Poppy

First World War in Headington and Marston, Oxford

William John PLUMRIDGE (1889–1915)

Plumridge

William John Plumridge was born in Oxford in 1889, the son of Harry Plumridge (born in St Thomas’s, Oxford in 1865/6) and Annie Ada Holliday (born at the Cowley Road, Oxford in 1868 and baptised Cowley St James Church on 26 May).

His parents were married in the Headington Registration District in the fourth quarter of 1888 and had three children:

  • William John Plumridge (born in St Clement’s, Oxford near the end of 1889)
  • Ada Annie Plumridge (born in Headington in 1892, reg. fourth quarter)
  • Lilian Grace Plumridge (born in St Ebbe’s, Oxford in 1903, reg. second quarter).

At the time of the 1891 census William (1) was living at Gordon Cottages, New Marston (probably William Street) with his father Harry (25), who was a bricklayer’s labourer, and his mother Annie (23).

In 1901 William (11) was at school and living in William Street, New Marston with his father Harry (34), who was now described as a general labourer, his mother Annie (33), and his sister Ada (9). Also living with them was William’s grandfather, John Plumridge, a widower of 72 still working at home as a boot & shoe maker.

At the time of the 1911 census William (21) was an actor in a theatre and boarding at St George's restaurant, 176A High Street, Cheltenham. Meanwhile his parents were still living at William Street, probably at “South View” (the present No. 49), the address given in his army records, with his sisters Ada (18) and Lilian (8).

Grave of William Plumridge

 

Poppy William John Plumridge volunteered to serve in the First World War, enlisting in Liverpool. He was a Bombardier in the “D” Battery of the 84th Brigade of the Royal Field Artillery (Service No. 24311).

He died at the Somme in France at the age of 26 on 31 December 1915 when a German fuse he was examining exploded.

He is buried in the Corbie Communal Cemetery (Plot I, Row C, Grave 12), and is remembered on the New Marston War Memorial on the Marston Road, Oxford.

 

Left: Photograph of William John Plumridge’s grave in Corbie, France, kindly supplied by British War Graves. The text reads:

 

24311 BOMBARDIER
W. J. PLUMRIDGE
ROYAL FIELD ARTILLERY
31ST DECEMBER 1915


[Emblem of Royal Field Artillery
with “UBIQUE QUO FAS ET
GLORIA DUCUNT” motto]

FOR EVER WITH THE [?LORD]

This is one of the 40% of war graves that bears a personal message at the end (for which the family had to pay 3½d per letter).


Postscript

New Marston War Memorial

William’s parents
  • Mrs Annie Ada Plumridge died at the age of 64 in 1932/3 (reg. Oxford district of 1933).
  • Harry Plumridge died in Oxford at the age of 84 in 1950/1.

See also
  • CWGC: Plumridge, William John
  • Oxford Chronicle, 7 January 1916, p. 8: Local Roll of Honour: W. J. Plumridge
  • Oxford Journal Illustrated, 12 January 1916, “Heroes of the War”: photograph of W. J. Plumridge, who had just been killed (shown above with kind permission of Oxfordshire County Council, Oxfordshire History Centre)
  • Wikipedia: Royal Field Artillery

Back to New Marston War Memorial

Back to War Memorials page on Headington Community Website