Jesse James WARD (1851–1938)
His son John Henry WARD (1872–1892)
With an inscription to his son Thomas Willie WARD, killed in the First World War
St Paul [St Barnabas] section: Row 52, Grave P20
JOHN HENRY WARD
[Next three lines illegible:
they must say that he died
in 1892 at the age of 20]
ALSO THOMAS WILLIE WARD, R.F.A.
KILLED IN ACTION AT
AUGUST 23, 1917, AGED 28
RE-BURIED AT ACHIET-LE-GRAND
ALSO OF JESSE JAMES THEIR FATHER
WHO DIED FEB. 24, 1938,
AGED 86 YEARS
Jesse James Ward was born in Freeland near Witney on 7 April 1851. He was the son of a single woman Hannah Harris, a gloveress of Freeland, and so he was baptised as Jesse James Harris at Eynsham Church on 1 June. His father was presumably William Ward, a labourer of full age, who married Hannah at Eynsham on 2 August 1851 when Jesse was nearly four months old.
At the time of the 1861 census Jesse was ten years old and living in Freeland with his parents: his father was working as an agricultural labourer, and his mother was still a gloveress. He had two younger siblings: Frederick (6) and Fanny (1).
In 1871, when he was aged 19, Jesse was living at Tar Wood House in Stanton Harcourt, working as the gardener of the solicitor Percival Walsh.
On 2 December 1871 at Shifford, Oxfordshire, Jesse James Ward (20), described as a groom of South Leigh, married Anne Powell (19) of Brighthampton: she was born in Shrivenham in 1852, the daughter of the gardener Thomas Powell. They had twelve children:
- John Henry Ward (born in Enstone in 1872, reg. Chipping Norton district second quarter)
- Annie Florence Ward (born in Asthall Leigh in 1873 and baptised at Asthall church on 31 August)
- Kate Ward (born at St Giles’s Road West, Oxford in 1875 and baptised at Ss Philip & James’s Church on 2 September)
- Lilian May Ward (born at Beech Cottage, Woodstock Road, Oxford in 1877 and baptised at Ss Philip & James’s Church on 22 July)
- Violet Emily Ward (born at Beech Cottage, Woodstock Road, Oxford on 8 April 1879 and baptised at Ss Philip & James’s Church on 5 June)
- Eleanor Rose Ward (born at Beech Cottage, Woodstock Road, Oxford on 14 May 1881 and baptised at Ss Philip & James’s Church on 31 July)
- Edith Hannah Privell Ward (born at Woodstock Road, Oxford on 3 March 1883 and baptised at Ss Philip & James’s Church on 17 May)
- Mabel Susan Ward (born at Woodstock Road, Oxford on 31 January 1885 and baptised at Ss Philip & James’s Church on 19 March)
- Elsie Beatrice Ward (born in Jericho, Oxford on 13 August 1887 and baptised at St Barnabas’s Church on 2 October)
- Thomas Willie Ward (born in Jericho, Oxford on 27 February 1890 and baptised at St Barnabas’s Church on 9 June)
- Gladys Irene Daisy Ward (born in Jericho, Oxford on 9 February 1893 and baptised at St Barnabas’s Church on 6 March)
- Wilfred James Ward (born in Jericho, Oxford on 18 May 1897 and baptised at St Barnabas’s Church on 8 August)
Jesse and Anne Ward began their married life in Enstone, but had moved to Asthall Leigh by 1873. They moved to Oxford in about 1875, and lived at the south end of the Woodstock Road: this was called St Giles’s Road West until about 1882. (Their address is given as 83 Woodstock Road when their daughter Edith was baptised in 1883, but the numbers subsequently changed.)
Jesse worked all his life as a groom & gardener, or just a gardener. At the time of the 1881 census he and Annie were living at Beech Cottage in the Woodstock Road with their first five children.
By 1887 the family had moved to Jericho, and the 1891 census shows them living at 14 Canal Street with their first ten children. The four eldest were now at work: John (19) was a bricklayer’s labourer; Annie (17) was a dressmaker’s apprentice; and Kate (15) and Lilian (15) were printer’s gatherers, probably at Oxford University Press.
Their eldest son John died in 1892:
† John Henry WARD died at 14 Canal Street at the age of 20 in November 1892 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 4 November (burial recorded in the parish register of St Barnabas’s Church).
Their last two children, Gladys and Wilfred, were born in 1893 and 1897 respectively.
Two of their daughters were married in the 1890s:
- On 21 March 1897 at St Barnabas's Church, Oxford, Kate Ward (21) married the printer's labourer Edwin Town (29);
- On 17 August 1898 at St Barnabas's Church, Oxford, Lilian May Ward (21) married the labourer James Thomas Powell (18). He died at the age of 24 in April 1904, and is buried in a separate grave in the cemetery (Row 33, Grave 20, not yet covered); and in 1908 in Oxford Lilian May Powell married her second husband Henry Charles Faulkner.
At the time of the 1901 census Jesse (49) and his wife Annie (48) were still living at 14 Canal Street with eight of their eleven surviving children. Annie (27) was a coat hand; Eleanor (19) was a paper folder; Edith (18) was a paper piler; Mabel (16) was a bodice machinist; Elsie (13) was a school monitress; and Thomas (11), Gladys (8), and Wilfred (3) were still at school. Their daughter Violet (22) was working as a cashier and boarding in Maidenhead.
Four more of their daughters were married before the next census:
- On 26 December 1903 at St Barnabas’s Church, Oxford, Violet Emily Ward (24) married the agent William George Clapp (23).
- On 14 January 1907 at St Barnabas’s Church, Oxford, Mabel Susan Ward (21) married the college servant Percy John Cross;
- On 26 December 1910 at St Barnabas’s Church, Oxford, Edith Hannah Ward (27) married the hairdresser Frank John Kemp (30);
- On 31 December 1910 at St Barnabas's Church, Oxford, Elsie Beatrice Ward married Charles Henry Foster.
At the time of the 1911 census Jesse and Annie Ward were living at 14 Canal Street and all five of their unmarried children were still at home: Annie (38) was a dressmaker, Eleanor (29) was a warehouse girl at the University Press, Gladys (18) was a pupil teacher, Thomas (21) was a bricklayer’s labourer, and Wilfred (13) was a printer’s assistant at the University Press.
Wilfred James Ward was an Oxford University Press apprentice in the machine room (Wharfdale) when he enlisted on 10 May 1916 (just before his nineteenth birthday), and so he is covered in the book The War Record of the Oxford University Press, Oxford. He served in the 3rd/1st Queen’s Own Oxfordshire Hussars in England to 7 June, and then in Ireland to 9 December. He was in France with the 1st/4th Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry from 10 December 1916 to 25 March 1917, where he was engaged in La Maisonette and Peronne. He contracted septic poisoning while on active service, and was in England (hospital and convalescent) to 25 August, and then in Ireland to 12 November 1917. He was in the 3rd/4th Reserve Battalion to 21 January 1918, and then transferred to the 7th Battalion and served in the Balkans to April 1919, where he was engaged in the Bulgarian Retreat from 21 September to 2 October 1918. He was subsequently in the Army of Occupation in Egypt. He was demobilized on 5 December 1919, and resumed work at the Press. He was living at 19 Jericho Street in 1936.
Thomas Willie Ward (1890–1918)
Thomas served in the 47th Battery of the 41st Brigade of the Royal Field Artillery (Service No. 251307) during the First World War. He was killed in action at Courcelles-le-Comte, France at the age of 28 on 23 August 1918. CWGC page
He was reburied in the Achiet-le-Grand Communal Cemetery extension (Grave III.H.9). He is remembered on a memorial in St Barnabas’s Church (left).
The inscription below was added to his brother’s grave in St Sepulchre’s Cemetery:
Jesse James Ward died twenty years after his son, in 1938:
† Jesse James Ward died at 14 Canal Street at the age of 86 on 24 February 1938 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 28 February (burial recorded in the parish register of St Barnabas’s Church).
His wife Mrs Annie Ward, née Powell died at 14 Canal Street at the age of 90 in December 1942. Her funeral on 5 December is recorded in the St Barnabas burial register, but as there is no inscription about her on this grave, she may have been cremated.