First World War in Headington and Marston, Oxford

Walter George HERBERT (1891–1917)

Walter George Herbert

Walter George Herbert (sometimes known simply as George) was born in Headington in 1891, the eldest child of Jesse Herbert (born in Headington in 1863) and Adelaide Agnes Davis (born in Denchworth near Wantage in 1864). In 1881 his mother was a 16-year-old general servant at 56 St John Street, Oxford.

His parents were married (apparently in haste) in the Wallingford Registration District in the first quarter of 1889. Their first child was stillborn and buried in Headington cemetery on 26 April 1889. They had nine more children:

  • Walter George Herbert (born in New Headington in 1891)
  • Dorothy Kate Herbert (born in Headington on 19 November 1892 and baptised at St Andrew’s Church on 3 March 1893)
  • Sydney John Herbert (born in Headington, on 18 August 1894 and baptised at St Andrew’s Church on 28 October)
  • Frederick Jesse Herbert (born in Headington on 26 September 1896 and baptised at St Andrew’s Church on 6 December)
  • Florence Millicent Herbert (born in Headington on 4 February 1899 and privately baptised by St Andrew’s Church on 4 February)
  • Henrietta Iris Herbert (born in Headington on 12 April 1901 and baptised at St Andrew’s Church on 23 June);
    died aged 3, buried in Holy Trinity churchyard on 17 November 1904
  • William Thomas Herbert (born in Headington on 23 October 1903 and baptised at St Andrew’s Church on 6 March 1904)
  • Cliff Arthur S. Herbert (born in Headington in 1905/6)
  • Hilda Marjorie Herbert (born in Headington on 4 February 1909 and baptised at St Andrew’s Church on 2 May 1909).

Walter's parents were living on their own at the present 106 Lime Walk (then numbered 40) at the time of the 1891 census, and his father was a plasterer, employed by someone else. Walter was born there shortly afterwards, but does not appear to have been baptised in Headington.

At the time of the 1901 census Walter (9) was living at the present 82 Lime Walk (then numbered 68) with his father Jesse (38), who was still working as a plasterer and employing at least one person; his mother Adelaide (36); and his siblings Dorothy (8), Sydney (6), Frederick (4), and Florence (2).

By early 1904 the family had moved to Windmill Road. Their address is given as “Holly Cottage, Windmill Road” in directories until 1922, and specifically as 99 Windmill Road from 1923. The family continued to have their children baptised at St Andrew’s Church, even though the south-east side of Windmill Road where they lived was in Holy Trinity parish.

By the time of the 1911 census Walter (19), recorded as George, and his brother Sydney (16) were both working as plasterers, probably for their father. They were living at 99 Windmill Road with their father Jesse (48), their mother Adelaide (46), and their siblings Frederick (14), who was a telegraph messenger, and Florence (12), William (7), Cliff (5), and Hilda (2). Their sister Dorothy (18) was working as a housemaid in Loughborough in the home of Walter Andrew Wynter (a retired colonel who had been born in Oxford, the son of the President of St John’s College).

On 10 December 1916 in the Reading registration district, Walter George Herbert married Lucy Agnes Whitchelo of Caversham, who was born in 1888 in the Henley district. Walter's banns were called at Ss Philip & James's Church, Leckhampton, Gloucestershire, where he was then living.

They were only married for a few months, and do not appear to have had any children.

Poppy In the First World War Walter served as a Serjeant in the 1st/4th Battalion of the Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry (Service No. 200467). He was killed in action at the Somme in France aged 26 on 19 April 1917.

He has no known grave, but is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing (Pier and Face 10 A and 10 D) and on the stone plaque in the porch of Holy Trinity Church in Headington Quarry.

Herbert inscription 1

His mother also had the following words added to the rim of her husband’s grave in the churchyard:




Herbert inscription 2

Herbert inscription 3




Quarry memorial

Walter’s widow
  • Mrs Lucy Agnes Herbert married William E. Abbott in the Headington Registration District in the second quarter of 1921. They lived at 10 Gathorne Road (then “Hill View”, Alexandra Road) after the war.
Walter’s parents
  • Jesse Herbert was listed as a plasterer at 99 Windmill Road until 1927. He died there the next year at the age of 65, and was buried at Holy Trinity churchyard on 12 April 1928.
  • Mrs Adelaide Agnes Herbert was listed at 99 Windmill Road on her own after her husband’s death, although by the 1930s Herbert Bros., Plasterers (doubtless her sons) were also running their business from the house. She died at the house at the age of 87 and was buried at Holy Trinity churchyard on 18 January 1952.
Two of Walter’s siblings
  • Dorothy Kate Herbert (born 1891) married Alan Edward Dennis Chaundy, an electrician, at Holy Trinity Church on 22 February 1919. Their first child was born at Dorothy’s home in Windmill Road two months after the wedding, and then they went to live at 10 Rose Hill. Their six children were all baptised at Holy Trinity Church: David Alan Chaundy (born on 20 April 1919 and baptised on 13 July 1919; George Raymond Peter Chaundy (born on 22 August 1920 and baptised on 17 October 1920); Rosemary Agnes Ruth Chaundy (born on 5 October 1922 and baptised on 3 December 1922); Rachael Dorothy Joan Chaundy (born on 26 April 1925 and baptised on 26 July 1925); and Wilfred Arthur Chaundy (born on 31 July 1927 and baptised on 20 November 1927).
  • Florence Millicent Herbert (born 1899) married William Baden Tuckwell of Bullingdon Road, at Holy Trinity Church on 14 June 1927. Their son Geoffrey Henry Herbert Tuckwell was born on 18 May 1928 and baptised at Holy Trinity Church on 24 June 1928. They were then living at 7 East Avenue, and Florence’s husband was a haulage contractor. They had two more children: Jennifer A. M. Tuckwell (born 1931) and William B. Tuckwell (born 1933).

See also

Back to Holy Trinity Church, Headington Quarry roll of honour

Back to War Memorials page on Headington Community Website