William HURCOMB (1850–1939)
His wife Mrs Sarah Ann HURCOMB, née Castle (1855–1911)
Their daughters Miss Alice HURCOMB (1886–1911)
and Dora HURCOMB (1888–1889)
St Giles (Ss Philip & James) section: Row 19, Grave F28
WIFE OF WILIAM HURCOMB
DIED JANUARY 10, 1911
AGED 55 YEARS
Right side, shown below
DIED MARCH 14, 1889 AGE 6 MONTHS
DIED SEPT. 2, 1911 AGED 25 YEARS
Left side, shown below
DIED SEPT. 20, 1939
AGED 90 YEARS
William Hurcomb was born in Oxford in 1850, the son of the printer Philip Hurcomb and Jane Sanders, who were married on 25 March 1835 at St Bridge’s Church, Fleet Street, London. For more on his parents, see their separate grave. In 1851 William (1) was living at Friar’s Wharf in St Ebbe’s with his parents; in 1861 he was with them at 4 Worcester Terrace (the present Richmond Road); and in 1871, when he was aged 21 and working as a bookseller/publisher’s clerk he was with them at Plantation Road. His father died in 1873, and in 1881 he was living with his mother at 1 Walton Villas.
Sarah Ann Castle was born at Observatory Street, Oxford in 1855 and baptised at St Paul’s Church on 9 December. She was the daughter of Joseph Castle, who worked for Oxford University Press, and Martha Savoury, who were married at Yarnton on 10 July 1842. For more about her parents, see their separate grave. At the time of the 1861 census Sarah Ann (5) was living at 16 Observatory Street with her parents and three of her siblings, and her grandmother Mary Savoury. By 1871 the family had moved to 3 Bevington Road.
On 3 February 1882 at St Paul’s Church, Oxford, William Hurcomb, described as a bookseller of 1 Walton Villas, married Sarah Ann Castle (26). They had the following children:
- Cyril William Hurcomb (born at 1 Walton Villas on 28 February 1883 and baptised at St Paul’s Church on 20 April)
- Harold Francis Hurcomb (born at 1 Walton Villas on 4 March 1884 and baptised at St Paul’s Church on 18 March)
- Alice Hurcomb (born at 32 Warnborough Road on 15 June 1886 and baptised at Ss Philip & James’s Church on 19 August)
- Dora Hurcomb (born at 32 Warnborough Road on 29 August 1888 and baptised at Ss Philip & James’s Church on 5 October 1889)
William and Sarah Ann began their married life at 1 Walton Villas. In 1885 William Hurcomb became the first leaseholder of 32 Warnborough Road, where they remained for the rest of their lives.
Their youngest daughter died as a baby in 1889:
† Dora Hurcomb died at 32 Warnborough Road at the age of six months on 14 March 1889 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 19 March (burial recorded in the parish registers of St Giles and Ss Philip & James’s Church).
Dora is remembered on the right-hand side of the base with her older sister Alice, who died at the age of 25.
At the time of the 1891 census William (41) and Sarah were at home at 32 Warnborough Road with their children Cyril (8), Harold (7), and Alice (4).
In January 1894 their son Cyril won a junior scholarship to Oxford Boys’ High School in George Street. As well as winning academic prizes, he was reported in Jackson’s Oxford Journal as coming top in sprinting and swimming, and in 1901 he came first in several races at the Ss Philip & James’ Rowing Club sports.
All the Hurcombs were still at home in 1901: Cyril (18) was about to go up to St John’s College, Oxford and Harold (17) was now an articled pupil to an architect.
Mrs Sarah Ann Hurcomb died early in 1911 at the age of 55,
† Mrs Sarah Ann Hurcomb née Castle died at 32 Warnborough Road at the age of 55 on 10 January 1911 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 13 January (burial recorded in the parish register of St Giles and probably Ss Philip & James’s Church).
Her effects came to £455 6s. 6d., and probate was granted to her husband Philip, described as a bookseller’s cashier.
At the time of the 1911 census William, a widower of 61 still working as an assistant bookseller, was living at 32 Warnborough Road with his son Cyril (28), who was Private Secretary to the Secretary of the Post Office, and his daughter Alice (24); his unmarried sister Ellen had come to live with him, and they had one servant.
His elder son was married in 1911:
- On 14 August 1911 at St Luke’s Church, Chelsea, Cyril William Hurcomb married Dorothy Ethel Brooke, the daughter of Alfred and Agnes Brooke.
Philip Hurcomb’s daughter Alice died just two weeks after her brother’s wedding in 1911:
† Miss Alice Hurcomb died at 32 Warnborough Road at the age of 25 on 2 September 1911 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 5 September (burial recorded in the parish register of St Giles and probably Ss Philip & James’s Church).
William Hurcomb was still at this address when he died in hospital on 20 September 1939:
† William Hurcomb died at the Acland Hospital at the age of 90 on 20 September 1939 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery (burial probably recorded in the parish register of Ss Philip & James’s Church).
His effects came to £2,672 2s. 7d., and probate was granted to his sons Sir Cyril William Hurcomb, electricity commissioner, and Harold Francis Hurcomb, surveyor.
Surviving children of William and Sarah Ann Hurcomb
- Cyril William Hurcomb (born 1883) and his wife Dorothy lived in London. Their daughter Pamela Hurcomb was born in Kensington in 1915. Cyril was appointed permanent secretary of the Ministry of Transport in 1927 at the age of 44, and was knighted in 1929. He transferred to the Electricity Commission in 1938. His wife died in 1947. He was created Baron Hurcomb in 1950. He died at Horsham, Sussex at the age of 92 on 7 August 1975, and the barony became extinct. See the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography for his full career, and this photograph of Lord Hurcomb in the Oxfordshire History Centre.
- Harold Francis Hurcomb (born 1884) married Florence Turrill at St Paul’s Church on 31 August 1912: he was aged 28 and described as a surveyor of 100 Shakespeare Road, Acton, and Florence (29) was the daughter of James Turrill, a poulterer of 31 Walton Well Road and the granddaughter of Rosetta Maria Turrill. Harold volunteered to serve in the First World War, and was appointed 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Engineers on 5 December 1915. He appears to have survived the war, but is hard to trace afterwards.