Poppy

First World War in Headington and Marston, Oxford

Thomas George KIMBER (1896–1917)

(Kimber is also listed on the St Andrew’s Church Roll of Honour and thus appears twice in the “tour”)

Thomas Kimber

Thomas George Kimber was born in New Headington in 1896, the son of John Thomas Kimber, usually known as Thomas (born in Horspath in 1852 and baptised privately there on 23 March) and Anne Jones (born in Headington Quarry in 1858/9).

His parents were married on 15 May 1875 at Holy Trinity Church in Quarry, and had 16 children:

  • Lilian Emily Kimber (born at Shotover Place in 1875 and baptised at Holy Trinity Church on 26 September)
  • Charles Arthur Thomas Kimber. known as Arthur (born in New Headington in 1876 and baptised at Holy Trinity Church, Headington Quarry on 26 November); died aged 11 and buried at Headington Cemetery on 7 March 1888
  • Albert Anthony Kimber, known as Anthony (born in New Headington in 1877/8 and baptised at St Andrew’s Church on 27 January 1878); died aged 4 years 8 months and buried in St Andrew’s churchyard on 18 August 1882
  • Charles Kimber (born in New Headington in 1879 and baptised at St Andrew’s Church on 28 September); died aged 21 months and buried in St Andrew’s churchyard on 17 May 1881
  • James Henry Kimber (born in New Headington on 7 February 1881 and baptised at St Andrew’s Church on 29 May)
  • Beatrice Annie Kimber (born in Cowley in 1882 and baptised at Horspath on 18 February)
  • Ethel May Esther Kimber (born at 33 Randolph Street, east Oxford in 1884 and baptised at Cowley St John Church on 12 October)
  • Anthony Kimber (born in Headington on 24 November 1886 and baptised at St Andrew’s Church on 30 January 1887)
  • Arthur John Kimber, known as John or Jack (born in Headington on 7 January 1889 and baptised at St Andrew’s Church on 24 February)
  • Alice Kimber (born in Headington on 27 September 1890 and baptised at St Andrew’s Church on 9 November); died 1894
  • Ada Kimber (born in Headington on 17 April 1892 and baptised at St Andrew’s Church on 5 June;
    died aged 20 months and buried at Headington Cemetery on 23 February 1894)
  • Ada Kate Kimber (known as Kate, born in Headington on 1 June 1894 and baptised at St Andrew’s Church on 12 August)
  • Thomas George Kimber (born in Headington on 10 April 1896 and baptised at St Andrew’s Church on 17 May)
  • Nellie Kimber (born at 2 Belle Vue Terrace, Headington on 14 May 1898 and baptised at St Andrew’s Church on 17 July)
  • Albert Joseph Kimber (known as Bert, born in New Headington on 14 September 1900 and baptised at St Andrew’s Church on 21 October)
  • Hilda Phyllis Kimber (born at 2 Belle Vue Terrace, Headington on 19 January 1905 and baptised at St Andrew’s Church on 9 April).

At the time of her marriage Thomas Kimber’s mother had only just had her sixteenth birthday and was already pregnant, and it looks as though the couple started their married life in her parents’ home at Shotover Place.

Thomas’s father was a carpenter. By the end of 1876 when their second child was born they had moved to New Headington, and the 1881 census reveals that their home was at 2 Belle Vue Cottages (on the south side of the London Road, on the eastern corner of New High Street, in St Andrew's parish). James’s mother was there on census night with her first four surviving children, Lilian (5), Albert Anthony (3), Charlie (1), and James (two months), plus their lodger; but Thomas’s father spent census night as a patient in the Radcliffe Infirmary in Oxford.

They then moved to 33 Randolph Street in east Oxford, but were back in Headington by November 1886.

At the time of the 1891 census Thomas’s parents were at home in Belle Vue Cottages with their five children (ranging in age from 2 to 10) who were at school and baby Alice (7 months). Thomas himself was born in 1896.

At the time of the 1901 census Thomas (4) was living at Belle Vue Cottages on the London Road with his father Thomas (48), described as a carpenter & joiner; his mother Annie (48); and eight of his siblings: James (20) and Anthony (14), who were also carpenters & joiners; May (16); and John (12), Alice (10), Kate (6), Nellie (2), and Albert (seven months). His eldest sister Lilian Emily, had left home and was now Mrs Brinker, and Beatrice (18) was in service at Elmbank, Headington Quarry.

By 1911 Thomas (14) was a gardener, living at a different address in New Headington, 11 New High Street (then one of the pair of Hope Villas) with his parents and five of his siblings: Anthony (24), who was a carpenter & joiner, and Nellie (12), Bert (10), and Hilda (6). Thomas’s brothers James and (Arthur) John and sisters Beatrice and May had all married since the last census and now had homes of their own.

By the time of the marriage of Thomas’s sister Alice in November 1913, the family had moved to Headington Quarry.

Poppy Thomas George Kimber volunteered to serve in the First World War and was a Private in the 43rd Battalion (Infantry) of the Machine Gun Corps (Service No. 71165). He was killed in action at the age of 21 on 24 August 1917 at the Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele) in Belgium, and was buried at the Tyne Cot Cemetery (LVIII. B 4).

Grave of Thomas George Kimber

 

Left: Photograph of Thomas George Kimber’s grave in the Tyne Cot Cemetery, kindly supplied by British War Graves. The text reads:

[Emblem of the
Machine Gun Corps]

71165 PRIVATE
T. G. KIMBER
MACHINE GUN CORPS INF.
24TH AUGUST 1917

His parents’ tombstone in Holy Trinity churchyard has these words added:

ALSO OF THOMAS GEORGE KIMBER
KILLED IN ACTION AUG 24th 1917.

Thomas George Kimber is listed on the roll of honour of St Andrew’s Church as well as on the stone plaque in the porch of Holy Trinity Church in Headington Quarry.

The Kimber family lived at Headington Quarry during the First World War, which explains why Thomas Kimber is listed on the roll of honour of Holy Trinity Church. It is hard to say why he is on the memorial at St Andrew’s Church: it is possible that between 1911 and 1914 he became a live-in gardener at Old Headington.


Postscript

Quarry memorial

Thomas’s parents
  • John Thomas Kimber died at the age of 80 at 9 New Cross Road in Quarry and was buried in Holy Trinity churchyard on 4 February 1933.
  • Ann Kimber died at the age of 75 at 12 Northfield Road, Headington and was buried with her husband on 4 August 1934.
Thomas’s siblings
  • Lilian Emily Kimber (born 1875) married George Brinkler, a Headington florist, at St Andrew’s Church on 6 November 1899. They lived in Lime Walk (in a house demolished to make way for Cecil Sharpe Place, and they had five children at the time of the 1911 census: Francis Brinkler (11), Lucy Brinkler (10), Beatrice Brinkler (8), and Arthur Brinkler (5). Their son Albert Thomas Brinkler had died at the age of one in 1909, and their next daughter Phyllis Elsie Brinkler was to die at the same age in 1913: both are buried in Headington Cemetery.
  • James Henry Kimber (born 1881) married Sarah Annie Lammas in the Oxford registration district in the third quarter of 1901. They were living at 22 New High Street at the time of the 1911 census with their children Herbert James Kimber (7) and Ruby Norah Kimber (3).
  • Beatrice Annie Kimber (born 1882) married Harry Joseph Garfield, a Headington farrier, at St Andrew’s Church on 5 October 1907.
  • May Esther Kimber, known as Ethel May (born 1884) married Arthur Bernard Cross, a Headington farrier, at St Andrew’s Church on 22 November 1908. She died at 14 Bateman Street, Headington at the age of 81 on 26 October 1965.
  • Anthony Kimber (born 1886) married Ethel G. Wray in the Oxford registration district in the third quarter of 1916.
  • Arthur John Kimber (known as John or Jack, born 1889) married Ada Maria Palmer in the Oxford registration district in the first quarter of 1909. At the time of the 1911 census they were living at 78/80 Lime Walk with their children Walter Kimber (2) and William Kimber (under one month).
  • Alice Kimber (born 1890) married George Frederick Giles, a clerk, at St Andrew’s Church on 8 November 1913.
  • Nellie Kimber (born 1898) married Archie Thomas Coppock at Holy Trinity Church on 25 December 1920.
  • Albert Joseph Kimber, known as Bert (born 1900) married Caroline Bell in the Headington registration district in the third quarter of 1924. She died in 1933, and in 1937 he married his second wife Gwendoline Ivy Vera Lapper. He died at New Cross Road at the age of 46 and was buried in Holy Trinity churchyard on 23 November 1946.
  • Hilda Phyllis Kimber (born 1905) died at the age of 19 at New Cross Road and was buried at Holy Trinity Church on 9 April 1924.

See also
  • CWGC: Kimber, T G (confirmed by FindMyPast as Thomas George Kimber who lived in Headington)
  • Oxford Journal Illustrated, 19 September 1917, “Heroes of the War”: photograph of Thomas Kimber of Headington, who had died about three weeks earlier (shown above with kind permission of Oxfordshire County Council, Oxfordshire History Centre)
  • Wikipedia: Machine Gun Corps

Back to Holy Trinity Church, Headington Quarry roll of honour

Back to War Memorials page on Headington Community Website