Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry (The 2/4th Battalion)

Research and Resources around the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry during WWI

Private William (Willie) White

From: First World War in Headington & Marston Roll of Honour of All Saints Church, Highfield

“William White (known as Willie) was born in New Headington in 1888, the son of Walter Richard White (born in Marston, birth registered in the first quarter of 1848) and Florence Louisa Harris (born in 1850, birth registered fourth quarter, and baptised in Summertown on 19 January 1851). His parents were married in the Headington Registration District in the fourth quarter of 1872 and had the following children:

* Frederick Richard. White (born in Marston, birth registered first quarter of 1874)
* Alice Emily White (“Emily”, born in Marston in 1876, birth registered second quarter)
* Kate White (born in Marston in 1877, birth registered third quarter)
* Frank White (born in Headington on 23 October 1880 and baptised at St Andrew’s Church on 28 November 1880)
* Ernest Walter White (born in Headington in 1881, birth registered fourth quarter)
* Walter William White (born in Headington in 1884, birth registered fourth quarter)
* William White (born in New Headington, baptised at St Andrew’s Church on 8 January 1888)
* Herbert Benjamin White (born in Headington on 19 January 1892 and baptised at St Andrew’s Church on 29 March 1892)
* Ella Beatrice White (born in Headington on 25 December 1892, baptised at St Andrew’s Church on 5 February 1893)

William’s parents evidently started off their married life in Marston, then moved to Headington by 1880. At the time of the 1881 census they were living at No. 2 Bath Buildings (later known as Mattock’s Row) on the south side of Wilberforce Street, and as William’s father was a gardener, it is possible that he worked for John Mattock.

By the time of the 1891 census, when William was aged three and already at school, his family had moved to 23 Bateman Street (then known as East Road). When he was six, his mother died at the age of 43, and was buried at Headington Cemetery on 20 October 1894.

William’s father Walter married his second wife, Harriett Kingham, in the Headington Registration District in the first quarter of 1898. The 1901 census shows him with Harriett and his nine children by his first wife at Fern Cottage, New High Street. William was then a stable lad of 13.

By 1911 William had left home, and around the time of the First World War must have married a woman called Alice. He gave New Headington as his address when he enlisted.

Poppy In the First World War William White was a Private in the 2nd/4th Battalion of the Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry (Service No. 201459). He was killed in action in Belgium at the age of 29 on 10 September 1917 and is buried in the Tyne Cot Cemetery. He is listed on the Roll of Honour of All Saints Church, Highfield.

William brother Herbert White died just seven months later in France.

After the War

William’s stepmother Harriett White died at their New High Street home and was buried at Headington Cemetery on 14 January 1919. His father Walter White died at 14 Piper Street (then called Cross Street) at the age of 78, and was still described as a gardener. He was buried in Headington Cemetery on 12 January 1927.

William’s widow, Mrs Alice White, was living at 68 Sutherland Rd., Longton, Stoke-on-Trent after her husband’s death.”

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