘B’ Coy, 2nd/4th Bn, OBLI

Horace Albert was killed in action on 21 March 1918, aged 20, and is commemorated on the Pozières memorial. His battalion were involved in the 1918 Spring Offensive, also known as the Kaiserschlacht, ‘The Kaiser’s Battle’, which was a series of German attacks along the Western Front intended to force the Allies to the negotiating table before American forces could be fully deployed. Operation Michael was the first attack of the offensive; it lasted only five hours, but it was one of the heaviest artillery bombardments in history with more than 3.5 million shells fired and British casualties numbered 38,500. The first day of Operation Michael remains the second worst day in British military history, surpassed only by 1 July 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme.

 

Horace was born in Hinksey in 1897 to George Sawyer, a farm labourer, and Fanny Elizabeth, and grew up in Church Street with his older brother Frank Edward and his step-sister Dorothy (from his mother’s first marriage). By 1911 the family had moved to 1 School Place and the census lists him as being a tailor’s apprentice aged 13. We don’t know when Horace enlisted but 2/4th Battalion Territorial Force in which he served was formed in Oxford in September 1914. The battalion moved to Northampton, Chelmsford and Salisbury Plain before being mobilised for war on 26 May 1916.

 

Horace’s brother Frank also enlisted from his home in 49a Church Street on 17 September 1914, by which time he had become a compositor. He served in the 4th (Reserve) Battalion, OBLI (service no. 10645) which formed part of the home defence force, but was discharged as no longer physically fit for service on 8 September 1916. He suffered from a condition that the army doctor described as having ‘originated 2 years ago and has gradually increased’ and his character was described as ‘very good’. Frank married Violet Lily Stroud in 1917 and they had two children. He continued in the printing trade, listed as being a printing machine minder on the England and Wales General register in 1939, and was still living in New Hinksey with his family at 16 Newton Road.

 

Horace’s mother received £33 11s 4d pension and war gratuity for her son in September 1919.
 

Shaw, Edward J.

Sergeant, Service no. 260073, 1st/5th Bn. Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment) formerly OBLI

On 9 November 1918, the Oxford Times published details of Edward’s death, noting that he had died on active service on 28 October in Rouen Hospital of pneumonia while serving in the Sherwood Foresters. He was the eldest son of Ernest and Annie Maria Shaw of 28 Norreys Avenue who were living with their three youngest children Cyril Arthur, Harold John and Edith Constance in 1911. The family had moved to Oxford from the Birmingham area and Edward Snr worked as a wood machinist or sawyer.

On 16 November, the Oxford Times included an obituary of Edward Jr in their Local Roll of Honour. He was educated at the Wesleyan Higher Grade School in New Inn Hall Street, Oxford. He then served an apprenticeship with Vincent’s Printers, High Street, Oxford before joining Mowbray’s in St Aldate’s. Edward enlisted in June 1915 and joined the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry. Three months later he married Ethel Maud Louise Blencowe, a tailoress whose family lived nearby in Cowley. They moved to 106 Percy Street and their only son, Gordon Edward Thomas, was born on 27 November 1916.

Edward was shipped to France but after a few weeks in France he was invalided home in August 1917. He returned to France in March 1918 and was ‘anticipating a furlough daily when stricken down’ with pneumonia. He died on 28 October in Rouen Hospital and was buried in St Sever Cemetery in Rouen, Northern France.

Ethel remained a widow in the family home in Percy Street until her death in 1975 aged 75.

Soundy, Frederick R.

Private, service no. 18333, 5th Battalion OBLI

Frederick was taken prisoner at St Quentin 22 March 1918 and died, aged 25, on 21 September 1918; he was buried in the Niederzwehren Cemetery, Kassel, in Hessen, Germany.

 

Frederick came from a large family, the second youngest of 11 children with three brothers and seven sisters. The Soundy family had lived in Oxford for generations. His father, Henry Thomas, was in the army when he married Frederick’s mother Sarah in 1872 in the church of St John the Evangelist and all their 11 children were baptised in the same church.

When Henry left the army in 1874 he started a cleaning business, as his father had done before him, and his wife Sarah worked as a laundress as well as raising their growing family. By 1911, Frederick was one of only four children left at home at 6 Church Lane – his sisters working as laundry maids, his younger brother Ernest a carpenter’s labourer and Frederick now a printer’s labourer.

 

When war broke out in 1914, Frederick’s oldest brother Thomas Henry had already married and had set up home in 24 Lake Street with his wife. On 19 June 1916 Thomas, aged 41, enlisted in the Army Service Corps – Mechanical Transport (M/427333) and served in England throughout the war with a tour of service in Dublin in 1918. He lived at 9 Lake Street until his death in 1959 aged 83.

 

John Edward Soundy had also married in 1909 and was living with his wife Margaret in 54 Church Street. He enlisted in Oxford and served as a Sapper in the 273rd Railway Construction Company of the Royal Engineers (WR/295440). He died of pneumonia in Salonika 5 October 1918, aged 33, just two weeks after Frederick. He was buried in the Bralo British Cemetery, Greece and is remembered on the Cowley St John War Memorial as well as the St John the Evangelist war memorial, with his brother, where his mother still lived.

 

His younger brother Ernest did not serve but remained in the area and was living at 60 Lake Street and working as a ‘Superintendent of the Blind’ in 1939.

 

The Army Registers of Soldiers' Effects, 1901-1929, shows the payments made by the Army to bereaved families; for young unmarried men this was usually one or both parents. It is interesting that Frederick, coming from such a large family, had provided a list of all his brothers and sisters as well as his mother, all of whom received £4 3s 8d.

His mother asked for his epitaph to be ‘PEACE PERFECT PEACE’.

Speaks, William J.

Private, service no. 201132, 1st/4th Battalion, OBLI

Private William John Speaks, aged 34, was killed in action on 26 August 1916 and his name appears on the Thiepval Memorial which commemorates more than 72,000 men of British and South African forces who have no known grave, the majority of whom died during the Somme offensive of 1916. William joined the Territorial Force Battalion, which was formed in Oxford in August 1914, and his battalion landed in Boulogne in March 1915. In August 1916 his battalion was engaged near Ovillers-la-Boisselle in the Somme area and experienced heavy and sustained fire. William was one of the 195 men lost between 12 and 26 August.

 

William’s parents John and Kate were born in South Hinksey, but moved to 27 Lake Street when John got a job as a labourer at the gas works. William was born in New Hinksey and baptised in the Church of St John the Evangelist. His father died in 1888 when William was only six years old and so William and his one brother, John, and three sisters, Elizabeth, Annie and Mary, were raised in 12 Gordon Street, by their mother Kate who supported the family by working as a washerwoman.  

 

In 1909, William married Edna Kate Bridges, who was born and raised in Kingham near Chipping Norton, but who had been working as a servant in Foots Cray in Kent. William worked as a brewer’s labourer and in 1911 the family were living at 25 Church Street. They had two daughters, Edna Kate and Winifred Margaret, and a son, William George. When Edna was widowed her children were aged just six, four and two years of age.

 

In 1920, Edna married William George Honey, who grew up in his uncle’s (Thomas Barnes) home at 23 Church Street, next door to the Speaks family home. William Honey had also served in the 1st/4th Battalion, OBLI (service no. 13502). They went on to have three children, Frederick, Mollie and Morris and were still living at 23 Church Street in 1939. Edna died in 1966 aged 85.

Webb, Frederick John

Private, no. 200459/2290, 5th Bttn, OBLI

Frederick Johh Webb, private in the 5th battalion of the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, was killed in action on 3 May 1917 at the age of 19 and is commemorated on the memorial at Arras.

Frederick joined the army (1/4th battalion of the OBLI) at the outbreak of war. The 1/4th battalion had gone to France in March 1915. Frederick was invalided home having been wounded in April 1916, presumably in the operations leading up to the Somme offensive. When he rejoined the army he was posted to the 5th (service) battalion of the same regiment though we don’t know at what date. The 5th battalion had been in France since May 1915 and took part in the battle of the Somme in July and August 1916. On 3 May 1917 12 officers and 523 Non-Commissioned Officers and men of the 5th battalion went into action, of whom eight officers and 291 NCOs and men were killed. This was part of the Arras Offensive, trying to push the Germans back to the Hindenberg Line.

Frederick (apparently known later as John) was born in 1898, the youngest of the the eight surviving children of Charles Webb (1846-1919), a railway labourer, and his wife Mary Ann, née Wiggins (1848-1919) (they married in 1868 at South Hinksey and had twelve children in all). Frederick John went to New Hinksey School, and was employed by North and Co. mineral water manufacturers in Cobden Crescent. He was a member of the Hinksey Church Lads Brigade, and was a Boy Scout under Scoutmaster Collins.

The Webb parents had moved to Oxford from Gloucestershire and had spent their early married life in Lake Street. By 1881 they had moved to Kennington where most of their children were born. By 1901 the two eldest daughters had left home and they had living with them three working children: Richard, like his father a railway labourer, Florence, a laundress, Ernest, a ploughboy, and three younger chidren, the youngest of whom was Frederick. By 1911, the family had moved back to New Hinksey and were living at in a five-roomed house at 19 Church Street, the household consisting of  the Webb parents, Charles now aged 65 still working as a railway labourer, and the three youngest children: Kathleen, a hand in a clothing factory, Clifford, a baker’s errand boy, and the 13-year-old (Frederick) John, a grocer’s errand boy. In the same street lived an elder brother, Richard, married and with a 2 year-old-son. Another brother, Ernest Frank, married Florence Launchbury in 1911 and  served as a sergeant in the territorial 306th Brigade of the in the Royal Field Artillery.

Wharton, Frederick W.

Private, 30th Bt, London Regiment

Private Frederick W. Wharton of the 30 th battalion London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers) died 14
November 1918, aged 28, and is buried in South Hinksey churchyard. He was the son of Mrs
Wharton of 21 Church Street. Despite the Commonwealth War Graves Commission describing
Frederick as the son of Mrs Wharton his father was almost certainly still alive and living with his
mother.


The London Regiment was made up of territorial battalions. The 30th London battalion was a home
service battalion ‘of low category men, many of whom had been overseas and disabled’. They did
work such as guarding railway lines. It seems unlikely that Reginald was amongst the members of
the battalion chosen for a volunteer battalion to go to Russia in June 1918, but rather that he died of
influenza without going abroad.* Rather mystifyingly the Absent Voters’ List of 1918 says that
rifleman Frederick William Wharton of 268 Marlborough Road, Grandpont was serving in the 25th
Rifle Brigade at Falmouth. This was a reserve garrison battalion formed in August 1916 and based in
Falmouth for the rest of the war.


He was born in 1889, one of 11 children born to Henry Wharton (1853-?1936) and his wife Sarah
(1857-1936) (née Day). Henry was born in Kennington and his wife Sarah in Wootton, Berks; they
married in 1878 and, by 1911, 8 of their 11 children were still living. From at least 1887 they were
living at 21 Church Street, New Hinksey and Henry worked at the gas works, latterly as a gatekeeper.


The only one of Frederick’s four brothers who seems to have served in the armed forces was Joseph,
five years younger than Frederick, who may have been in the Gloucestershire Regiment. Several
members of the family remained in the parish: Frederick’s elder sister Rose married a gas fitter
called Roderick William Reed and moved to 3 Church Lane by 1911: they were still there in 1939. His
brother Harry, a railway porter, lived in Green Place into the 1920s. His sister Maggie married James
Cummings in 1919 and in 1939 they were living in Peel Place with her brother Edward.

* H.C. O'Neill, The Royal Fusiliers in the Great War. London: William Heinemann, 1922, pp. 4, 23.

Williams, George H.

Private 2nd/4th Battalion OBLI, service number 267483/20505

George Henry Williams, private in the 2nd/4 battalion of the Oxford and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, died of wounds at the no.51 Casualty Clearing Station on 28 April 1918, and was buried in the Aire Communal cemetery. He is also commemorated on the Oxford Post office war memorial and was awarded a Victory Medal.

We don’t know when George enlisted in the 2/4th Battalion Territorial Force of the Oxford and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry. The Battalion was in France from May 1916. On 8 April 1918 Captain W.H. Moberly wrote that ‘the Battalion is completely smashed up’, after the heavy shelling of Languevoisin. The battalion regrouped and received drafts of some 700 soldiers from elsewhere. Having taken up a defensive position along the line of the Noe River, heavy fighting took place from 13 to 24 April. The battalion moved to billets and returned to the front on 28 April when two men were wounded.[i] We do not know in which of these engagements George received the wounds from which he was to die.

The 24-year-old postman (he was born 4 April 1880) married 23-year-old Florence Amy Johnson at St Clements church in 1904, he was then living with his parents in Grandpont. In 1911 George, Florence and their son Cyril were living in Argyle Street in Cowley with a boarder. The family moved to 24 Norreys Avenue some time before 1914. By 1939 Florence was still living in Norreys Avenue when her occupation was given as lodging house keeper (though there appeared not to be anyone else in residence then).

George was the fourth son of Tom Charles Williams (1841-1917) and Anne Belona Williams née Bailey (1842-1918), both of them born in Oxford and married in 1862. They had 14 children, ten of whom were alive in 1911. The couple lived in St Aldate’s for much of their married life, moving to Grandpont some time before 1900. By 1911 their household consisted of the couple, two of their children and a boarder who was probably Anne’s brother.

The eldest sons were too old to serve in the war but in October 1916 the Oxford Journal Illustrated printed photographs of Tom, and six of his sons (Pte John or Joseph Williams, Hussars; Pte George Williams, OBLI; Pte Mark Williams, OBLI, Reserve; Corporal Albert Williams, 1/4th battallion OBLI; Pte Tom Williams, OBLI, Reserve; and Trooper Frederick Williams, QOOH) , two grandsons (Pte Albert Chapman, OBLI and Pte Frank Chapman, RGA)  and one son-in-law (Trooper L Southorn, QOOH), all serving in the forces.

George was not the family’s only casualty. His brother Mark, who was at some point transferred from the OBLI reserve to the 21st battalion of the Rifle Brigade, died in India of influenza on 12 November 1918. Their older brother Thomas’s 30-year-old son-in-law, a tailor, Oswald Barefoot, died on 13 November 1918 and was buried at the St Sever cemetery extension at Rouen. Oswald had served as a private in the Mechanical Transport Company, Army Service Corps and was then attached to the 94th Siege Battery, Ammunition Col., Royal Garrison Artillery. While George’s other relatives survived the war but not all of them were intact. His brother Frederick was wounded in April 1917 and sent home, but was back serving with the 2/4th battalion of the OBLI in March 1918. Albert Chapman, son of George’s sister Mary Anne Sarah and her husband Frank Chapman, was in 1939 living with his parents and described as ‘mentally afflicted’.

George’s parents died in 1917 and 1918, but his brothers and sisters remained mainly in Cowley and Grandpont.

 

[i] From https://www.scribd.com/doc/169505564/2-4obli-1917-1918-chronicle-lightbobs#fullscreen&from_embed accessed 16 May 2018

Woodley, Arthur F.

Private 1/4 Battalion Oxf & Bucks Light Infantry, service no. 201415.

In 1911 brothers Frederick Arthur Woodley and William John Woodley were living in St Ebbes. In about 1915 the family moved to New Hinksey at 44 Church Street,  and in 1919 they were living at 236 Marlborough Road. Both men appear on both St John’s and St Matthew’s memorials. For more information go to:

http://www.southoxford.org/local-history-in-south-oxford/66-men-of-grandpont-1914-18/frederick-woodley

Woodley, William J.

Private, service no. 202332, 1/4 Battalion of the Oxf & Bucks Light Infantry

In 1911 brothers Frederick Arthur Woodley and William John Woodley were living in St Ebbes. In about 1915 the family moved to New Hinksey at 44 Church Street,  and in 1919 they were living at 236 Marlborough Road. Both men appear on both St John’s and St Matthew’s memorials. For more information go to:

http://www.southoxford.org/local-history-in-south-oxford/66-men-of-grandpont-1914-18/william-woodley

Please reload