First World War in Headington and Marston, Oxford

(Herbert) Alfred CULL (1884–1916)

(Cull is also remembered on the All Saints’ Church Roll of Honour and thus appears twice in the “tour”)

Alfred Cull

Herbert Alfred Cull (known as Alfred) was born in Swindon, Wiltshire in 1884, the youngest son of George Cull (born in Hardwick, Gloucestershire in 1841 and baptised there on 26 September) and Eliza Williams (born in Newent, Gloucestershire in the second quarter of 1840).

His parents were married in Newent in the second quarter of 1866, and they had eight children:

  • Elizabeth Hannah Cull (born in Blaenavon, Monmouthshire in 1866/7)
  • Keturah Arabella Cull (born in Blaenavon, Monmouthshire in 1869)
  • Mary Ann Cull (born in Blaenavon, Monmouthshire in 1871)
  • Thomas Wood W. Cull (born in Blaenavon, Monmouthshire in 1873)
  • Charlotte Amelia Cull (born in Swindon in 1876)
  • William George Cull (born in Swindon in 1877); died in Swindon aged 7 in 1884
  • James Cull (born in Swindon in 1879)
  • (Herbert) Alfred Cull, always known as Alfred (born in Swindon in 1884).

Alfred’s father worked as a fireman on the Great Western Railway, and began his married life in Blaenavon, Monmouthshire. At the time of the 1871 census he was aged 31 and living at Glan Toran, Trevithin with his wife, their first two children, his younger brother Job Cull (14) who was working as a forge labourer, and a lodger.

In about 1875 George Cull followed the railway to Swindon, and at the time of the 1881 census he and his wife Eliza, , now with seven children, was living at 23 Prospect there.

Alfred was born in Swindon in 1884.

At the time of the 1891 census Alfred (6) was living at 127 Stafford Street in Swindon with his parents and three of his siblings: Thomas (18), who was a GWR fireman like his father, Charlotte (15), and James (11). Alfred’s sister Elizabeth (22) was working as a general servant in Bristol; Arabella (as Keturah now called herself) was a 21-year-old milliner on a visit to the Weston family in Calne; and Mary Ann (19) was a draper’s assistant in Brighton.

Alfred’s father George Cull died in the Swindon area at the age of 57 in 1897 (reg. third quarter).

By the time of the 1901 census, Alfred’s widowed mother Eliza (61) had moved to Oxfordshire and was employed at Hinton Waldrist as the housekeeper to a retired coachman John Ball (84). Alfred (16) was the only one of her children still living with her: he was now working as a farm labourer. His married sister Keturah was probably the key to the family’s arrival in Headington, as in 1901 she and her husband Tom Weston, who was a gardener, were living in the two-roomed lodge of Bury Knowle House on the London Road (now public conveniences) with their first three children. Bury Knowle House itself was then occupied by the barrister Major Charles Miskin Laing.

By 1906 Alfred’s sister Keturah had moved to Horton-cum-Studley, where her husband Tom Weston was a cowman on an estate. It appears that her mother and Alfred had moved into Bury Knowle Lodge when they moved out.

At the time of the 1911 census, Alfred (26), who was described as a labourer. and his mother Eliza (70), described as an old age pensioner, were living in Bury Knowle Lodge.

Poppy In the First World War Alfred Cull served as a Private in the 1st/4th Battalion of the Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry (Service No. 200590). He was killed in action at the age of 34 in France at the Battle of the Somme on 13 August 1916.

He has no known grave, but is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial (Pier and Face 10A and 10D) and on two war memorials in Headington churches, namely St Andrew's in Old Headington and All Saints' in Highfield. This implies that by 1920 his mother had moved from Bury Knowle Lodge to her later home at 82 Lime Walk (then numbered 68).


St Andrew's memorial board

Alfred’s mother
  • Mrs Eliza Cull died at the age of 86 and was buried at Headington Cemetery on 8 June 1926. At the time of her death she was living at 82 Lime Walk (then numbered 68).
Alfred’s sister
  • Keturah Arabella Cull (born 1869) married Tom Weston in the third quarter of 1893 in the Highworth registration district. They had six children by 1911: William George A. Weston (born in Corsham, Wiltshire in 1895); Maud Keturah Weston (born in Bath in 1897); Agnes G. Weston (born in Headington on 18 May 1902 and baptised at St Andrew’s Church on 6 July); twins Elsie Kathleen Weston and Iris Arabella E. Weston (born in Horton-cum-Studley in 1906); and Robert J. A. Weston (born in Horton-cum-Studley in late 1910).

See also

Back to St Andrew’s Church, Old Headington roll of honour

Back to War Memorials page on Headington Community Website