First World War in Headington and Marston, Oxford

George TRAFFORD (1897–1918)

George Trafford was born at Shotover Hill Place in Headington Quarry in 1897, the son of George James Trafford (born at Shotover Hill Place in 1877 and baptised at Holy Trinity Church on 30 December) and Sarah Bushnell (born in Abingdon in c.1871).

His parents were married in the Headington Registration District in the second quarter of 1897 and had the following children:

  • Henry Trafford (born at Shotover Hill Place in 1897 and baptised at Holy Trinity Church on 26 September)
  • George Trafford (born at Shotover Hill Place in 1898 and baptised at Holy Trinity Church on 27 November)
  • Sarah Patricia Trafford (born at Shotover Hill Place in 1900 and baptised at Holy Trinity Church on 15 April).

After their wedding George's parents settled in Shotover Hill Place which was at the east end of Old Road. This fell in the Headington Quarry ecclesiastical parish but the Forest Hill with Shotover civil parish.

George’s father George James Trafford was a bricklayer until 1898, but when his daughter was baptised in April 1900 he was described as a Private in the Royal Engineers. He went to fight in the Boer War and was a Sapper in the Pontoon Troop of the Royal Engineers (Service No. 22435). He died in Pretoria on 28 November 1900.

At the time of the 1901 census George (2) was living at Shotover Hill Place with his widowed mother Sarah (29), who was described as living on her own means, and his brother Henry (3) and sister Sarah (1).

In 1911 census George (12) was at school, and living at Shotover Hill Place with his widowed mother Sarah (39), who was working as a laundress for someone else, and his brother Henry (13) and his sister Sarah (11). Also living with them were George's maternal grandfather Henry Bushnell, a widower of 68 who was still working as a bricklayer.

George Trafford’s grave


Poppy George Trafford volunteered to serve In the First World War, and was originally in the Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry (Service No. 3021).

He then served as a Private in the 1st Battalion of the Princess Charlotte of Wales (Royal Berkshire) Regiment (Service No. 220407).

He died of wounds in France at the age of 20 on 23 March 1918, and his effects were returned to his mother Sarah Trafford.

He was buried in the Beaulencourt British Cemetery at Ligny-Thilloy (I.E.27). The photograph of his grave (left) was kindly supplied by British War Graves. The inscription reads:

[Crest of the Royal Berkshire Regiment,
showing the “China Dragon”
awarded for the Regiment’s service
in the First Opium War.]

220407 PRIVATE
23RD MARCH 1918


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





Quarry memorial

George’s mother
  • The Sarah Trafford who died at 38 Pitts Road at the age of 93 and was buried in Holy Trinity churchyard on 31 October 1964 was probably George’s mother: if so, she had been a widow for about 65 years.
George's sister
  • Sarah Patricia Trafford never married, and died at Hill House (a euphemism for Headington Workhouse) on 30 June 1928 at the age of 28. Her grave in Holy Trinity churchyard only bears her name, but it is likely that her mother was buried with her 36 years later.

See also
  • CWGC: Trafford, G (confirmed by FindMyPast as George Trafford, born in Headington Quarry)
  • Oxford Journal Illustrated, 29 May 1918, p. 6: photograph of George Trafford in the “Heroes of the War” section
  • Wikipedia: Royal Berkshire Regiment

Back to Holy Trinity Church, Headington Quarry roll of honour

Back to War Memorials page on Headington Community Website