First World War in Headington and Marston, Oxford

Ernest Wooltorton SHRIMPTON (1885–1918)

Some of this information is repeated under the entry for Ernest’s brother Richard Shrimpton, who also died in the war

Ernest Wooltorton Shrimpton was born in Beckley in 1885, the son of John Shrimpton (born in Great Haseley in 1857 and baptised there on 22 March) and Louisa Mary Tirrell (born in Woodeaton in 1857 and baptised at Holy Rood Church there on 26 July).

His parents were married at Merton Church on 30 April 1879 (apparently in haste) and they had fifteen children over the next nineteen years (of whom ten were still alive in 1911). These included:

  • Christina Mary Shrimpton (born at Stonehouse Farm, Bletchingdon in 1879 and baptised at St Giles Church there on 16 November)
  • John Arthur Shrimpton (born at Stonehouse Farm, Bletchingdon in 1880 and baptised at St Giles Church there on 24 October)
  • Frank Shrimpton (born in Beckley in 1882 and baptised there on 23 July)
  • Mabel Susanna Shrimpton (born in Beckley in 1883 and baptised there on 18 November)
  • Kathleen Louisa Shrimpton (born in Beckley in 1884 and baptised there on 12 October)
  • Ernest Wooltorton Shrimpton (born in Beckley in 1885 and baptised there on 25 October)
  • Thomas Alfred Shrimpton (born in Beckley in 1886 and baptised there on 24 October 1886);
    died aged 5 and buried at Beckley on 11 June 1891
  • Dorothy Helen Shrimpton (born in Beckley in 1888 and baptised there on 5 October 1888);
    died aged 7 in 1895
  • Alice Caroline Shrimpton (born in Beckley in 1889 and baptised there on 15 December)
  • Richard Tirrell Shrimpton (born in Beckley in 1891 and baptised there on 5 April)
  • Marian Shrimpton (born in Beckley in 1892 and baptised there on 15 May)
  • Alfred Shrimpton (born in Old Marston in 1893/4 and baptised at St Nicholas’s Church there on 12 January 1894)
  • Ethel Shrimpton (born at William Street, New Marston in 1896 and baptised at St Andrew’s Church, Old Headington on 26 October);
    died on the day she was baptised and buried in its churchyard straight afterwards
  • Hilda Shrimpton (born in New Marston in 1898 and baptised at St Andrew’s Church, Old Headington on 16 March);
    died on the day she was baptised and buried in its churchyard straight afterwards

Ernest did not live with his parents, who were then farmers in Beckley, for very long. By the time of the 1891 census Ernest (5) and his brother Thomas (4) were living with his widowed grandmother Mary Shrimpton (66), who was farming in Great Haseley with her unmarried children Frances (40) and Arthur (32). The next year Thomas died at the age of five, so Ernest was then the only child at the farm.

Ernest (15) was still in Great Haseley in 1901 but by this time his grandmother must have died, and his Uncle Arthur (42) had the farm, accompanied by a different unmarried sister, Margaret Shrimpton (42).

On 26 April 1907 a labourer named Ernest Shrimpton sailed on the Virginian to Montreal, and this may be the Ernest Shrimpton from New Marston, as he ended up in the USA.

At the time of the 1911 census Ernest (26) was in England, employed as a butler to a widowed Irish lady of independent means, Mrs Sarah Mary Ann Hammersley (84), and her unmarried daughter Florence (48) at The Grange in Ash, Surrey.

Ernest must have emigrated to the USA between 1911 and 1917.

His parents were living now living in New Marston, at the present 46 William Street.

PoppyAround the time of the First World War Ernest Shrimpton enlisted in the United States Naval Reserve Force in New York on 10 November 1917. He was a 2nd class seaman in the Third Naval District, New York

He died of respiratory disease (probably Spanish flu) at the age of 32 on 5 January 1918, and was presumably buried in New York.

Ernest Shrimpton is remembered on the New Marston War Memorial on the Marston Road, Oxford.

For more information about the life of Ernest’s parents in New Marston between 1891 and 1911,
see the page on his brother Richard, who died at the Somme seven months after Ernest’s death.


New Marston War Memorial

Ernest’s parents
  • Mrs Louisa Shrimpton died at 46 William Street, New Marston at the age of 82 and was buried at Headington Cemetery on 6 May 1940.
  • John Shrimpton (described as a retired tram driver) died at 46 William Street at the age of 84 just three months after his wife and was buried with her on 27 August 1940.
Some of Ernest’s siblings
  • Mabel Susanna Shrimpton (born 1883) never married. She died at the Cowley Road Hospital at the age of 57 and was buried at Headington Cemetery on 11 March 1941.
  • Richard Tirrell Shrimpton (born 1891) also died in the First World War: see separate page.
  • Marian Shrimpton (born 1892) never married. She was found drowned in the Thames near Nuneham at the age of 32 and was buried at Headington Cemetery on 12 November 1924.

Back to War Memorials page on Headington Community Website