Poppy

First World War in Headington and Marston, Oxford

Richard David MATTHEWS (1880–1919)

Richard David Matthews was born in 1 Tilehurst Cottages on the Marston Road on 5 February 1880. He was the son of Richard Francis Matthews (born in Marston in 1855 and baptised at St Nicholas’s Church on 3 March) and Clara Trinder (born in Headington in 1854 and baptised at St Clement's Church on 3 September).

In 1871 Richard’s father, Richard Matthews senior, was a 15-year-old agricultural labourer living with his parents on the Marston Road

Richard's parents were married at St Clement’s Church on 14 July 1878 and had twelve children. Their first child Ada appears to have been born nearly two years before their wedding, so it is unclear how she was able to be baptised with her father's surname:

  • Ada Annie Matthews (born at 1 Tilehurst Cottages in 1876 and baptised at St Clement’s Church on 31 December)
  • Clara Florence Matthews (born at 1 Tilehurst Cottages in 1878 and baptised at St Clement’s Church on 29 September)
  • Richard David Matthews (born at 1 Tilehurst Cottages on 5 February 1880 and baptised at St Clement’s Church on 27 June)
  • Emily Louisa Matthews (born at 1 Tilehurst Cottages in 1881 and baptised at St Nicholas’s Church, Old Marston on 27 November)
  • Henry William Matthews (born at 1 Tilehurst Cottages in c.1882 but not baptised at St Nicholas’s Church, Old Marston until 14 February 1886, along with his next brother)
  • Mark Ernest Matthews (born at 1 Tilehurst Cottages in 1886 and baptised at St Nicholas’s Church, Old Marston on 14 February)
  • Alice Victoria Matthews (born at 1 Tilehurst Cottages in 1887 and baptised at St Nicholas’s Church, Old Marston on 13 March);
    died aged 11 and buried at St Nicholas’s churchyard on 4 April 1898
  • Martha Annie Matthews (born at 1 Tilehurst Cottages on 30 November 1888 and baptised at St Nicholas’s Church, Old Marston on 3 March 1889)
  • George Herbert Matthews (born at 1 Tilehurst Cottages in 1890, reg. fourth quarter)
  • Jane Elizabeth Matthews (born at 1 Tilehurst Cottages in 1892, reg. second quarter)
  • Joseph William Matthews (born at 1 Tilehurst Cottages and baptised at St Nicholas’s Church, Old Marston on 4 March 1894)

At the time of the 1881 census Richard (15 months) was living at 1 Brick Kiln Cottages (also known as Tilehurst Cottages) on the east side of the Marston Road (which was then in the civil parish of Headington) with his father Richard (25), who was a gardener, his mother Clara (25), and his older siblings Ada (4) and Clara (2).

In 1891 Richard (11) was at school and still living at Tilehurst Cottages with his father Richard (37), his mother Clara (36), and his eight siblings Ada (14), Clara (12), Henry (9), Emily (7), Mark (5), Alice (4), Annie (2), and George (eight months). Two more children were born in 1892 and 1894.

Richard (21) is hard to find in the 1901 census. His parents were home in Tilehurst Cottages with three of his brothers: Mark (15), who was a farm boy, and George (10) and Joseph (5), who were at school.

By the time of the 1911 census Richard (31), who was working as a jobbing gardener, was back home with his parents on the Marston Road. Three of his four brothers were sill at home: Mark (25), who was a brickyard labourer; George (20), who was also a jobbing gardener; and Joseph (15) who was a cricket ground boy. Four of his sisters had already married and left home, and the fifth, Jane (19), was staying with her sister Mrs Harriet Webb.

Poppy In the First World War Richard David Matthews served as a Private in the 10th (Shropshire & Cheshire Yeomanry) Battalion of the King’s Shropshire Light Infantry (Service No. 31925). He died in Egypt at the age of 39 on 31 May 1919.

He is buried at the Cairo War Memorial Cemetery (P.29), and is remembered on the New Marston War Memorial on the Marston Road, Oxford.


Postscript

New Marston War Memorial

Richard’s parents
  • Richard Francis Matthews died at the age of 67 in 1921 (reg. Headington district)
  • Clara Matthews died at the age of 77 in 1931/2 (reg. Headington district)
Some of Richard’s siblings
  • Ada Annie Matthews (born 1876) married Frederick Charles Burborough (who himself was killed in the First World War and is also on the New Marston war memorial) in 1903. They had one child: Cyril Frederick Burborough (born 1904); his son was Francis Charles Burborough (born 1932); and Francis’s son was Peter Francis Burborough (born 1959).
  • Clara Florence Matthews (born 1878) was living at Taylor's Cottages, Marston when she married the carter William Henry Burborough of Wallingford at St Nicholas’s Church, Old Marston on 30 November 1912.
  • Emily Louisa Matthews (born 1881) married Harold William Webb, a labourer of New High Street, Headington at St Nicholas's Church, Old Marston on 14 May 1910. They had three children whose births were registered in the Headington district: Francis G. Webb (1913) and twins Phyllis N. Webb and Sydney C. Webb (1918).
  • Martha Annie Matthews (born 1888) was living at Tilehurst Cottages when she married the soldier Bernard Haynes at St Nicholas's Church, Old Marston on 4 September 1915. They lived in Ferry Road and their son John George Haynes was born on 3 July 1920 and baptised at St Nicholas’s Church on 5 September.

Back to War Memorials page on Headington Community Website