Poppy

First World War in Headington and Marston, Oxford

John Edward CRAWFORD (1897–1916)

John Crawford
Middle initial wrongly printed

John Edward Crawford was born in New Headington (probably Bateman Street) on 7 December 1897, the son of Thomas James St Swithin Crawford (born at Shotover in 1873 and baptised at Holy Trinity Church, Headington Quarry on 30 November) and Ada Kate Cordrey (born in Iffley in 1873 and baptised there on 8 June).

At the time of the 1891 census, a year before their marriage, John’s parents were living near each other in Church Street, Temple Cowley: Thomas Crawford (17) was at No. 1 with his parents and working as a carter on a farm, while his future wife Ada Cordrey (18) was a live-in domestic servant three doors down at No. 4. Shortly after the census Thomas’s parents moved with him to Seed Piece Road in Headington Quarry, and he married Ada there on 12 March 1892, with their first child Ann already on the way.

They had the following children:

  • Ann Matilda Crawford (born in Headington Quarry in 1892 and baptised at Holy Trinity Church on 30 October ); died aged 5 and buried at Headington Cemetery on 4 July 1898
  • Kate Elizabeth Alice Crawford (born in Headington Quarry in 1895 and baptised at St Andrew’s Church, Old Headington on 25 August; died aged ten and buried at Headington Cemetery on 7 October 1905
  • Thomas James William Crawford (born in Headington in 1896 and baptised at St Andrew’s Church on 29 November); died age 14 weeks and buried at Headington Cemetery on 19 January 1897
  • John Edward Crawford (born in Headington in 1898 and baptised at St Andrew’s Church on 6 February)
  • Phyllis Gertrude Crawford (born in Headington in 1900 and baptised at St Andrew’s Church on 22 April)
  • Rose Crawford (born in Headington in 1902 and baptised at St Andrew’s Church on 9 June).

John's parents Thomas & Ada Crawford lived in Headington Quarry for the first few years of their marriage, probably with Thomas’s parents, but in about 1895 moved to a house of their own in New Headington. The 1901 census shows the family living in Bateman Street (then called East Street) in New Headington. John’s father, who was a builder’s carter, was not at home and Ada Kate Crawford (27) was looking after her daughter Kate (6), John himself (3), and Phyllis (1).

By the time that Crawford’s youngest sister, Rose, was born in June 1902, the family had moved to Church Lane (probably Jeffcoat Cottages) in Old Headington.

John’s father Thomas James St Swithin Crawford died in 1904 at the age of 31 and was buried in Holy Trinity churchyard on 4 September (no headstone). The next year, in 1905, John’s sister Kate (10) also died.

The 1911 census shows John’s widowed mother Ada Kate Crawford (37) working as a laundress and looking after her three surviving children. John (13) was a printer boy, while his sisters Phyllis (11) and Rose (8) were still at school. Their address is given as Jeffcoat Cottages, which ran between St Andrew’s Lane and Larkin’s Lane in Old Headington.

Poppy John Edward Crawford served as a Private in the 1st/4th Battalion of the Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry (Service No. 5075). He must have lied about his age, as in 1916 men had to be 18 to enlist and 19 to be sent to the Front. He died at the Somme in France on 19 July 1916 at the age of 18, and has no known grave. He is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial (Pier and Face 10A and 10D) and is listed on the roll of honour of St Andrew’s Church in Old Headington.


Postscript

St Andrew's memorial board

John’s mother
  • Ada Kate Crawford married the widower Walter Louch (whose son Albert Louch is also on the St Andrew’s war memorial) at Oxford Registry Office on 4 August 1919. Ada Kate Louch died in 1950 and Walter in 1955, both at Wood Farm.
John’s sister
  • Rose Crawford married Herbert Thomas Hibbard, a car fitter of Gardiner Street, at St Andrew’s Church on 19 April 1924. She was then 21 and working as a shirt maker, and lived at 13 Church Lane in Old Headington. They lived at the present 285 London Road, and had two children: John William Hibbard (born on 1 October 1926 and baptised at St Andrew’s Church on 5 December 1926) and Gill Rosemary Hibbard (born on 31 December 1938 and baptised at St Andrew’s Church on 2 April 1939).

See also
  • CWGC: Crawford, Edward (Find My Past confirms that this man lived in Old Headington)
  • Wikipedia: The Battle of the Somme
  • Oxford Journal Illustrated, 23 August 1916: Photograph of “J. L. [sic] Crawford, Headington” following his death (shown above with kind permission of Oxfordshire County Council, Oxfordshire History Centre)

Back to St Andrew’s Church, Old Headington roll of honour

Back to War Memorials page on Headington Community Website