First World War in Headington and Marston, Oxford

Anthony KIMBER (1880–1918)

Anthony Kimber

Anthony Kimber was born at the Prince’s Castle pub in Barton in 1880, the son of Elias James Kimber (born in Horspath in 1847 and baptised there on 27 June) and Caroline Higgs (born in Caroline Street, Oxford in 1846 and baptised at St Clement’s Church on 15 February).

His parents were married at Horspath on 9 August 1868 had the following children:

  • Louisa Caroline Kimber (born in east Oxford in 1870 and baptised at Horspath on 5 June)
  • William Kimber (born in Barton in 1872, but not baptised at St Andrew’s Church until 1 February 1874, at the same time as his next brother)
  • Elias James Kimber (born in Barton in 1873 and baptised at St Andrew’s Church on 1 February 1874)
  • Arabella Emily Kimber (born in Barton in 1874 and baptised at Horspath on 11 October)
  • Henry Kimber (born in Barton 1875/6)
  • Augusta Martha Kimber (born in Barton in 1877, reg. last quarter)
  • Thomas S. Kimber (born in Barton in 1879 and baptised at St Andrew’s Church on 25 May)
  • Anthony Kimber (born in Barton on 25 October 1880 and baptised at St Andrew’s Church on 27 February 1881)
  • Frederick Charles Kimber (born in Barton on 22 February 1882)
  • Adelaide Margaret Kimber (born in Cowley in 1885 and baptised at St James's Church there on 27 September)
  • Beatrice Mary Kimber (born in Headington Quarry in 1887 and baptised at St Andrew’s Church on 28 August).

Anthony’s father Elias was a bricklayer by trade, and he and Anthony's mother Caroline first lived together in Princes Street in east Oxford, where they can be seen in the 1871 census. By 1872 they had moved to Barton in Headington, where Elias soon became a publican (as his father had been before him).

At the time of the 1881 census Anthony (five months) was living at the Prince's Castle in Barton with his father Elias (32), who was described as a bricklayer & beer retailer; his mother Caroline (33); and his seven older siblings Louisa (11), William (9), Elias junior (8), Arabella (6), Henry (5), Augusta (3), and Thomas (2).

At some point between 1882 and 1886 the family appear to have moved briefly to the village of Cowley, but by the time of Beatrice’s baptism in August 1887, they were back in Quarry.

At the time of the 1891 census Anthony (10) was still at school and living at Old Road, Headington Quarry with his father Elias (43), who was again working as a bricklayer; his mother Caroline (44); his sister Louise (21); his brothers William (19) and Elias junior (18), who were bricklayers; his sister Arabella (16); his brother Henry (15), who was a greengrocer's shop boy; and Augusta (13), Thomas (12), Frederick (9), Adelaide (5), and Beatrice (3).

By 1895 they had moved to Shotover Hill Place (at the east end of Old Road), which was in the ecclesiastical parish of Headington Quarry but the civil parish of Forest Hill with Shotover. Anthony’s brother Henry Kimber died there at the age of 19 and was buried in Holy Trinity churchyard on 14 April 1895.

At the time of the 1901 census Anthony (20) was a bricklayer, living at Kiln Lane (Shotover Hill Place) with his father Elias (55), his mother Caroline (54) and his siblings Louisa (31), who helped at home; Arabella (26) who was a linen machinist; Augusta (23), who was an assistant schoolmistress; Thomas (22), who was a carman; Frederick (19), who was a mason's apprentice; Adelaide (15), who was a pupil teacher; and Beatrice (13), who was a carman.

Anthony’s mother Caroline Kimber died at Shotover Hill Place in 1906 at the age of 60 and was buried at Holy Trinity churchyard on 4 September 1906. Her gravestone reads: “In loving memory of Caroline, the beloved wife of Elias Kimber, who died Sept. 2nd 1906”.

♥ In the third quarter of 1907 in the Eastbourne registration district, Anthony Kimber married Miriam Charlotte Coppock (born in Headington Quarry in 1881). At the time of the 1901 census Miriam (who was the daughter of William Coppock, the sub-postmaster and grocer of Headington Quarry, and his wife Hannah) had been lodging at Padbury in Buckinghamshire and working there as a teacher, and her next position may have been in the Eastbourne area.

At the time of the 1911 census Anthony (30) was a builder who employed at least one other man, living on the south side of the London Road between Stile Road and Holyoake (then Western) Road (identified as 150 London Road, now “Posh Fish”). With him were his wife Miriam (29) and Miriam’s widowed mother, Mrs Hannah Coppock (74). This house was in the anomalous part of St Andrew’s parish that still lies to the south of the London Road.

Four years later on 24 March 1915, Anthony’s wife Miriam Kimber died at Euston Road in London at the age of 33, and she was buried at Holy Trinity churchyard on 28 March 1915. They do not appear to have had any children, and Anthony may have moved back to live with his parents in Quarry after her death.

Poppy In the First World War Anthony Kimber served as a Private in the 10th Battalion of the Lincolnshire Regiment (Service No. 42215), and then transferred to the 231st Area Employment Company of the Labour Corps (473580).

He died of wounds aged 37 in France on 17 April 1918. Administration was granted in Oxford to his father, the builder Elias James Kimber, on 19 September 1918. Anthony left £1,886.

Grave of Anthony Kimber in Belgium

He was buried at the Haringhe (Bandaghem) Military Cemetery in Belgium (I. F. 9). The photograph of his grave (left) was kindly supplied by British War Graves. The inscription reads:

17TH APRIL 1918 AGE 37

[Crest of the Lincolnshire Regiment, which was
awarded the Sphinx emblem and Honour EGYPT
for service under Wellington in 1801]


This is one of the 40% of war graves that bears a personal message at the end (for which the family had to pay 3½d per letter).

Image of Kimber from his grave in Belgium



Right: The photograph of Anthony Kimber laid at the foot of that grave

Words about Anthony added to his wife’s grave


Right: The following inscription to Anthony Kimber was added to the grave of his wife, who predeceased him, in Holy Trinity churchyard:

APRIL 17, 1918


He is also remembered on the stone plaque in the church porch.


Quarry memorial

Anthony’s father
  • Elias James Kimber died at “Kimberley House” at the age of 72 on 18 November 1919 and three days later was buried with his wife in Holy Trinity Churchyard.
Anthony’s brothers
  • William Kimber (born 1872) married Annie Sarah Coppock at Holy Trinity Church on 4 November 1893. In 1911 he was landlord of the Six Bells in Quarry.
  • Elias James Kimber junior (born 1873) married Lilian Frances Day at Holy Trinity Church on 18 July 1896. He died on 1 May 1933.
  • Thomas Kimber (born 1879) was described as a corn merchant of Headington Quarry when he married Ella Emma Sturges White at Oddington Church on 26 October 1912. He died on 14 December 1953.
  • Frederick Charles Kimber (born 1882) married Ethel Agnes Pitson at St Lawrence’s Church, Toot Baldon on 10 April 1909. He was a stonemason, and also publican of the Crown Inn at Toot Baldon. He died on 6 May 1925.
Anthony’s sisters
  • Louisa Caroline Kimber (born 1870) never married.
  • Arabella Emily Kimber (born in 1874) never married. She died near the beginning of 1946.
  • Augusta Martha Kimber (born 1877) married William Harry Townsend, an O.B.L.I sergeant, at Holy Trinity Church on 19 January 1910. She died on 27 September 1949.
  • Adelaide Margaret Kimber (born 1885) married the Marston farmer Charles Henry Haynes on 30 November 1911. She died in 1962.
  • Beatrice Mary Kimber (born 1887) married Emmanuel Richard Coombs at Holy Trinity Church on 16 April 1914; her husband also died in the First World War and is on the Holy Trinity roll of honour.

See also

Back to Holy Trinity Church, Headington Quarry roll of honour

Back to War Memorials page on Headington Community Website