Poppy

First World War in Headington and Marston, Oxford

Francis James TAYLOR (1899–1918)

Francis James Taylor, known as Frank, was born in New Headington in 1899, the son of Thomas Arnold Soanes Taylor (born in Oxford in 1867/8) and Mary Jane Neville or Nevill (born in New Headington in 1870 and baptised at St Andrew’s Church on 4 December).

By the time of the 1881 census Frank’s father Thomas Taylor had already moved up from St Ebbe’s to New Headington village, where his future wife lived; he was already employed as a general labourer at the age of 13, his father was unemployed, and his mother was a laundress.

Francis's parents were married at St Andrew’s Church, Old Headington on 18 April 1893 and had seven children:

  • Hilda Mary Taylor (born in New Headington on 20 September 1894 and baptised at St Andrew’s Church on 21 October)
  • Thomas Arnold Neville Taylor (born in New Headington on 20 November 1895 and baptised at St Andrew’s Church on 22 December)
  • Winnifred Edna Taylor, known as Winnie (born in New Headington in 1897 and baptised at St Andrew’s Church on 1 August)
  • Francis James Taylor (born in New Headington on 29 August 1899 and baptised at St Andrew’s Church on 24 September)
  • Eveline Dorothy Taylor, known as Eva (born in New Headington on 18 May 1901 and baptised at St Andrew’s Church on 23 June)
  • Edward Albert Taylor (born in New Headington on 8 September 1906 and baptised at St Andrew’s Church on 4 November)
  • Violet Ruby Taylor (born iat 21 Windsor Street, New Headington on 21 September 1909 and baptised at St Andrew’s Church on 7 November).

At the time of the 1901 census Frank (1) was living at New High Street (probably No. 31) with his father Thomas (33), who was a self-employed house painter, his mother Mary (30), and his siblings Hilda (6), Thomas (5), and Winnie (3).

In July 1908 Frank’s father bought the shop at 21 Windsor Street for £180. For some reason he sold it the next year Mrs Sarah Jane Carter, although he remained there as a tenant until about 1910, and Frank’s sister Violet was born there.

By the time of the 1911 census Frank (11) was living at 28 New High Street with his father Thomas (43), who described himself as a home decorator and employer, his mother Mary (40) and his six siblings: Hilda (16), who was working as a day girl; Thomas (15), who was assisting in his father's business; Winnie (13), who was a mother's help; and Eva (8), Edward (4), and Violet (1).

Within a year, probably as Frank’s father’s painting and decorating business grew, the family moved to the present 4 Lime Walk (then numbered 10) in All Saints’ parish.

Poppy In the First World War Frank James Taylor served as a Private in the Middlesex Regiment, and was then posted to the 19th Battalion of the London Regiment (Service No. 44638). He died of wounds on 6 December 1918 at the age of 19.

He is buried at the Lille Southern Cemetery (I.C.3) and is listed on the roll of honour of All Saints’ Church, Highfield.


Postscript

All Saints' board

Frank’s parents
  • Mrs Mary Jane Taylor died at the age of 61 at the present 4 Lime Walk and was buried at Headington Cemetery on 24 February 1932.
  • Thomas Arnold Soanes Taylor was still living at the present 4 Lime Walk in 1947, when Kelly’s also lists “Thomas A. Taylor & Son painters” at the house.
Frank’s siblings
  • Hilda Mary Taylor (born 1894) had her illegitimate son Jack Taylor (born at Lime Walk around 1 October 1913) baptised at All Saints’ Church on 11 October 1913 when he was already dead or dying (he is marked as dead in the baptismal register); he was buried at Headington Cemetery three days later. She married Jack Marsh in the Headington registration district (probably at All Saints’ Church) in the third quarter of 1921.
  • Thomas Arnold Neville Taylor (born 1895) married Lilian R. Hawes in the Oxford registration district in the first quarter of 1921.
  • Winnifred Edna Taylor (born 1897) married Aubrey R. Taylor in the Headington registration district (probably at All Saints’ Church) in the second quarter of 1928.
  • Violet Ruby Taylor (born 1909) married Cyril Brown in the Oxford registration district in the fourth quarter of 1933.
  • Eveline Dorothy Taylor (born 1901) married Henry W. Hansford in the Headington registration district (probably at All Saints’ Church) in the third quarter of 1925.

Back to War Memorials page on Headington Community Website