Poppy

First World War in Headington and Marston, Oxford

Edward GURL (1892/3–1916)

Edward Gurl

Edward Gurl was born in Headington Quarry in 1892/3, the son of Henry Gurl or Girl (born in Headington Quarry in 1865 and baptised at Holy Trinity Church on 18 June) and Emily Kislingbury (born at Brightwell-cum-Sotwell in 1869 and baptised there on 5 December).

In 1881 Edward's mother Emily Kislingbury (11) was living with her sister Martha (22) and Martha’s husband Stephen Gurl (21) at East View, Headington Quarry. Her future husband Henry Gurl (16), who was Stephen’s younger brother, was living nearby in East View with his parents, William (64) and Hesther (60).

In 1886 his mother Emily Kislingbury (16) gave birth to a illegitimate son in Headington Quarry, and given his middle name, he was probably her future husband's child:

  • Henry Girl Kislingbury (born at Headington Quarry in 1886 and baptised at Holy Trinity Church on 31 October, described as son of Emily Kislingbury, “single woman”)

Edward's parents parents were married at Holy Trinity Church on 1 July 1888 when Henry was 23 and Emily 18: neither could sign their name in the register. They had nine more children:

  • Edward Charles Gurl (born at Headington Quarry in 1888/9, reg. with surname spelt Girl, and baptised at Holy Trinity Church on 24 February 1889); died aged three months and buried in the churchyard on 6 April 1889
  • Ivo Gurl (born at Headington Quarry in 1890, reg. with surname spelt Girl, and baptised at Holy Trinity Church on 28 December)
  • Edward Gurl (born at Headington Quarry in 1892/3, reg. with surname Girl, and baptised at Holy Trinity Church on 26 February 1893)
  • Kate Gurl (born at Headington Quarry in 1895, reg. with surname spelt Girl, and baptised at Holy Trinity Church on 26 May)
  • Edwin Gurl (born at Headington Quarry in 1897, reg. with surname spelt Girl, and baptised at Holy Trinity Church on 26 September);
    died aged twenty months and buried in the churchyard on 22 February 1899
  • Emily Lily Gurl, known as Lily (born at Headington Quarry in 1899/1900, reg. with surname spelt Girl, and, baptised at Holy Trinity Church on 15 April 1900)
  • Arthur Gurl (born at Headington Quarry in 1904 and baptised at Holy Trinity Church on 26 June)
  • Percival Gurl (born at Headington Quarry in 1905/6 and baptised at Holy Trinity Church on 2 June 1906)
  • Alfred Reginald Gurl (born at Headington Quarry on 3 March 1909 and baptised at Holy Trinity Church on 30 May);
    died aged 22 months and buried in the churchyard on 20 April 1911).

Edward’s father Henry was originally a quarryman and then a brickyard labourer. At the time of the 1891 census he was living with his wife and their first two surviving sons at The Square, Headington Quarry. Edward was born about two years later.

At the time of the 1901 census Edward (8) was living at Winterbourne’s Piece in Headington Quarry with his parents and four surviving siblings Henry (14), Ivo (10), Kate (5), and Emily (1). Two other family members boarding with them: Henry’s brother William Robert Gurl (15), who was a general labourer, and Emily’s widowed mother Maria Kislingbury (73).

By 1911 Edward (18) was living at Church Lane (Trinity Road, probably No. 4) with his parents and five of his siblings: Ivo (20), who was also a builder’s labourer; Kate (15); and Lily (11), Arthur (7), and Percival (5), who were at school.; and William Robert Gurl (25) was still boarding with them.

Poppy In the First World War Edward Gurl served as a Private in the ill-fated 2nd Battalion of the Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry (Service No. 22426). He was killed in action at the Somme in France (Mametz) at the age of 23 on 31 July 1916.

He is buried in the Dantzig Alley British Cemetery, Mametz (VII E. 3), and is listed on the stone plaque in the porch of Holy Trinity Church in Headington Quarry.


Postscript

Quarry memorial

Edward Gurl’s parents
  • Mrs Emily Gurl died at 4 Trinity Road at the age of 62 on 25 January 1931 and was buried in Holy Trinity churchyard on 29 January.
  • Henry Gurl died at 4 Trinity Road at the age of 87 on 19 February 1952, and was buried with his wife in Holy Trinity churchyard on 25 February.
Edward Gurl’s siblings
  • Henry Kislingbury, known as Henry Gurl (born 1886) married Mary Elizabeth Smith of Old Headington at St Andrew’s Church on 11 April 1909. He died less than two years later at the age of 24 and was buried at Holy Trinity churchyard on 4 April 1911. His widow married Henry Gurl's brother Ivo the following year.
  • Ivo Gurl (born 1890) married Mrs Mary Elizabeth Kislingbury, the widow of his older brother Henry, in the Witney district in 1912. Ivo died at 10 William Kimber Crescent at the age of 69 and was buried at Holy Trinity churchyard on 22 December 1959.
  • Kate Gurl (born 1895) married Joseph Arthur Coppock at St Clement’s Church, Oxford on 20 December 1919. She was then living at 102 St Clement’s.
  • Arthur Gurl (born 1904) married Hilda Josephine De Luc in the Headington registration district in the first quarter of 1926. Their son Arthur Gurl junior was born at 4 Trinity Road (Arthur’s parents’ home) on 29 June 1926 and baptised at Holy Trinity Church on 19 September 1926.
  • Percival Gurl (born 1906) married Winifred Whittick at Holy Trinity Church on 16 February 1935.

See also

Back to Holy Trinity Church, Headington Quarry roll of honour

Back to War Memorials page on Headington Community Website