Poppy

First World War in Headington and Marston, Oxford

Sidney George BULLOCK (1888–1917)

Sidney Bullock

Sidney George Bullock was born at East Hanney, Berkshire in 1888, the son of Rupert George Bullock (born at Garford, Berkshire in 1859/60) and Louisa Fletcher (born in Steventon, Berkshire in 1859). His parents were married in the Wantage Registration District in the fourth quarter of 1886 and had the following children:

  • Sidney George Bullock (born at East Hanney in 1888, reg. second quarter)
  • Sarah L. Bullock (born at East Hanney in 1890, reg. second quarter)
  • Florence Bullock (born at East Hanney in 1893, reg. first quarter)
  • Rupert Charles (“Charley”) Bullock (born at East Hanney in 1894/5, reg. first quarter of 1895).

In 1891 Sidney (3) was living at East Hanney with his father Rupert (31), who was a farm labourer, his mother Louisa (27), and his sister Sarah (ten months).

In 1897 when Sidney was only nine, his mother Louisa Bullock died at the age of 37.

The 1901 census shows Sidney’s father Rupert still working as a farm labourer in East Hanney and looking after his four children, including Sidney (13), by himself.

It appears that in the next few years the family came to live at Ascott, a hamlet of Great Milton, as Sidney's father Rupert George Bullock died there at the age of 47 and was buried in Great Milton churchyard.

Near the beginning of 1911 in the Headington registration district, Sidney George Bullock married Alice Frances Tolley. Alice was born in Headington on 10 July 1881, the daughter of George & Mary Ann Tolley, and was baptised at St Andrew’s Church on 2 August 1881 (with her forenames reversed). Her family lived in the Croft, and Alice can be seen with them there at the time of the 1891 and 1901 censuses.

At the time of the 1911 census the newly-weds were living in Cassington at Worton Cottages, and Sidney (23) was a carter on a farm there.

Sidney and Alice Bullock had three children:

  • George Rupert Sydney Bullock (born in Cassington in 1911 and baptised there on 15 October); died soon after birth
  • Percival George Bullock (born in Cassington in 1912/1913 and baptised there on 9 March 1913)
  • Reginald John Bullock (born in Cumnor in 1914/15, and baptised at St Michael’s Church there on 31 January 1915);
    died aged eight

By the beginning of 1915 they had evidently moved to Cumnor, and were living there when Sidney enlisted.

Poppy In the First World War Sidney George Bullock served as a Private, first in the Royal Horse Artillery and Royal Field Artillery (Service No.82141), and then in the “C” Company, 1st/5th Battalion of the Essex Regiment (Service No. 251375). He was killed in action in Palestine on 28 November 1917 at the age of 30.

Bullock is buried in the Ramleh War Cemetery (K.9), and his war grave there has the added words “TILL THE DAY BREAKS”. (Only 40% of war headstones bear an inscription such as this near their base: the main inscription was free, but families had to pay 3½d per letter for a personal message.)

He is remembered on the Roll of Honour of St Andrew’s Church, Old Headington (with his forename spelt as Sydney).

It appears that his wife Alice moved back to Headington with their two surviving sons Percival and Reginald to live in The Croft in St Andrew’s parish with her parents George & Mary Ann Tolley. It is unclear whether she moved there in 1915 when Sidney joined the war, or after his death. She was certainly living there in July 1923 when their son Reginald died at the age of eight: his funeral was at St Andrew's Church, and he was buried in Headington Cemetery on 14 July.


Postscript

St Andrew's memorial board

Sidney’s widow and surviving son
  • Mrs Alice Frances Bullock moved from The Croft to Old Road, probably with her parents, soon after her son Reginald's death: the house (then numbered 33) was the third one to the west of the York Road junction. She then moved with her parents to 35 Holyoake Road (then called Western Road), where she died in early 1925 at the age of 43. She was buried at Headington Cemetery on 3 March.
  • Percival George Bullock, the only son of Sidney and Alice, is very hard to trace apart from his baptism in 1913. He was orphaned at the age of ten, so may have been adopted and his surname changed; or he could have been sent abroad.
Sidney’s parents-in-law
  • Mrs Mary Ann Tolley died at Holyoake Road in 1927 at the age of 72 and was buried in Headington Cemetery on 7 February.
  • George Tolley died in Woolwich in 1932 at the age of 80 and was buried with his wife on 9 February.

See also
  • CWGC: Bullock, Sidney George
  • Wikipedia: Essex Regiment
  • Oxford Journal Illustrated, 9 January 1918, photograph of S. G. Bullock 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