First World War in Headington and Marston, Oxford

Frederick Charles BURBOROUGH (1879–1915)

Frederick Charles Burborough was born in Wolvercote in 1879, the son of John Burborough (born in Iffley in 1847 and baptised there on 14 February) and his second wife Sarah Brooks (born in Longworth in 1841).

Frederick’s father married his first wife, Anne Sarah Snow, in haste at St Clement’s Church on 9 March 1873. They were both living in St Clement’s before their marriage. They had two daughters, who were Frederick’s half-sisters:

  • Maria Lydia Annie Sarah Burborough, variously known as Mary or Annie (born at the Marston Road, Oxford in 1873 and baptised at St Clement’s Church on 3 August)
  • Ivo [sic] Ada Jessie Theresa Burborough, known as Ada (born at Cherwell Cottages in 1875 and privately baptised by St Clement’s Church on 13 September).

Frederick's father appears to have lived at the north end of the Marston Road in St Clement's parish. with his first wife. Anne Burborough died in St Clement’s in 1875 at the age of 30 and was buried at Holy Trinity Church, Headington Quarry on 27 September.

Just over a year later, in the fourth quarter of 1876 in Oxford, John Burborough married his second wife, Sarah Brooks. They had five sons, two of whom died in infancy:

  • George John Burborough (born in Wolvercote in 1877 and privately baptised at St Peter’s Church there on 4 September),
    buried in its churchyard on 10 September 1877
  • Frederick Charles Burborough (born in Wolvercote on 4 April 1879, and baptised at St Peter’s Church there on 27 August 1880)
  • John Burborough (born in Wolvercote on 26 September 1880 and baptised there on 16 October)
  • William James Burborough (born at Hayfield's Hut on 5 November 1883 and baptised at Ss Philip & James's Church on 31 January 1884; died in 1884)
  • Thomas Albert Burborough (known as Albert, born in St Thomas, Oxford in 1884/5).

At the time of the 1881 census Frederick (six months) was living at Wolvercote with his father John (34), who was a general labourer, his mother Sarah (recorded as 33, but in fact about 40), who was a rag cutter at the paper mill, and his stepsisters [Maria] Annie (7) and Ada (5) and full brothers Frederick (2) and John (six months).

By 1883 the family had moved to Hayfield Road in north Oxford. At the time of the 1891 census Frederick (12), who was still at school, was living at 61 Hayfield Road with his father John (37), who was a farmer's labourer, his mother Sarah (49), his sister Mary (18), who was employed as a general servant, and his brother Thomas (6). His brother John (10) was at a school for crippled boys in London, named as George John.

By the time of the 1901 census Frederick (21) was a pig dealer’s labourer, and was living with the said pig dealer, Anthony Harris, at 73 Hayfield Road. Meanwhile his father, now a butcher’s labourer, was living at 23 Wellington Street in Jericho, Oxford with his wife and his two youngest sons: John (20) did not work and Thomas (16) was a road labourer.

On 17 October 1903 at St Barnabas's Church, Oxford, Frederick Charles Burborough (24), described as a gardener, married Ada Annie Matthews (born in Marston in 1876, the sister of Richard Matthews of New Marston, who also died in the First World War): she was then living in Margaret Road in north Oxford. They had one child:

  • Cyril Frederick Burborough (born in St Thomas’s, Oxford, probably in Jericho, in 1904, reg. third quarter).

Frederick’s mother Sarah Burborough died in Oxford at the age of 63 in 1904.

At the time of the 1911 census Frederick Burborough was working as a builder’s merchant’s labourer, living with his wife and their six-year-old son as well as his brother Albert at 44 Wellington Street in Jericho. His widower father John Burborough was also living in Jericho (at 1 Nelson Street) with his crippled son John and was now working as a jobbing cattle drover.

Frederick’s father John Burborough died in the Headington registration district in the first quarter of 1914: his age was given as 69, but he was in fact 67.

Frederick’s address was given as Tilehurst in Berkshire at time he enlisted, which suggests that he may have become a soldier before the outbreak of war. His wife Ada Annie Burborough was born in Marston, and it seems likely that she stayed with her family there during the war.

Poppy In the First World War Frederick Charles Burborough served as a Lance Corporal in the 5th Battalion of the Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry (Service No. 17854). He was killed in action at Ypres in Belgium at the age of 36 on 25 September 1915.

F. C. Burborough


He has no known grave, but is remembered on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 37 and 39). The photograph of his name on that memorial (left) was kindly supplied by British War Graves


He is also remembered on the New Marston War Memorial on the Marston Road, Oxford.


New Marston War Memorial

Frederick’s son
  • Cyril Frederick Burborough (born 1904) married Queenie A. Cooper in the Headington registration district in the second quarter of 1930.
Frederick’s grandson
  • Francis Charles Burborough (born 1932, reg. Thame district in 1932) was the son of Cyril  Frederick Burborough. He married Ida R. Harding in the second quarter of 1957 in the Amersham district, and their son Peter Francis Burborough (the great-grandson of Frederick) was born in 1959 (reg. Banbury district). Francis died in 1998 in the West Oxfordshire registration district.

Back to War Memorials page on Headington Community Website