First World War in Headington and Marston, Oxford

Edwin Charles EDWARDS (1896–1917)

Edwin Charles Edwards was born in Jericho, Oxford on 17 December 1896. He was the son of William Edwards (born at Mile End in London in c.1870, age varies) and Sarah Ann Clark (born in St Thomas’s parish, Oxford in 1867).

Edwin's father William Edwards was a Lance Corporal based in the Oxfordshire Regiment at Bath when he married Sarah at Cowley St John Church on 6 November 1887. By 1911 they had twelve children, of whom the following eleven had survived:

  • William Frederick Edwards (born in St Anne’s parish, Brighton in 1889, reg. third quarter)
  • Esther Edwards (born in Lincoln Street, St Peter’s parish, Brighton in 1891, reg. second quarter)
  • Caroline Edwards (born at Peacock Yard, Oxford on 1 April 1893 and baptised at St Thomas's Church on 20 April)
  • Edwin Charles Edwards (born at 18 King Street, Jericho, Oxford on 17 December 1896 and baptised at St Paul’s Church on 8 January 1897)
  • Henry George Edwards, known as George (born in Jericho, Oxford on 19 August 1898 and baptised at St Barnabas’s Church on 1 September)
  • Sarah Annie Mary Edwards, known as Annie, born at 14 Jericho Gardens, Oxford on 29 September 1900 and baptised at St Barnabas’s Church on 17 October)
  • Alfred Edwards (born in the parish of St Alban, Croydon, probably the Alfred Thomas Edwards reg. in the second quarter of 1903)
  • Walter Edwards (born in the parish of St Alban, Croydon, probably the Walter Thomas Edwards reg. in the second quarter of 1905)
  • Frank Edwards (born in the parish of St Alban, Croydon, probably the Frank Edwards reg. in the first quarter of 1907)
  • Nellie Edwards (born in the parish of St Alban, Croydon in 1909, reg. second quarter)
  • Lilian May Edwards, known as May (born in the parish of St Alban, Croydon in about May 1910).

At the time of the 1891 census Edwin’s father was a dairyman, living with his wife and firstborn son William (1) at 2 Lincoln Street, Brighton.

By the following year the family had moved to the Jericho area of Oxford (Edwin’s mother’s home city), with their address specified in 1900 as 14 Jericho Gardens. Edwin’s father was described as a general dealer in 1897 and 1898 in the St Barnabas baptismal register. By the time of Sarah’s baptism in 1900 Edwin’s father had enlisted again in the army, as a reserve.

At the time of the 1901 census Edwin (4) was living at 16 Jericho Gardens, Oxford with his father William (35), described as a Private in the Army Royal Reserve, his mother Sarah (35), and his five siblings: William (12), was working as a draper’s errand boy as well as attending school, and Esther (10), Caroline (8), Henry (2, and Sarah (six months).

Later in 1901 the family moved to Croydon, where they had five more children. They moved back to Oxford in about 1910.

At the time of the 1911 census Edward (14) was a butcher's boy, living at 2 Frederick Place (off Castle Street) in the parish of St Thomas with his father William (40), who was described as a general dealer on his own account, his mother Sarah (40), and nine of his siblings: Esther (20), who was a laundress; Caroline (18), who was doing day work charring; and [Henry] George (14), [Sarah] Annie (12), Alfred (10), Walter (7), Frank (5), Nellie (2), and [Lilian] May (eleven months).

Edwin is presumed to have moved up to Headington Quarry with his family soon after the 1911 census.

Poppy In the First World War Edwin Charles Edwards served as a Private, first in the Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry (Service No. 22777), and then in the 1st Battalion of the Worcestershire Regiment (Service No. 42658). He was killed in action in France on 4 March 1917 at the age of 20.

He has no known grave, but is remembered on the Thiepval memorial (Pier and Face 5A and 6C) and on the stone plaque in the porch of Holy Trinity Church in Headington Quarry.

Quarry memorial


Edwin's parents
  • His mother Sarah Ann Edwards died at 2 Blackfriars Road, Oxford in 1936.
  • His father William Edwards died at the Cowley Road Hospital on 15 March 1922.

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