George DREW (1865–1949)
His wife Mrs Edith (Minnie) DREW, née Wadey (1861/2–1928)
Poppy Inscription to their son William John DREW who died in the First World War
Inscription to their son Albert George DREW (1887–1946)
St Mary Magdalen section: Row 43, Grave N60

George Drew





George Drew was born at Ock Street, Abingdon on 25 June 1865 and baptised at St Helen’s Church there on 2 September. He was the son of the builder George Drew (who in turn was the son of another builder, Richard Drew and his wife Ann Leonard, the daughter of the weaver Joseph Leonard. Both his parents were aged 21 and living in Ock Street at the time of their marriage.

At the time of the 1871 census George was five years old, living at the Happy Duke in Ock Street, Abingdon with his sisters Sarah (13), Alice (11), Elizabeth (10), and Martha (3). His brother Tom was born in 1871, followed by three more sisters: Mary Ann (born 1873), Ada (born 1876) and Lilian Sophia (born 1879).

George’s father died in at Ock Street at the age of 42 in April 1879, before the birth of his youngest daughter, and was buried at St Helen’s Church on 27 April. At the time of the 1881 census George (15) was working as a bricklayer and living at Ock Street with his mother and five of his siblings, and his niece Elsie Lodge (2).

Edith Wadey was born in Guildford, Surrey in 1861/2, the daughter of the carpenter Mark Wadey and his wife Mercy. At the time of the 1871 census she was aged 10 and living in Malt House Lane, Stoke, near Guildford with her parents and her siblings George (16), Clara (13), Alice (7), Edward (5), and William (2). Another sister, Mercy, was born in 1872/3.

Edith’s father died in 1876 at the age of 1845, and in 1881 Edith (19) and her mother Mercy (46) were still living in the same house, and both were working as laundresses. The three youngest children were also still at home: Edward (15) was an errand boy, and William (12) and Mercy (8) were still at school.

George Drew and Edith Wadey were married in Guildford in 1886 (reg. third quarter) and had the following children:

  • Albert George Drew (born at Stoke near Guildford on 4 October 1887 and baptised at St Barnabas Church, Oxford on 20 August 1891)
  • Edward Arthur Drew (born in Guildford on 14 October 1888 and baptised at St Barnabas Church, Oxford on 20 August 1891)
  • Walter Harold Drew (born in Oxford on 24 July 1890 and baptised at St Barnabas Church, Oxford on 20 August 1891)
  • Frank Bernard Drew (born in Oxford on 23 May 1892 and baptised at St Barnabas Church, Oxford on 10 July;
    died aged two in Oxford in the second quarter of 1895)
  • William John Drew (born in Oxford in 1894, reg. second quarter)
  • Edith Lily May Drew (born in Oxford in 1896, reg. fourth quarter)
  • Frank Augustus Drew (born in Oxford in 1901, reg. second quarter).

George Drew was a bricklayer, and he and Edith evidently began their married life in the Guildford area, but moved to Oxford by mid-1890. At the time of the 1891 census they were living at 43 Nelson Street, Jericho with their first three children Albert (40, Edward (2), and Walter (eight months), who were all baptised together at St Barnabas Church the following summer.

Their first son given the name Frank died aged two in 1895, and is likely to have been buried in St Sepulchre’s Cemetery.

George Drew spent census night of 1901 paying a visit to Henry Tuck, a chimney sweep, and his family in Wootton Bassett. His wife was home at 43 Nelson Street with Albert (14), who was now working as an office boy, and their five surviving children Edward (12), Walter (10), William (6), and Edith (4).

George and Edith Drew were both home in Jericho in 1911, with Albert (24), who was a bricklayer, Walter (20), who was a college servant, and the second son given the name Frank (9), who was still at school. Edward (22) was already married and living at his mother-in-law’s house; William (16) was also a college servant, but he spent census night in the Radcliffe infirmary; and Edith (14) was working as a pantrymaid at Somerville College, and was lodging with four other college housemaids and a kitchenmaid at 119a Walton Street.

George and Edith Drew were still living at 43 Nelson Street in 1916, when their son Lance Corporal Walter Harold Drew was pictured in the “Heroes of the War” section of the Oxford Journal Illustrated. Their sons George and William were also posted to the front that year.

William John Drew (1894–1918)


Drew St Barnabas

Their son William served in the First World War first in the 9th London Regiment (Service No. 5864) and then as a Serjeant in the 12th Battalion of the London Regiment (The Rangers) Artillery (Service No. 473413). He was killed in action in France at the age of 23 on 24 August 1918.

He is buried in the Bray Vale British Cemetery, Bray-sur-Somme (grave ref. I.A.7), and is also remembered on the St Barnabas Church war memorial (above right). CWGC page

Drew killed in FranceThe above inscription was added later added to his parents’ grave

By the early 1920s George and Edith Drew had moved to 39 Henley Street, off the Iffley Road in east Oxford.

† Mrs Edith Drew, née Wadey died at 39 Henley Street at the age of 65 or 66 on 13 December 1928 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 15 December (burial recorded in the parish register of St Mary Magdalen Church).

It is unclear why she was buried in the St Mary Magdalen section of the cemetery, but other people from St Paul’s parish were also buried there around this time.

George Drew was still living at 39 Henley Street when he died in hospital in 1949:

† George Drew died at 205a Cowley Road (the Cowley Road Hospital) at the age of 84 on 24 November 1949 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 24 November (burial recorded in the parish register of St Mary Magdalen Church).

His effects came to £2,683 17s. 6d.

Albert George Drew (the other son mentioned on the grave)

Albert George Drew (born in 1887) married his first wife, Florence Gertrude Couldrey, in Oxford in 1916, and had three children baptised at St Mary Magdalen Church: he was a clerk in the Royal Engineers living at 16 Gloucester Street when his sons Albert Douglas Drew and Betty May Drew were baptised on 27 May 1917 and 3 November 1918 respectively; and a builder at 5 Park Avenue, Willesden when Kathleen Florence Drew was baptised on 28 December 1919. His first wife Florence died at Wealdstone near Harrow at the age of 40 and her body was brought back to Oxford to be buried on 3 November 1928 in the Couldrey family grave (St Sepulchre’s Cemetery, St Mary Magdalen section: Row 28, Grave L66).

Albert married his second wife Grace Emily Hawkins in the Hendon district in 1932.

He died at 49 Marlborough Road, Wealdstone, near Harrow on 16 March 1946. His executor was his second wife Grace Emily Drew, and his effects came to £5,171 9s. 8d. He is mentioned on the fourth side of the family grave, but is not buried here.

Other surviving children of George and Edith Drew
  • Edward Arthur Drew (born 1888) married Lilian Kate Couling at St Mary Magdalen Church on 10 August 1910, and their son Arthur was born at 16 Friar’s Entry three weeks later on 1 September. At the time of the 1911 census Edward and Lilian were living with Arthur (seven months) at 16 Friars Entry with Lilian’s widowed mother Mrs Rhoda Couling. Arthur died there at the age of two and was buried on 28 July 1913. They had two more sons: George Edward Drew (born on 12 October 1913) and Harold Albert Drew (born at 66 Cranham Street on 29 May 1915) on 28 May 1915. Edward Drew was serving as a soldier when their daughter Dorothy Lilian Drew was born on 3 August 1917: she was baptised at St Barnabas’s Church on 7 October. Edward stayed in the army after the war and became an educational instructor: he was appointed Lance Corporal in 1919. His daughter Lilian, who did not marry, died at 66 Cranham Street at the age of 31 and was buried on 16 October 1919.
  • Walter Harold Drew (born 1890) was serving as a soldier and based in Northumberland when he married Elizabeth Frances Allnutt of 14 Church Street, the daughter of the tailor Thomas Moses Allnutt (and the granddaughter of Moses Thomas Allnutt), at St Ebbe's Church on 7 September 1918. They had two children: Deryk Allnutt Drew (1919) and Albert J. Drew (1924). He remained a college servant all his working life, and died at Oxford aged 82 in 1972.
  • Edith Lily May Drew (born 1896), last seen 1911 as housemaid at Somerville. It is possible that she was the Edith L. M. Drew who married Guido Polli at Romford in the second quarter of 1939.
  • Frank Augustus Drew (born 1901) was a woodworking machinist of 23, living at 39 Henley Street, when he married Minnie Abbs (23) of 128 Walton Street, the daughter of the French polisher Abraham Abbs, at St Giles's Church on 30 August 1924. They had three children: Colin Drew (1927), Kenneth Drew (1930), and Gillian Drew (1939). Frank Augustus Drew died in Oxford in 1973.



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