First World War in Headington and Marston, Oxford

Joseph HERITAGE (1887–1915)

Joseph Heritage

Joseph Heritage was born in Sandford-on-Thames in 1886/7, the son of William Heritage (born in Cowley in c.1863) and his first wife Elizabeth Anne or Anne Elizabeth Sellard, known as Annie, born in Garsington in 1861 and baptised there as Elizabeth Ann Sellar on 17 November).

His parents were married in haste at Garsington Church on 28 June 1884 and had the following children:

  • William Frederick Heritage (born at Sandford-on-Thames in about August 1884 and baptised there on 25 December); died aged four months and buried there on 8 February 1885
  • Ernest James Heritage (born in Littlemore/Sandford-on-Thames in 1885 and baptised at Garsington on 27 December)
  • Joseph Heritage (born in Sandford-on-Thames in 1887 and baptised there on 8 May)
  • Annie Heritage (born and baptised in Sandford-on-Thames on 15 August 1888);
    died aged one day and buried there on 16 August 1888.

Joseph’s father William Heritage was a gardener, and he and his first wife Elizabeth Ann lived in Sandford-on-Thames.

Joseph’s mother Elizabeth Ann Heritage died at the age of 28 and was buried at Garsington churchyard on 8 December 1889.

Just six months later, in the second quarter of 1890 in the Headington registration district, Joseph's father William Heritage married his second wife, Alice Hodgkins (born in Cowley in 1868). They had nine children:

  • William David Heritage (born in Sandford-on-Thames in 1891 and baptised at Garsington on 27 December)
  • Annie Elizabeth Heritage (born in Garsington in 1893 and baptised there on 20 March)
  • Charles Heritage (born in Garsington in 1894 and baptised there on 23 September)
  • Alice Agnes Heritage (born in Garsington in 1896 and baptised there on 5 April)
  • Iris Violet Heritage (known as Violet, born in Garsington in 1897 and baptised there on 6 June)
  • George Heritage (born in Horspath in 1899 and baptised there on 6 August)
  • Victoria Daisy Heritage (born in Horspath in 1901 and baptised there on 7 April)
  • Rose May Heritage (known as May, born in Horspath in 1903 and and baptised there on 6 August)
  • Sarah Lilian Heritage (born in Horspath in 1907 and baptised there on 10 March)

In about 1892 Joseph moved with his father and stepmother from Sandford-on-Thames to Garsington, and then in about 1898 they moved again to Horspath.

At the time of the 1901 census Joseph (14) was a carter's boy on a farm, living at Blenheim in Horspath with his father William (37), who was described as a non-domestic gardener; his stepmother Alice (33); and his seven surviving step-siblings: William (10), Annie (8), Charles (7), Alice (5), Violet (4), George (1), and Victoria (one month).

♥ On 17 May 1908 at Holy Trinity Church, Headington Quarry, Joseph Heritage (21) married Sarah Anne Dandridge (18), the daughter of the Headington Quarry brickmaker Abraham Dandridge. The couple settled in Quarry, and Joseph became a brickmaker, probably working for his father-in-law. They had four children:

  • Beatrice Maria Heritage (born at Headington Quarry in 1910 and baptised at Holy Trinity Church on 27 February)
  • George Thomas Joseph Heritage (born at Headington Quarry on 16 September 1911 and baptised at Holy Trinity Church on 29 October); died aged 2 years 5 months and, buried in the churchyard on 8 March 1914
  • Daisy Myrtle Heritage (born at Headington Quarry on 12 September 1913 and baptised at Holy Trinity Church on 28 December)
  • Ernest Joseph Wilfred Heritage (born at Headington Quarry on 29 August 1915 and baptised at Holy Trinity Church on 21 September).

The 1911 census shows Joseph with his wife Sarah and first child Beatrice (1) living “Near the school”. Living with them was Joseph's widower father-in-law Abraham Dandridge  (59), who was a brickyard labourer, and his wife’s niece Rosie Dandridge (4).

Meanwhile Joseph’s father William Heritage (49) was still living back in Horspath in 1911 working as a roadman for the county council. He was living with his second wife Alice (43) and Joseph’s full brother Ernest (26), who was now a jobbing gardener, and seven children from his second marriage. Four of Joseph’s step-siblings were not at home: William (who was married and living at Wheatley), Charles (who was visiting James & Mary Heritage in Chipping Norton), Alice (who was boarding with a family in Upper Heyford), and Iris Violet (who was a servant in Osney).

Poppy By the time his youngest son was baptised on 26 August 1915, Joseph Heritage had already volunteered to serve in the First World War and was described in the register as a soldier. He served as a Private in the ill-fated 2nd Battalion of the Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry (Service No. 17782).

He was killed in action in France aged 29 on 24 September 1915 and was buried in the Guards Cemetery, Windy Corner, Cuinchy (I. E. 1).

Heritage on Horspath memorial

Joseph Heritage is remembered on the stone plaque in the porch of Holy Trinity Church in Headington Quarry; on the memorial inside St Giles' Church in Horspath; and on the new village memorial (right) unveiled in Horspath on 11 November 2018.


Quarry memorial

Joseph’s widow
  • Mrs Sarah Anne Heritage had a daughter who was given her husband's surname even though she was born twenty months after his death, namely Ruby May Heritage (born on 29 May 1917 and baptised at Holy Trinity Church in Headington Quarry on 29 July 1917). Joseph's widow later married Arthur Godfrey Sumner, who was a roadman, and their son Arthur John Alfred Sumner was born on 31 April 1925 and baptised the next month at Holy Trinity Church. The couple lived at 6 Vine Cottages, Pitts Road.
Joseph’s three surviving children
  • Beatrice Maria Heritage (born 1910) married William Alfred Evans of 4 Ferry Road, New Marston on 20 December 1930 at Holy Trinity Church in Headington Quarry. Their son Malcolm James Evans was born on 31 March 1940 and baptised at St Andrew’s Church on 12 May 1940. They were then living at 43 Fettiplace Road, Barton.
  • Daisy Myrtle Heritage (born 1913) married Reginald Fry, a corporation worker of 11 New Cross Road, on 3 December 1933 at Holy Trinity Church in, Headington Quarry. They had four children: John R. Fry (born 1935); Josephine Fry (born 1936), died as a baby); Michael David Fry (born 4 November 1939); and Geoffrey Fry.
  • Ernest Joseph Wilfred Heritage (born 1915) married Marjorie V. New in the Oxford registration district in the second quarter of 1938, and they had one son, Brian J. Heritage, whose birth was registered in the Abingdon district in the first quarter of 1940. Both mother and baby died soon after the birth, and Ernest married his second wife, Dorothy J. Buncombe, in the third quarter of 1946.
Joseph’s full brother
  • Ernest James Heritage married Annie L. Batten in the Headington registration district in the second quarter of 1918.

See also

Back to Holy Trinity Church, Headington Quarry roll of honour

Back to War Memorials page on Headington Community Website