First World War in Headington and Marston, Oxford

Reginald Harry MILES (1885–1917)

Reginald Harry Miles was born in Headington in 1885, the son of Harry Miles (born at Cann, near Shaftesbury, Dorset in 1862 and baptised there on 1 August) and Lucy Draper (born in Headington in 1866 and baptised at St Andrew’s Church on 29 July).

At the time of the 1881 census, four year's before his parents's marriage, Reginald’s father Harry Miles (18) was working as a gardener and lodging in a house in Puddletown, Dorse, while his mother Lucy Draper (14) was living with her laundress mother and younger brother in New High Street, Headington.

His parents were married at St Andrew's Church on 10 August 1885 and had the following children:

  • Reginald Harry Miles (born in New Headington on 22 December 1885 and baptised at St Andrew’s Church on 31 January 1886)
  • William Miles (born in New Headington on 12 February 1888 and baptised at St Andrew’s Church on 8 April)
  • Lucy Miles (born in New Headington on 6 March 1890 and privately baptised by St Andrew's Church on 9 April);
    died aged five weeks and buried at Headington Cemetery on 15 April 1890
  • Frank Miles (born in New Headington in 1891 and baptised at St Andrew’s Church on 12 April)
  • Arthur Miles (born in New Headington on 21 April 1893 and baptised at St Andrew’s Church on 18 June)
  • Edith Miles (born in New Headington on 30 July 1895 and baptised at St Andrew’s Church on 15 September)
  • Edwin Miles (born in New Headington on 12 March 1898 and baptised at St Andrew’s Church on 24 April).

After their wedding Reginald's parents settled in New Headington, probably with Lucy's parents as she was only 19. Reginald was born there four months after the wedding.

When Reginald's sister Lucy was baptised in early 1890 his father Harry was still working as a gardener, but a year later at the time of the 1891 census Harry (28) was a carrier and coal merchant who employed others, living at 27 Bateman Street (then called East Road) with Lucy (24) and their first three children Reginald (5), William (3), and Frank (one month).

By the time of the 1901 census the family had moved to New High Street. Their house is listed just to the south of Bateman Street, and was probably “The Limes” (now No. 41, which was definitely their address in 1917). Reginald (15), who was working as a coal merchant's porter, lived there with his father Harry (38), who operated from home as a carrier and coal merchant, his mother Lucy (34), and his siblings William (13), Frank (10), Arthur (7), Edith (5), and Edwin (3).

At the time of the 1911 census Reginald (25) was still a coal porter, living at 41 New High Street with his caol merchant father Harry (48), his mother Lucy (44), and four of his siblings: Frank (20), who was a grocer’s assistant; Arthur (17), who was a gardener; Edith (15); and Edwin (13), who was still at school.

Poppy In the First World War Reginald Harry Miles served as a Private in the 1st/7th Battalion of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment. He was killed in action at the Somme in France at the age of 31 on 27 March 1917 (Service No. 266899).

Miles was buried at the Tincourt New British Cemetery (IX. A. 12), and his war grave there has the added words “A LOVED ONE AT REST”. (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 All Saints’ Church, Highfield.

All Saints' board


Reginald’s parents
  • Harry Miles continued to be listed as a coal merchant in Kelly’s Directory until 1916. He was described as a retired coal merchant when he died at 41 New High Street in 1921 at the age of 58. He was buried in Headington Cemetery on 21 February.
  • Mrs Lucy Miles remained at The Limes, 41 New High Street. She died in Oxford at the age of 67 in 1933.
Some of Reginald’s siblings
  • William Miles (born 1888) married Evelyn Adelaide Busby at All Saints’ Church on 14 July 1917. Their son David W. Miles was born in the Headington registration district in 1926.
  • Frank Miles (born 1891) was a Private in the A.D.C. and living at 41 New High Street when he married Ada Adelaide Annie Jacobs of Portland Villa, Windmill Road at All Saints Church on 15 January 1916. Their daughter Peggy Miles was born in the Headington registration district in 1923.

Back to War Memorials page on Headington Community Website