First World War in Headington and Marston, Oxford

Henry Joel PERRIN (1887–1918)

Henry Joel Perrin was born in Bix in 1887, the son of Oliver John Perrin (born in Bix in 1841 and baptised there on 26 September) and Jane Wellman or Welman (born in Wantage in 1844).

His parents were married at Bix on 10 June 1867 and had the following children:

  • Catherine Jane Perrin (born in Bix in 1868 and baptised there on 2 August)
  • Rosamund Perrin (born in Bix in 1869/70 and baptised there on 27 March 1870)
  • Oliver John Perrin (born in Bix in 1872, reg. third quarter)
  • Florence J. Perrin (born in Bix in 1874/5, reg. first quarter)
  • Charlotte A. Perrin (born in Henley in 1877 and baptised at St Mary's Church there on 4 May)
  • Edith Sarah Perrin (born in Bix in 1879 and baptised there on 14 September)
  • Ethel Kezia Perrin (born in Bix in 1884/5 and baptised there on 11 January 1885)
  • Henry Joel Perrin (born in Bix in 1887 and baptised there on 31 July).

Henry’s parents settled in Bix after their marriage, although they appear to have spent a short period in Henley proper, where Charlotte was born in 1877.

At the time of the 1881 census Henry’s father, Oliver Perrin was living at a public house in Bix with his wife and first six children and working as both a sawyer and publican.

Henry was born in 1887.

At the time of the 1891 census Henry (3) was living in Bix at The Fox pub with his father Oliver (49), described as a licensed victualler and sawyer; his mother Jane (56), and six of his older siblings: Catherine (20) and Florence (16), were domestic servants; Oliver (18), who was a wood sawyer; Charlotte (13), who had no occupation; and Edith (11) and Ethel (5), who were at school. Henry's other sister Rosamund (21) was a lady’s maid in Hillingdon, one of the eleven servants of the Hon. Sidney Herbert, MP for Croydon and Lord of the Treasury.

When Henry was 12, his father Oliver John Perrin died at the age of 58. He was buried in Bix churchyard on 17 February 1900.

By the time of the 1901 census, early in the next year, Henry’s widowed mother Jane Perrin had moved to 7 Belmont Road, Reading with three of her children: Catherine (32), Ethel (16), and Henry himself (now 13 and recorded as “Harry”). All Henry’s other siblings had left home: Rosamund (31) was married; Edith (21) was working as a housemaid in Hampstead; Oliver (28) was lodging in Mile End, London and working as a brewer’s labourer; and two of his sisters were in service in Oxford – Florence (26) was a cook at 24 Bradmore Road and Charlotte (23) was a nursemaid at 4 St Margaret’s Road.

Henry's widowed mother moved from the Reading area to Headington with Henry some time between 1903 and 1911, probably encouraged by her daughter Florence, who settled with her husband William Over in a house on the London Road (on the site of the present Boot’s) which she named Bix after her home village.

♥  On 25 June 1910 at Holy Trinity Church, Headington Quarry, Henry Joel Perrin, described as a plumber, married Clara Harriet Massey (who had been baptised at Holy Trinity on 30 January 1887 and was daughter of the Quarry builder’s labourer William James Massey). They initially settled in New Headington, and had four children:

  • Edith Clara Perrin (born in New Headington and baptised at All Saints’ Church on 16 July 1911)
  • Henry Oliver Perrin (twin: born in Headington on 6 December 1913 and baptised at Holy Trinity Church, Headington Quarry on 28 December; died aged 9 weeks and buried in that churchyard on 16 December 1913)
  • Florence May Perrin (twin: born in Headington on 6 December 1913 and baptised at Holy Trinity Church, Headington Quarry on 28 December)
  • John Henry Perrin (born in Headington on 1 July 1918 and baptised at Holy Trinity Church, Headington Quarry on 18 August).

The 1911 census shows Henry (23), who was working as a plumber for a builder, and his new wife Clara (24) living at 3 South Hill Cottages (now 46 New High Street) in Highfield together with Henry’s widowed mother Jane (67).

By the end of 1913 when their second child Henry was born, they had moved to Headington Quarry.

Poppy Henry Perrin volunteered to serve in the First World War and was a Serjeant in the 132nd Heavy Battery of the Royal Garrison Artillery (Service No. 291851): hence when his last child was baptised on 1 July 1918, his occupation was recorded in the register as “RGA”.

He died of wounds in France at the age of 31 on 10 September 1918, the day before the war ended. He is buried at the Peronne Communal Cemetery extension.

Henry Perrin is remembered on the stone plaque in the porch of Holy Trinity Church in Headington Quarry.


Quarry memorial

Henry’s widow
  • Mrs Clara Harriet Perrin (née Massey) married George T. Baker in the Headington registration district in the third quarter of 1921. She died at 49 Quarry High Street at the age of 80, and her funeral was at Holy Trinity Church on 25 October 1967.
Henry’s mother
  • Mrs Jane Perrin died in Reading at the age of 81 and was buried in Bix churchyard on 23 February 1926.
Henry’s children
  • Edith Clara Perrin (born 1911) married the steelworker Cyril George Lock at Holy Trinity Church on 3 August 1935. She was then a dairyworker and living at 26 Quarry High Street.
  • Florence May Perrin ( born 1913) married Gilbert G. Bricknell in the Oxford registration district in the first quarter of 1935.
  • John Henry Perrin (born 1918) married Dorothy M. Moore in the Oxford registration district in the third quarter of 1939.
Henry’s siblings
  • Rosamund Perrin (born 1870) was still a lady’s maid when on 15 June 1896 she married the Bix builder William Alfred Over at Bix church. At the time of the 1901 and 1911 censuses they were living at 6 Cranbury Road, Reading. They had three children: Muriel Rosamond Over (born 1899), Ronald Alfred Over (born 1905), and William Claude Over (born 1908).
  • Oliver John Perrin (born 1872) married Kate Ethel Scruby in the West Ham registration district in the second quarter of 1901. At the time of the 1911 census they were living at 22 Devonshire Road, Stratford with their children Daisy Perrin (9) and Frederick Perrin (3). Oliver was working as a brewer’s carman.
  • Florence J. Perrin (born 1874/5) married William Henry Barson in Oxford in the third quarter of 1901.
  • Edith Sarah Perrin (born 1879) married the stationer Alfred James Middleditch in the Reading registration district in the fourth quarter of 1903. At the time of the 1911 census they were living at Church Rise, Ruislip, and Edith (who ten years earlier had been a housemaid) now had a 15-year-old domestic servant of her own.
  • Ethel Kezia Perrin (born 1885) was married in Hendon in the third quarter of 1908.

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