First World War in Headington and Marston, Oxford

Frank BATEMAN (1885–1914)

Some of this information is repeated under the entry for Frank Bateman’s brother William Bateman, who also died in the war

Frank Bateman

Frank Bateman was born in Headington on 8 November 1885, the son of the son of Walter Bateman (born in Headington in 1852) and Mary Adams (born in Great Haseley in 1854 and baptised there on 21 May).

Frank's father was described as being of Headington and his mother of Rycote when they were married at Great Haseley on 17 November 1879. They had ten children:

  • Flora Lillie Bateman, known as Lillie (born in Headington in 1880 and baptised at Great Haseley on 7 March)
  • Edward Hugh Bateman (born in Headington in 1881 and baptised at Great Haseley on 4 December)
  • Herbert Walter Bateman (born in Headington near the end of 1882 and baptised at Great Haseley on 4 February 1883)
  • Margaret Annie Bateman (born in Headington in 1884 and baptised at Great Haseley on 7 September)
  • Frank Bateman (born in Headington on 8 November 1885 and baptised in Great Haseley on 14 February 1886)
  • Amelia Bateman (born in Headington in 1887 and baptised at Great Haseley on 11 December)
  • Elizabeth Mary Bateman (born in Headington in 1889 and baptised at Great Haseley on 11 August);
    died age 11 and buried at Headington Cemetery on 13 April 1901
  • William Henry Bateman (born in Headington in 1891 and baptised at Great Haseley on 11 October)
  • Aubrey John Bateman (born in Headington in 1893 and baptised at Great Haseley on 12 November)
  • Alice Maud Bateman, known as Maud (born in Headington in 1897 and baptised at Great Haseley on 12 September).

Frank’s parents were living in Old High Street with their first child, Flora Lillie, at the time of the 1881 census, and his father was described as a carpenter & mason.

Frank Bateman himself was born in 1885.

At the time of the 1891 census Frank (5) was at school (almost certainly Old Headington Infant School) and living in in Old High Street with his father Walter (38), who was described as a carpenter; his mother Mary (37); and his siblings Lillie (14), Edward (9), Herbert (8), Margaret (6), Amelia (3), and Elizabeth (1).

Frank would have moved on to Headington National School (now St Andrew’s) at the age of 7, and he won a prize for attendance there in August 1894. In that year the new school (below) was opened, and he would have moved there from the old 1847 buildings behind.

Headington National School

By 1901 Frank (15) was a printer, living at 8 Westbourne Terrace (below), now the Headington Food 'n' Wine shop at 121 London Road, with his father Walter (48), who was still working as a carpenter, and his mother Mary (48), who was now working at home as a laundress, and his four younger siblings Elizabeth (11), William (9), Aubrey (6), and Alice (3). Frank's brother Edward (19) was in the Royal Horse Artillery barracks and Margaret (16) was a general servant in student lodgings at Longwall House, Oxford.

113 London Road


In 1911 Frank (26) was still working as a printer and living at Westbourne Terrace his parents and three of his siblings: Frank (26), who was a printer; Aubrey (18), who was a labourer; and Maud (14), who was a domestic servant. His parents were also looking after two other children: Fred Thatcher (7) and Ethel Thatcher (5). His brother William (20) was away in the army.


Below: Westbourne Terrace in about 1916, when the present shops were still houses with front gardens

Westbourne Terrace in 1916

Shortly after the census, Frank’s parents moved to the present 37 Lime Walk in Highfield parish (the house then called “Elenville” and numbered 21).

Poppy In the First World War Frank Bateman volunteered to serve and joined the Royal Navy as an Able Seaman (Service No. SS /184, Portsmouth/R.F.R.B. 2845). He died on 1 November 1914 at the age of 29 when his ship the HMS Good Hope was sunk by the German armoured cruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau under Admiral Graf Maximilian von Spee, with the loss of her entire complement of 900 hands, in the Battle of Coronel off the Chilean coast.

Frank’s body was not recovered from the sea for burial, but he is remembered on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial as well as on the roll of honour of All Saints’ Church.

Frank Bateman was Headington’s third casualty (jointly with Joseph Rushton, who died in the same naval battle on the HMS Monmouth). Charles Hartwell of New Marston died on the same ship as Frank Bateman.

The five Bateman brothers
The caption to the above photograph reads:

Above are portraits of members of five patriotic families serving their country….
(Fourth row), the five sons of Mr. Walter Bateman, New Headington (whose photo appears on another page), left to right, Tpr. Herbert Bateman, Canadian Mounted Rifles; Gunner Edward Bateman, R.H.A., killed; A.B. Frank Bateman, H.M.S. Good Hope, killed; Rifleman W. Bateman, 3rd Battalion K.R.R., killed; and Pte. Aubrey Bateman, A.S.C.

Walter Bateman


Frank’s younger brother William also died in the First World War, four months later on 6 March 1915; but despite the caption in the newspaper to the portrait of the five brothers, there is no evidence in the CWGC database that his brother Edward Bateman also died in the war.

Left: Frank’s father, Walter Bateman. The caption wrongly states he had four sons serving: there were in fact five.



All Saints' board

Frank’s parents

Walter & Mary Bateman remained at “Elenville” (the present 37 Lime Walk) until 1925. By 1939 they were living at 32 New High Street (the home of Robert Tombs, who may have been a son-in-law).

  • Mary Bateman died at the age of 84: she was buried at Headington Cemetery on 30 March 1939.
  • Walter Bateman died the next year at the age of 87 in the London Road Hospital (the former workhouse) and was buried with his wife on 6 May 1940.
Frank’s siblings
  • Herbert Walter Bateman (born 1882) worked as a mental nurse. He died at the London Road Hospital and was buried at Headington Cemetery on 2 January 1939.
  • Margaret Annie Bateman (born 1884) married Arthur Ponsonby Thorp Carter, a Suffolk builder, at St Andrew’s Church on 25 March 1915.
  • Amelia Bateman (born 1887) married Ernest T. Elford in the Headington registration district (probably at All Saints’ Church) in the third quarter of 1922. They had two daughters: Patricia M. Elford (reg. Headington district second quarter of 1929) and Valerie I. Elford (reg. Reading district first quarter of 1942).
  • William Henry Bateman (born 1891) also died in the First World War: see separate page.
  • Aubrey John Bateman (born 1893) is probably the Aubrey J. Bateman who married Emily E. Kent in the Blything registration district in the second quarter of 1925.

See also
  • CWGC: Bateman, Frank (their home Elenville wrongly recorded as Klenville)
  • Oxford Journal Illustrated, 2 December 1914 , “Heroes of the War”: photograph of Frank Bateman of HMS Good Hope in his naval uniform, published a month after his death (shown above with kind permission of Oxfordshire County Council, Oxfordshire History Centre)
  • Oxford Journal Illustrated, 17 November 1915, p. 7: Photograph showing the four serving sons of Mr Walter Bateman which includes Frank and William, who had already been killed. Their father Walter is shown on p. 12 of the newspaper.
  • Wikipedia: HMS Good Hope

Back to All Saints’ Church, Highfield roll of honour

Back to War Memorials page on Headington Community Website