First World War in Headington and Marston, Oxford

William Henry BATEMAN (1891–1915)

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

William Bateman

William Henry Bateman was born in Headington in 1891, 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).

William'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).

William’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. They were still in Old High Street at the next census in 1891, now with their first seven children. William was born in 1891, after the census.

113 London Road


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


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

Westbourne Terrace in 1916

By 1911 William (20) had himself already left home to join the army: he was in the new barracks of the 1st Battalion of the King’s Royal Rifle Corps at Gosport, Hampshire. His parents were still living in Westbourne Terrace with 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 eldest sister Flora

A few years after the census William’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 William Henry Bateman served as a Rifleman in the 3rd Battalion of the King’s Royal Rifle Corps (Service No. 9279). He was killed in action in Belgium at the age of 23 on 6 March 1915.

William Henry Bateman

He has no known grave, but is remembered on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panels 51 and 53). The photograph of his name on that memorial (right) was kindly supplied by British War Graves

William Henry Bateman is also remembered on the roll of honour of All Saints’ Church.

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


William’s older brother Frank Bateman had already died in the First World War, just four months earlier on 1 November 1914 ; 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: William’s father, Walter Bateman. The caption wrongly states he had four sons serving: there were in fact five.


All Saints' board

William’s parents

They 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 and was buried with his wife on 6 May 1940.
William’s siblings
  • Herbert Walter Bateman (born 1882) worked as a mental nurse. He died at the London Road Hospital (the former workhouse) 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.
  • Frank Bateman (born 1885) also died in the First World War: see separate page.
  • 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).
  • 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, William Henry (confirmed by FindMyPast as having been born in Headington and enlisted in Oxford)
  • Oxford Journal Illustrated, 31 March 1915, p. 4, “Heroes of the War: Images of Local Causalities: W. Bateman” (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: The King’s Royal Rifle Corps

Back to All Saints’ Church, Highfield roll of honour

Back to War Memorials page on Headington Community Website