ST. CROSS (HOLYWELL) WAR MEMORIALS
War 1 & 2 - Roll of Honour with detailed information
Compiled and copyright © Barry Burnham 2012
Cross, also known as Holywell Church, was one of the oldest churches
in Oxford, and was originally situated just outside the medieval city
walls. Originally a chapelry of the nearby St. Peter in the East, and
located adjacent to the former Holywell Manor house in St. Cross Road,
the church held its last regular service on 12 October 2008, and is
now home to the Historic Collections Centre of Balliol College, Oxford.
After being declared redundant in 2008, Balliol was granted a 999-year
lease on the building, although agreed that the chancel will remain,
to be used for occasional church services.
Copyright © Barry Burnham 2012
The War Memorial Archive holds a brief description of the St. Cross
memorial, and describes it as: a marble tablet in opus sectile of various
colours, with a chequered boarder and gold incised lettering. A depiction
of Christ crucified is surrounded by Tudor rose motifs, and the crowned
letters I.H.S. - The lower inscriptions reads: -
MERCY, - IN GRATEFUL MEMORY OF THOSE WHO FROM THIS PARISH GAVE THEIR
LIVES IN THE GREAT WAR 1914-1918”.
The memorial was manufactured by James Powell & Son (Whitefriars)
Ltd, and the overall dimensions are 920 mm by 630 mm (approx. 3 ft.
X 2 ft.). The main material is marble, and the primary colour is green.
The memorial was eventually unveiled at St. Cross by the Bishop of Oxford
in June 1924.
a large parish by size, the St. Cross / Holywell area had a relatively
small population at the turn the 20th Century, and this was possibly
the reason why only eight names appeared on the Great War Memorial,
although almost twice this number had appeared in a list of the local
fallen which was published in the January 1918 edition of the St. Cross
GRATEFUL MEMORY OF THOSE
WHO FROM THIS PARISH GAVE THEIR
LIVES IN THE GREAT WAR 1914 - 1918
of the men are taken from the Oxford Journal Illustrated.
Sergeant Major 4926, 1/4th battalion, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire
Light Infantry. Died of wounds, Saturday, 13 June 1915. Born at
the Union Workhouse in Witney, Oxon, on 6 March 1876, Arthur Sydney
Adams was the only known son of Ann Adams, a single woman. A former
agricultural labourer, Arthur became a career solder with the Oxfordshire
Light Infantry in 1894, and he was serving at Cowley Barracks when
he married his wife, Harriet Rose Henderson, at St. James Church
(Cowley) on 24 June 1900. Arthur and Harriet had four children.
Serving with the Territorial Army at the outbreak of war, Arthur
was sent to France in March 1915, and by late May he was seen unpacking
munitions when he was accidentally wounded by an exploding grenade.
Arthur Adams was later buried at the Boulogne Eastern Cemetery,
France: Grave ref: VII. A. 79.
4th (City of London) battalion, London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers).
Killed in action Sunday, 27 June 1915. Born at 11 Blue Boar Street
in Oxford, on 17 December 1895, Frederick Frank Hunt was the second
of three children born to Frederick and Emily Amelia Hunt. A schoolboy
at the Oxford High School (awarded 1st class honours) Frederick
entered St. John’s College, Oxford, in October 1914, and soon joined
the College Officer Training Corps. Gazetted 2nd Lieutenant in January
1915, Frederick arrived in France in early April, and by late June
he was serving in the trenches near La Bassee when he was killed
by enemy shellfire. Frederick Hunt was buried at the St. Vaast Post
Military Cemetery, Richebourg-L’Avoué, France: Grave ref: I. G.
Lieutenant, 9th battalion, Royal Berkshire Regiment. Killed in action
Monday, 3 July 1916. Born at St. John’s Road (now St. Bernard’s
Road) in Oxford, on 3 June 1887, Edward Victor Giles was one of
six children born to Julia and Edward James Giles. A former pupil
at the Oxford High School, Edward became a drapery assistant in
Bayswater (London) prior to the war, and applied for a commission
at the time of his enlistment in May 1915. Sent to France in March
1916, Edward was last seen leading his men into action near to Ovillers
on 3 July. His name was commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, France:
Panel ref: Pier & face 11. D.
Lieutenant, 6th battalion, London Regiment (City of London Rifles).
Killed in action Friday, 15 September 1916. Born at 130 Hurst Street
in Oxford on 3 January 1892, Christopher Bray Wren was the eldest
of three children born to Christopher and Agnes Wren. Privately
educated at Bedford House School in Oxford, Christopher initially
gained employment in the Oxford offices of A. R. Mowbray & Co, (Ecclesiastical
publishers etc.) however, by the outbreak of war he was working
in London, and employed by another publishing firm, Simpkin, Marshall,
Hamilton, Kent & Co Ltd. Enlisting on 2 September 1914, Christopher
originally joined the 1/16th Bn. the Queen’s Westminster Rifles.
Later commissioned 2nd Lieutenant (gazetted 2 November 1915) with
the London Regiment, Christopher was serving on the Somme by September
1916, and he was killed at the Battle of Flers Courcelette. Christopher
Wren was remembered on the Thiepval Memorial, France: Panel ref;
Pier & face 9. D.
R/1400, 12th battalion, Kings Royal Rifle Corps. Died of wounds,
Thursday, 21 September 1916. Born at 13 Denmark Street, High Wycombe,
on 23 August 1883, Thomas William Haydon was the fourth of eight
children born to Thomas Haydon a Policeman, and his wife Maria Egan.
Originally serving with the Royal Navy (1902-08) as a sick-berth
attendant, Thomas joined the Army in May or June 1915, and by September
1916, he was serving in the trenches near Ginchy, south of Arras,
when he was wounded. Thomas Haydon was buried at the Grove Town
Cemetery, Meaulte, France: Grave ref: I. F. 37.
10976, 7th battalion, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry.
Killed in action, Tuesday, 24 April 1917. Born on the Banbury Road
in Oxford, on 17 April 1895, Edward Henry Freeman was the eldest
of four children born to Henry John and Marie Elizabeth Louise Freeman.
Originally employed in Oxford as a ‘house-boy’, Edward probably
enlisted early in 1915, and was initially sent to France in September.
Transferred to Salonika in November 1915, Edward took part in the
1st battle of Lake Doiran on April 24, 1917, and was originally
listed as missing in action. Brother of Roland John Freeman (below),
Edward was later commemorated on the Doiran Memorial, Greece.
45579, 3rd battalion, Worcestershire Regiment. Killed in action,
Saturday, 27 April 1918. Born at Turville Heath in Buckinghamshire
in 1898, Roland John Freeman was the third child of Henry John and
Marie Elizabeth Louise Freeman. Still only nineteen in April 1918,
Roland was killed during the German offensive at Mount Kemmel in
Belgium. Roland was later buried at the Haringhe (Bandaghem) Military
Cemetery, Belgium: Grave ref: V. A. 30.
G/29136, Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent Regiment) attached 1/20th
battalion, London Regiment. Killed in action, Sunday, 25 August
1918. Born at the Holywell Cemetery Lodge in Oxford, on 2 July 1899,
Henry Edward Miller was the youngest of seven children born to Elizabeth
and William Margetts Miller, the cemetery sexton. Educated at the
Wesleyan Higher Grade School in Oxford, Henry succeeded his father
as the cemetery sexton following his death in 1916. Enlisting on
20 October 1917, Henry initially served with the Hampshire Regiment,
but at the time of his death near Amiens, he was serving with the
London Regiment. Henry Miller was later remembered on the Vis-En-Artois
Memorial, France: Panel ref: 7.
CHURCH HAS NO SECOND WORLD WAR MEMORIAL
Cross / Holywell Church, Oxford
13 September, 2017