Poppy

First World War in Headington and Marston, Oxford

Richard Tirrell SHRIMPTON (1891–1918)

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

Richard Tirrell 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 at Grove Farm, 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

The 1881 census shows Richard’s parents living at Grove Farm, Beckley with their first two children. His father John (24) was a farmer of 155 acres employing four men and one boy, and the family also had an indoor servant; his mother too was a farmer’s daughter.

Richard Tirrell Shrimpton was born in early 1891.

At the time of the 1891 census Richard (two months) was living at Grove Farm with his father John Shrimpton (34), who was the farmer there, his mother Louisa (33), and his siblings John (10), Frank (9), Mabel (7), Kathleen (6), Dorothy (2), and Alice (1). The family had a 16-year-old servant girl. Two of his brothers, Ernest (5) and Thomas (4) were missing: they had been sent to live permanently with their grandmother, Mary Shrimpton, and their unmarried uncle Arthur Shrimpton, who farmed together in Great Haseley.

By 1893 Richard’s father had moved his family to Old Marston, where he continued to farm. But by 1897, when they moved to New Marston, the family appear to have come down in the world, and his father started to work as a tram driver.

At the time of the 1901 census Richard (10), who was at school, was living at William Street, New Marston (probably No. 46, as this address is given later) with his father John (44), who was described as a bus driver, his mother Louisa (43), and his siblings Frank (18), who was a waiter, and Mabel (17), Alice (11), Marion (9), and Alfred (7).

Richard joined the Queen’s Own Oxfordshire Hussars when he was 18 in March 1909, but had left by 1911.

At the time of the 1911 census Richard (20) was an apprentice to a compositor at the Baxter Press in Oxford, and was living in William Street with his father John (53), who described himself as a bus driver for the Oxford Tram Company, his mother Louisa (52), and his siblings Frank (29), who was a servant at Corpus Christi College; Marion (19); and Alfred (17), who was an apprentice to a gentleman's outfitter.

Richard had joined the Composing Room of Oxford University Press by the time the war broke out.

Memorial to Hussars

 

Poppy In the First World War Richard Tirrell Shrimpton volunteered to serve in the Queen’s Own Oxfordshire Hussars (Service No. 285021). He mobilized as a Sergeant on 9 August 1914, serving in England to 20 September, and was in France from that date until 26 July 1915, when he was invalided home with appendicitis. He was in hospital until 4 October 1915, and then served in Ireland from 14 October 1915 to November 1916.

He then served in France, fighting in 1915 at the first Battle of Ypres, Loos, Arras; on 21 June 1917 at the Guillemont Farm raid; and on 28 November at Bourlon Wood. He was promoted to Squadron Sergeant Major in April 1918, and died at the Somme in France at the age of 27 on 9 August 1918.

 

Right: Memorial in the Town Hall, Oxford to the men of all ranks of the Queen’s Own Oxfordshire Hussars who died in the First World War

Richard Shrimpton’s grave

 

 

Richard Tirrell Shrimpton is buried in the Caix British Cemetery (I.AA.1) and is remembered on the New Marston War Memorial on the Marston Road, Oxford.

 

Left: Photograph of Richard Shrimpton’s grave in Caix, France, kindly supplied by British War Graves. The text reads:

[Emblem of Queen’s Own Oxfordshire Hussars,
with their name on the ribbon below]

285021 SQD SERJT. MAJOR
R. T. SHRIMPTON
Q. O. OXFORDSHIRE HUSSARS
9TH AUGUST 1918 AGE 27


LOST AWHILE
OUR TREASURED LOVE
[GAINED FOR EVER] SAFE ABOVE

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).

Richard’s older brother Ernest is also listed on the New Marston war memorial: he died on 5 January 1918 while serving in the US Navy.


Postscript

New Marston War Memorial

Richard’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 Richard’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.
  • Ernest Wooltorton Shrimpton (born 1885) 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