Poppy

First World War in Headington and Marston, Oxford

Frederick Charles PARSONS (1890–1915)

Frederick Parsons

Frederick Charles Parsons was born in Headington Quarry in 1890, the son of Charles William Parsons (born in Titup in 1867 and baptised at Holy Trinity Church on 29 December) and Jane Rowles (born in Fawler near Stonesfield in 1867).

His parents were married at Finstock Church on 28 November 1886 when they were both aged only 19. They had seven children:

  • Annie Rebecca Parsons (born in Fawler in 1887 and baptised at Finstock Church on 25 December 1887)
  • Frederick Charles Parsons (born at Headington Quarry in 1890 and baptised at Holy Trinity Church on 31 August 1890)
  • Susan Selina Ellen Tryphena Parsons, known as Ellen (born at Headington Quarry in 1891/2 and baptised at Holy Trinity Church on 27 March 1892)
  • Lucy Parsons (born at Headington Quarry in 1893/4 and baptised at Holy Trinity Church on 25 February 1894)
  • Arnold Harold Parsons (born at Headington Quarry in 1902 and baptised at Holy Trinity Church on 30 November)
  • Charles Parsons (born at Headington Quarry in 1904 and baptised at Holy Trinity Church on 28 August)
  • Jack Parsons (born at Headington Quarry on 16 January 1907 and baptised at Holy Trinity Church on 24 February).

Frederick’s parents must have met in Fawler, as at the time of their marriage, his father (who was unable to sign his name) was working there as a labourer and his mother as a gloveress. They continued to live there at the start of their married life.

By mid-1890 Frederick’s father had moved with wife and first child to his home village of Headington Quarry and took up work as a brickyard labourer.

At the time of the 1891 census Frederick (nine months) was living at Shotover Hill Place (which was in Headington Quarry ecclesiastical parish and Forest Hill with Shotover civil parish with his parents.

By 1901 Frederick (10) was at school (almost certainly Headington Quarry National School) and living at 2 Vine Cottages at The Pitts in Quarry with his father Charles (33), who was a labourer in the brickyard; his mother Jane (33), who was a charwoman; and his sisters Annie (13), Ellen (9), and Lucy (7).

In 1911 their address is still given as The Pitts (possibly 66 Pitts Road, where they definitely lived later). Frederick (20) was then a brickmaker’s carter, living at home with his father Charles (44), described as a general labourer, his mother Jane (44), who was taking in needlework at home, and his three youngest siblings, all born since the last census: Arnold (8), Charles (6), and Jack (4). The three children who had left home were Annie (23), who was now married; Ellen (19); and Lucy (17), who was a servant to an old lady who lived in Circus Street, east Oxford.

Poppy Frederick Charles Parsons volunteered to serve in the First World War and was a Lance Corporal in the 8th Battalion of the Royal Berkshire Regiment (Service No. 17543). He was killed in action in France at the age of 25 on the first day of the Battle of Loos on 25 September 1915.

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


Postscript

Quarry memorial

Frederick’s parents
  • His parents lived at 66 Pitts Road after Frederick’s death. His mother Mrs Jane Parsons died at the age of 69 on 11 April 1937, and his father Charles Parsons at the age of 88 on 4 November 1956. They are buried in Holy Trinity churchyard, but their gravestone does not mention Frederick.
Frederick’s sister
  • Annie Rebecca Parsons (born 1887) married the Pewsey coachman William Amor at Holy Trinity Church on 29 October 1908. Their daughter Ivy Rebecca Amor was born at Pewsey on 27 September 1909 and baptised at Holy Trinity Church in Headington Quarry on 31 October 1909.

See also
  • CWGC: Parsons, Frederick Charles
  • Oxford Journal Illustrated, 27 October 1915: Photograph of Parsons following his death (shown above with kind permission of Oxfordshire County Council, Oxfordshire History Centre)
  • Wikipedia: Royal Berkshire Regiment

Back to Holy Trinity Church, Headington Quarry roll of honour

Back to War Memorials page on Headington Community Website