Poppy

First World War in Headington and Marston, Oxford

Thomas Henry COOPER (1896–1918)

Thomas Cooper

Thomas Henry Cooper was born in Headington Quarry in 1896, the son of Frederick Walter Cooper (born in Old Headington in 1868 and baptised at St Andrew’s Church on 27 September) and his second wife Susannah or Susan Carey (born in Stratton Audley in 1869/70 and baptised there on 13 February 1870).

Thomas’s father Frederick Walter Cooper married his first wife, Kate Kislingbury, at Holy Trinity Church on 15 December 1889, and they had one child:

  • Frederick Walter Cooper (privately baptised by Holy Trinity Church on 20 August 1890);
    died aged two months and buried in the churchyard on 27 August 1890).

Kate died at the age of 24 less than a year after the death of her baby, and was buried in Holy Trinity churchyard on 15 July 1891.

At the time of the 1891 census Thomas’s future mother, Susan Carey (21), was working as a children’s maid for the Wykeham family at Tythrop House at Kingsey near Thame.

Thomas’s parents Frederick Walter  Cooper and Susan Carey appear to have married in 1893, as their banns were published in July and August that year at Stratton Audley, but it is hard to find their marriage. They had eight children:

  • Frederick Walter Cooper (born at Headington Quarry in 1894 and baptised at Holy Trinity Church on 26 August)
  • Thomas Henry Cooper (born at Headington Quarry in 1896 and baptised at Holy Trinity Church on 31 August)
  • Harriet Mary Cooper (born at Shotover Hill Place in 1898 and baptised at Holy Trinity Church on 29 May)
  • Edith Laura Cooper (born at Shotover Hill Place in 1900 and baptised at Holy Trinity Church on 29 June)
  • James Arthur Cooper (born at Shotover Hill Place in 1902 and baptised at Holy Trinity Church on 26 October)
  • Elizabeth Rachel Cooper (born at Shotover Hill Place in 1904 and baptised at Holy Trinity Church on 28 August)
  • Alice Cooper (born at Shotover Hill Place on 30 May 1907 and baptised at Holy Trinity Church on 29 September)
  • Dorothy Cooper (born at Shotover Hill Place on 28 August 1910 and baptised at Holy Trinity Church on 30 April 1911).

Thomas’s father did bricklaying and general labouring work. The Coopers spent the whole of their married life in Headington Quarry. In about 1897 they moved to Shotover Hill Place, which was on the edge of Quarry in Holy Trinity ecclesiastical parish, but in the Forest Hill with Shotover and Stanton St John civil parish.

At the time of the 1901 census Thomas (4) was living at Shotover Hill Place with his father Frederick (33), his mother Susan (31), and his older brother Frederick (6) and his younger sisters Harriet (3) and Edith (1).

In 1911 Thomas (14) was a builder's labourer, living in Shotover Hill Place with his father Frederick (43), described as a bricklayer, his mother Susan (41) and all seven of his siblings: Frederick (17), who was also a builder's labourer, and Harriet (13), Edith (11), James (8), Elizabeth (6), Alice (3), and Dorothy (seven months).

Poppy In the First World War Thomas Henry Cooper volunteered to serve in the 2nd/4th Battalion of the Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry (Service No. 200806) and rose to the rank of Lance Corporal. He was killed in action in France at the age of 22 on 31 March 1918.

He has no known grave, and is remembered on the Pozières Memorial and on the stone plaque in the porch of Holy Trinity Church in Headington Quarry.


Postscript

Quarry memorial

Thomas’s parents
  • Mrs Susan Cooper died at the age of 63 in Quarry Hollow (then called St Mary’s Road) and was buried in Holy Trinity churchyard on 11 November 1933.
  • Frederick Walter Cooper died at the age of 77 at 29 Cumberland Road in east Oxford and was buried with his wife on 18 April 1945.
Thomas’s sister
  • Edith Laura Cooper (born 1900) married George Herbert Stockford at Holy Trinity Church on 7 June 1930. She was then living at 23 Quarry Hollow, and he was a gardener living in the Marston Road lodge of Headington Hill Hall. Their birth of their daughter Mavis J. Stockford was registered in the Headington district in the fourth quarter of 1930.

See also

Back to Holy Trinity Church, Headington Quarry roll of honour

Back to War Memorials page on Headington Community Website