Poppy

First World War in Headington and Marston, Oxford

Albert John DREWITT (1896–1917)

Some of this information is repeated under the entry for Albert’s brother Arthur Drewitt, who also died in the war

Albert Drewett

Albert John Drewitt was born in Marston in 1896, the youngest son of William Drewitt (born in Old Marston and baptised at St Nicholas’s Church on 18 June 1848) and Rosa Hewlett (born in Old Marston in 1856, reg. fourth quarter, and baptised at St Nicholas’s Church on 23 November 1856).

His parents were married at St Nicholas’s Church, Old Marston on 24 December 1877 as soon as Rosa Hewlett came of age, which was, two and a half years after the birth of their first child. They had seven children in all:

  • William Richard Hewlett, later Drewitt (born in Marston in1875 and baptised at St Nicholas’s Church on 6 June, described as the son of Rosa Hewlett, “single woman”)
  • Ellen Louisa Drewitt (born in Marston in 1878 and baptised at St Nicholas’s Church on 14 July)
  • Henry Thomas Drewitt (born in Marston in 1881 and baptised at St Nicholas’s Church on 1 May)
  • Arthur Drewitt (born in Marston in 1884 and baptised at St Nicholas’s Church on 27 July)
  • Mary Drewitt (born in Marston in 1886 and baptised at St Nicholas’s Church on 4 July)
  • [The Albert Drewitt who died aged six months and was buried at St Nicholas’s Church on 25 January 1894 may be the missing child]
  • Albert John Drewitt (born in Marston in 1896 and baptised at St Nicholas’s Church on 9 August).

Albert’s father was an agricultural labourer all his life. The 1881 census shows him living in Main Street, Marston with his wife and their first three children, and his sister-in-law Clara Hewlett.

Albert (4) was living in Old Marston at the time of the 1901 census with his father William (52), who was a carter, and his mother and his siblings William Hewlett (25), who was a bricklayer’s labourer; and Henry (20) and Arthur (16), who were carters on a farm; and Mary (15), who was a general servant. His sister Ellen (22) was already married.

At the time of the 1911 census, Albert (15) was working as a labourer on a farm and still living in Old Marston with his parents: his father (63) was still working as a farm labourer himself, while his mother (54) was running a grocer’s shop on her own account: she was still listed as a shopkeeper in Kelly’s Directory for 1915. Their house had only three rooms, including the kitchen, but as well as Albert and his unmarried brother Henry (30), who was a carter on a farm, his parents were looking after their daughter Ellen’s illegitimate daughter and had a lodger.

Grave of Drewitts’ parents

 

Poppy In the First World War Albert John Drewitt joined the army on 21 June 1916 and served as a Private in 2nd/4th Battalion of the Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry (Service No. 203867).

He was killed in action in Belgium at the age of 21 on 22 August 1917. He has no known grave, but is remembered on the Tyne Cot Memorial (Panel 96 to 98) and on Roll of Honour of St Nicholas’s Church, Old Marston.

Albert’s older brother Arthur was killed nine months earlier in the First World War, on 13 November 1916. William John Walton, who had married their sister Mary Drewitt in the third quarter of 1907, was also killed.

 

 

Left: The grave of Albert’s parents in St Nicholas’s churchyard, Old Marston also remembers their two sons who died in the First World War.

First Arthur is remembered, and then Albert (see detail below) with the words:

AND ALBERT JOHN YOUNGEST SON OF ABOVE
KILLED IN ACTION
AUG. 22ND. 1917 AGED 21 YRS.

Added text about Albert Drewitt


Postscript

Old Marston memorial

Albert’s parents

They are buried in St Nicholas’s churchyard in the grave shown above:

  • William Drewitt (born 1848) died on 17 October 1920 aged 72.
  • Mrs Rosa Drewitt (born 1856) died on 15 December 1927 aged 71.
Albert’s siblings
  • Ellen Louisa Drewitt (born 1878) gave birth to an illegitimate daughter, Clara Louisa Drewitt, on 16 August 1899 and had her baptised at St Nicholas’s Church on 28 October 1899. On 26 December 1900 she married George Henry Matthews at St Nicholas’s Church and she was probably his child, as George’s father acknowledged her as his grandchild in the 1901 census when they were living with him at Cromwell Cottage. They lived in Marston until at least 1915, and then moved to Elsfield. They had nine children baptised at St Nicholas’s: Ethel May Drewitt (born 24 April, baptised 26 May 1901); Florence Annie Drewitt (baptised 25 December 1902); Lily Drewitt (born 17 February, baptised 17 April 1904); George Henry Drewitt (baptised 25 March 1906); Mary Margaret Drewitt (baptised 28 April 1907); William John Drewitt (baptised 25 July 1909); Albert Edward Drewitt (born 26 May, baptised 29 May 1914); Ernest Arthur Drewitt (baptised 21 November 1915); and Winifred Alice Drewitt (baptised 11 August 1918).
  • Arthur Drewitt (born 1884) was also killed in the First World War: see separate page.

See also

Back to Roll of Honour of St Nicholas’s Church, Old Marston

Back to War Memorials page on Headington Community Website