Poppy

First World War in Headington and Marston, Oxford

Francis John (“Jack”) Jacobs (1898–1917)

Jack Jacobs

Francis John Jacobs (known as John or Jack) was born in Headington in 1898, the son of Joseph Jacobs (born in Headington in 1859) and Caroline Anne Draper (born in Headington in 1859/60).

His parents were married at St Andrew’s Church in Old Headington on 22 July 1878, just before the birth of their first child. They had eleven children in all:

  • Carrie Amelia Jacobs (born in Headington in 1878 and baptised at St Andrew’s Church on 25 August)
  • Lily Beatrice Jacobs (born in Headington in 1880 and baptised at St Andrew’s Church on 31 October); died aged eighteen months and buried in St Andrew's churchyard on 5 June 1882
  • Albert William Jacobs (born in Headington on 27 January 1883 and baptised at St Andrew’s Church on 25 February)
  • George Henry Jacobs (born in Headington in March 1885 and baptised at St Andrew’s Church on 2 April); died aged ten days and buried in St Andrew's churchyard on 8 April
  • Harold Frederick Jacobs (born in Headington on 17 February 1886 and baptised at St Andrew’s Church on 28 March)
  • Walter Garner Jacobs (born in Headington on 29 July 1888 and baptised at St Andrew’s Church on 9 September)
  • Sidney James Jacobs (born in Headington on 29 October 1890 and baptised at St Andrew’s Church on 28 December)
  • Herbert Vernon Jacobs (born in Headington on 15 May 1893 and baptised at St Andrew’s Church on 18 June);
    died aged nineteen months and buried at Headington Cemetery on 7 January 1895
  • Josephine Annie Jacob (born in Headington on 29 November 1895 and baptised at St Andrew’s Church on 26 January 1896)
  • Francis John Jacobs (born in New High Street on 28 April 1898 and baptised at St Andrew’s Church on 26 June)
  • Robert Hector Jacobs (born in New Headington on 22 April 1900 and baptised at St Andrew’s Church on 8 July).

 

In the 1881 census Jack's parents are listed in New High Street: his father Joseph (22), who had been a labourer at the time of his marriage, was a Sergeant of the Oxfordshire Militia, and his mother Caroline (19), who is wrongly recorded as Charlotte, was a dressmaker. Their first two children lived with them: Carrie (2) and Lily (six months).

By the time of the 1891 census Jack’s father Joseph (32) was a general labourer, still living at New High Street (possibly at No. 56) with Caroline (31), who was now a self-employed laundress working from her home, and their first four children Albert (8), Harold (5), Walter (2), and Sidney (five months).

Jack himself first appears in the 1901 census. Aged just two, he was still living in New High Street (probably at No. 26) with his father Joseph (42), who was now a plasterer, his mother Caroline (41), who was still a laundress, and his siblings Carrie (22), Harold (15), who was a plumber's mate, and Walter (12), Sidney (10), Josephine (5), and Robert (eleven months). Frank's mother was also bringing up as her own child Alan Jones Jacobs (2), her daughter Carrie's illegitimate son, who was born on 1 May 1898 and baptised at St Andrew’s Church on 26 June; he died at the age of six and was buried at Headington Cemetery on 2 April 1905.

In 1910 New High Street was taken out of St Andrew's parish into the new parish of All Saints.

At the time of the 1911 census Jack (12) was at school (almost certainly Headington National School) and living at New High Street with his father Joseph (52), who was a plasterer, and his mother Caroline (51), recorded as Annie, who was working as a laundress on her own account at home. Four of his siblings were still at home: Walter (22), who was a groom/gardener; Sidney (20), who was a gardener; and Josephine (15) and Robert (10).

Jack’s eldest sister Carrie Jacobs died in Headington Workhouse in 1916 at the age of 37 and was buried in Headington Cemetery on 17 April.

F. J. Jacobs

Poppy In the First World War Francis John Jacobs (Jack) served as a Private in the 1st/4th Battalion of the Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry (Service No. 201602). He was killed in action in Belgium at the Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele) aged 19 on 7 August 1917 and has no known grave. He is remembered on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial and on the Roll of Honour of All Saints’ Church, Highfield.

Right: Francis John Jacobs’s name on the Ypres (Menin Gate) War Memorial, kindly supplied by British War Graves


All Saints' board

Postscript

Jack Jacobs’s parents
  • They lived at 26 New High Street just after his death. Mrs Caroline Jacobs died at the London Road Hospital (the former workhouse) at the age of 76 and was buried at Headington Cemetery on 17 July 1936. Joseph Jacobs was still working as a plasterer when he died on 15 December 1937 at 29 Kennett Road (then “New Road”) at the age of 79.

See also

Back to All Saints’ Church, Highfield roll of honour

Back to War Memorials page on Headington Community Website