First World War in Headington and Marston, Oxford

Frank Herbert GARDNER (1895–1917)

Some of this information is repeated under the entry for Frank’s brother Jack Gardner, who also died in the war

Frank Herbert Gardner was born in Headington in 1895, the son of Charles Gardiner or Gardner (born in Headington in 1858/9) and Mary Ann Walker (born in Wheatley in 1850). His parents were married at St Andrew’s Church on 20 April 1881 and had seven children:

  • Walter Joseph Gardner (born in Headington on 26 September 1881 and baptised at St Andrew’s Church on 27 November)
  • William Henry Gardner (born in Headington on 23 July 1883 and baptised at St Andrew’s Church on 30 September)
  • Frederick Charles Gardner (born in Headington on 15 May 1886 and baptised at St Andrew’s Church on 25 July)
  • John Bernard Gardner (born in Headington on 5 July 1888 and baptised at St Andrew’s Church on 30 September)
  • Fanny Caroline Sarah Gardner (born in Headington on 14 February 1891 and privately baptised by St Andrew's Church on 14 April):
    died aged fourteen weeks and buried in Headington Cemetery on 28 May 1891
  • Christopher Robert Gardner (born in Headington on 14 July 1892 and baptised at St Andrew’s Church on 16 October)
  • Frank Herbert Gardner (born in Headington on 9 September 1895 and baptised at St Andrew’s Church on 5 July).

At thee time of the 1891 census the family was living in New High Street (probably No. 63). Frank's father Charles who was a bricklayer's labourer was away, and his mother was in their New High Street home with their first five children.

Frank, who was their youngest child, was born in 1895, and he first appears in the census in 1901. He was then five years old and at home in New High Street with his father Charles (44), his mother Mary (50) and his five surviving siblings: Walter (19) and William (17), who were bricklayer's labourers; Frederick (14), who was a milk errand boy; and Jack (12), Christopher (9) and Frank (5). He would almost certainly have then been attending New Headington Infant School in Perrin Street.

On 9 June 1910 New High Street was taken out of St Andrew's parish, and from now on was in the new parish of All Saints.

In 1911 Frank (15) was working as an errand boy and was living at New High Street (probably at No. 62) with his father Charles who was still a bricklayer's labourer, his mother Mary, and his siblings Walter (29) and William (27), who were also bricklayer's labourers; Frederick (24), who was a cowman on a farm; Jack (22), who was a waggoner on a farm; and Christopher (18) who was a general labourer.

They were still in New High Street in 1911, when Frank (15) was working as a general errand boy, and it looks as though they were then living at No. 62.

Poppy In the First World War Frank Herbert Gardner served as a Private in the ill-fated 1st/4th Battalion of the Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry (Service No. 202151). He was killed in action in Belgium on 22 August 1917 at the age of 20.

He has no known grave, but is remembered on the Tyne Cot Memorial (Panel 96 to 98) and on the roll of honour of All Saints’ Church, Highfield.

His brother Jack was killed six months later on 22 March 1918.


All Saints' board

Frank’s parents
  • Mrs Mary Gardner died in 1925 at the age of 75 at her New High Street home and was buried at Headington Cemetery on 20 October.
  • Charles Gardner died on 22 September 1936 at the age of 78 in the London Road Hospital (The Laurels, formerly Headington Workhouse). He was described as a builder’s foreman at the time of his death.
Frank’s brother
  • John Bernard Gardner, known as Jack (born in Headington in 1888) was also killed in the First World War: see separate entry

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