First World War in Headington and Marston, Oxford

Donald Andrew MURRAY (1887–1917)

Donald Murray

Donald Andrew Murray was born in Manchester in 1887, the son of Donald Andrew Murray senior (born in Camden Town, London in 1851) and Martha Stoakes or Stokes, known as Pattie (born in York in early 1862 and baptised at St Michael, Spurriergate on 27 April).

At the time of the 1881 census Donald’s father, Donald Murray senior (29) was still living with his parents at Oldham: he was working as a commercial traveller in cigars. His future wife Martha Stoakes (20) was living with her uncle, a commercial traveller for a brewer’s agent, in Stretford, Lancashire.

Donald’s parents were married in Liverpool in the second quarter of 1884 and had seven children:

  • Donald Andrew Murray (born in Manchester near the beginning of 1887)
  • Stanley S. Murray (born in Manchester in 1888)
  • Maud Stokes Murray (born in Liverpool in 1893/4, reg. first quarter of 1894)
  • Jessie Murray (born in Handsworth, Staffordshire in 1895, reg. third quarter)
  • Florence Murray (born in Handsworth, Staffordshire in 1897, reg. third quarter)
  • Annie Murray (born in Handsworth, Staffordshire in 1899, reg. fourth quarter)
  • Thomas Murray (born in Handsworth, Staffordshire in 1902/3, reg. in first quarter of 1903).

Donald’s father continued to work as a commercial traveller for a tobacco manufacturer after his marriage, living first in Manchester, where Donald junior, who was their first child, was born in 1887.

In 1891 Donald (4) was staying with his father Donald (39) in the home of his grandparents Edward and Mary Murray at 173 Egerton Street, Oldham.

Donald's parents had moved to Liverpool by 1893, and to Handsworth, Staffordshire by 1895.

At the time of the 1901 census Donald (15) was living at 11 Westminster Road, Handsworth with his father Donald (49), described as a traveller for a tobacco manufacturer; his mother Martha (38); and his younger siblings Stanley (13), Maud (7), Jessie (5), Florence (3), and Annie (1).

By the time of the 1911 census Donald junior (25) was working as a tobacconist's manager in Oxford and lodging at 4 Great Clarendon Street with the family of a bookbinder, Walter Timms. Meanwhile his parents were still living at 11 Westminster Road, Handsworth, and all their other children were at home. Donald’s brother Stanley (23) was now working as an estate agent’s clerk.

♥ On 13 April 1914 at Cowley St John Church, Donald Andrew Murray (28), described as a shop manager who now lived at 66 Divinity Road, married Elsie May Wilde (27) of Handsworth, the daughter of the engineer Joseph Wilde. They spent their short married life in Headington, where they had one child:

  • Donald Frederick Murray (born in 1915 and baptised at All Saints’ Church in Headington on 16 September).

At the time of his son’s baptism, Donald Murray was described as an insurance agent, and the family was living in All Saints’ parish at 54 Windmill Road (then called “Uplands”); but they appear to have been living on the London Road at the time of Donald’s death.

Poppy In the First World War Donald Andrew Murray served as a Private, first in the Queen’s Own Oxfordshire Hussars (Service No. 3404), and then in the 1st/4th Battalion of the Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry (Service No. 203321). He was killed in action in Belgium at the age of 30 on 17 August 1917 and has no known grave.

Donald Murray on Tyne Cot Memorial


He is remembered on the Tyne Cot Memorial (Panels 96 to 98). The photograph of his name on that memorial (left) was kindly supplied by British War Graves.

He is also remembered on the Roll of Honour of All Saints’ Church, Highfield.

All Saints' board


Donald’s father
  • Donald Andrew Murray senior died at the age of 77 in the Birmingham North Registration District in 1929 (reg. second quarter).

See also

Back to All Saints’ Church, Highfield roll of honour

Back to War Memorials page on Headington Community Website