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Soldiers buried in Cowley St†Jamesís churchyard

The following 19 soldiers all died between 1877 and 1892 while stationed at Cowley Barracks and were buried in the churchyard of St James's Churchyard in Cowley, which used to be the regimental chapel of the Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry.

Most of the information about these soldiers was obtained from the crosses themselves, as they are otherwise hard to trace: they were likely to have been serving abroad at the time the censuses were taken.

All the deaths were registered in the Headington registration district, which included Cowley.


John Ashfield (c.1854–1877)

ashfield

John ASHFIELD
OXON MILITIA.
DIED
8TH APRIL 1877
AGED 23 YEARS.

Born c.1854. Possibly the John Ashfield whose birth was registered at Bromsgrove, Worcestershire in the first quarter of 1854.

Not identified in censuses.

By 1877 he was obviously in the Oxfordshire Militia (which was amalgamated into the Oxfordshire Light Infantry in 1881).

He died on 8 April 1877, aged 23.

The burial register of St James's Church in Cowley states that he died at Cowley Barracks at the age of 22 and was buried on 10 April 1877.


Alfred Bartlett (1861–1885)

Bartlett

NO. 1867 / PTE ALFRED BARTLETT
DIED / 4TH JUNE 1885 / AGED 24

Born near the end of 1861 at Bloxham, Oxfordshire and baptised there on 27 April 1862.
Son of Elijah Bartlett and Hannah Waters, who were married in 1860.
Father a labourer

1871 census: Living at Little Green, Bloxham with his parents and three younger siblings, and already employed as an agricultural labourer at the age of nine

1881 census: Labourer (19) at Chattenden Barracks in Kent.

By 1885 he was evidently a Private based at Cowley Barracks, but no regiment is given.

He died 4 June 1885, aged 24. The burial register of St James's Church in Cowley describes him as “a Roman” and states that he died at Cowley Barracks at the age of 24 and was buried on 6 June 1885 with a Roman Catholic rites (under the Burial Laws Amendment Act of 1880).


John Bryan (c.1859–1881)

Bryan

NO. 1226 / PRIVATE JOHN BRYAN / 42ND BRIGADE
DIED / 17TH JULY 1881 / AGED 22 YEARS

Born c. 1859, in Oxford according to the 1881 census, but the closest birth registration is that of John Bryan in the Bicester district in the fourth quarter of 1859.

At the time of the 1881 census Private John Bryan (22), a soldier in the 42nd Brigade (according to his grave marker) or in the 52nd Regiment (according to Jackson's Oxford Journal), was a prisoner at HM Prison, Oxford. He was still there when on 25 April 1881 he was sent to Reading for a trial at the Assizes, charged with “feloniously robbing, with violence, Geo. Evans, and stealing from his person three half-crown pieces”. He was released from prison shortly afterwards and evidently returned immediately to Cowley Barracks, as he died there on 17 July 1881, aged 22.

The burial register of St James's Church in Cowley states that he died at Cowley Barracks at the age of 24 rather than 22, and was buried on 19 July 1881, and that there was no service as he was a Roman Catholic.


Thomas Devereux (c.1848–1879)

Devereux

THOMAS DEVEREUX
85 LT INFANTRY
DIED
25 FEB 1879
AGED 30 YEARS

Born c.1848, possibly the Thomas Devereux reg. fourth quarter of 1848 at Wolstanton, Staffordshire

Not identified in censuses.

He had evidently joined the 85th Light Infantry by 1879.

He died on 25 February 1879, aged 30.

The burial register of St James's Church in Cowley states that he died at Cowley Barracks at the age of 30 and was buried on 27 February 1879


William Flynn (c.1851–1881)

William Flynn

NO. 675
CORPORAL WILLIAM FLYNN
42ND BRIGADE
DIED / 6TH MARCH 1881
AGED 29 YEARS

Born c. 1851. Birthplace unknown

Not identified in censuses

He was evidently a Corporal in the 42nd Brigade by early 1881.

He died on 6 March 1881, aged 29.

The burial register of St James's Church in Cowley states that he died at Cowley Barracks at the age of 29 and was buried on 10 March 1881


James Freeman (c.1854–1879)

James Freeman

JAMES FREEMAN
OXON MILITIA
DIED
22 JUNE 1879
AGED 25 YEARS

Born c. 1854. Birthplace unknown

Not identified in censuses.

He had evidently joined the Oxfordshire Militia by June 1879

He died on 22 June 1879, aged 25.

The burial register of St James's Church in Cowley states that he died at Cowley Barracks at the age of 25 and was buried on 25 June 1879


(Henry) John Grant (c.1851–1892)

John Grant

COLOR [sic] SERGT JOHN GRANT
DIED
10TH FEBRUARY 1892
AGED 41 YEARS

Born c. 1851 at Brighton, Sussex (according to 1881 census)

1881 census: Private John Grant (38), described as married, was stationed at Cowley Barracks.

He was a Colour Sergeant when he died on 10 February 1892, aged 41.

The burial register of St James's Church in Cowley states that a Henry John Grant died at Cowley at the age of 43 and was buried on 13 February 1892


George Green (c.1851–1877)

George Green

GEORGE GREEN
OXON MILITIA.
DIED
2ND APRIL 1877.
AGED 25 YEARS.

Born c. 1851. Birthplace unknown.

Not identified in censuses.

He had evidently joined the Oxfordshire Militia by 1877.

He died on 2 April 1877, aged 25.

The burial register of St James's Church in Cowley states that he died at Cowley Barracks at the age of 24 and was buried on 4 April 1877


Private Samuel Hammersley (c.1841–1883)

Samuel Hammasley

NO. 1298 / PRIVATE SAMUEL HAMMASLEY [sic] / OXFORD LIGHT INFANTRY
DIED / 16TH MAY 1883 / AGED 40 YEARS

Born in c.1841 at Fenton, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire and baptised there on 17 February 1841, the son of Thomas & Rebecca Hammersley.

1851 census: Samuel (10) was living at Fenton Culvert with his parents and three younger siblings. His father was a potter's carman.

1861 census: Samuel (20) was a coal miner boarding in Fenton.
He is hard to find in 1871 and is likely to have been stationed abroad.

1881 census: Private Samuel Hammersley (39), unmarried, was stationed at Cowley Barracks. He was in the 42nd Brigade of the newly formed Oxfordshire Light Infantry (renamed the Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry in 1908).

He died on 16 May 1883, with his age wrongly given as 40 years. The burial register of St James's Church in Cowley states that he died at Cowley Barracks at the correct age of 42 and was buried on 18 May 1883.


Thomas Hodgson (c.1839–1880)

Thomas Hodgson

NO. 980
PRIVATE THOMAS HODGSON
85TH LIGHT INFANTRY
DIED
23RD MAY 1880

Born c. 1839. Birthplace unknown.

Not identified in censuses.

He had evidently joined the 85th Light Infantry as a Private by 1880.

He died on 23 May 1880.

The burial register of St James's Church in Cowley states that he died at Cowley Barracks at the age of 41 and was buried on 25 May 1880


James Jefferson (c.1848–188)

James Jefferson

NO. 1441
PRIVATE JAMES JEFFERSON
85TH LIGHT INFANTRY
DIED 28TH JUNE 1880

Born c.1848. Birthplace unknown: possibly the James Jefferson who was born in Sunderland.

Not identified in censuses.

He had evidently joined the 85th Light Infantry by mid-1880.

He died on 28 June 1880.

The burial register of St James's Church in Cowley states that he died at Cowley Barracks at the age of 32 and was buried on 30 June 1880


James King (c.1838–1878)

James King

JAMES KING
52ND LT. INFANTRY
DIED
14TH MAY 1878
AGED 39 YEARS

Born c. 1838. Birthplace unknown

Not identified in censuses.

He died on 14 May 1878, aged 39.

The burial register of St James's Church in Cowley states that he died at Cowley Barracks at the age of 39 and was buried on 16 May 1878


John McGauley (c.1840–1877)

John McGauley

JOHN MCGAULEY
85TH LT. INFANTRY
DIED
25TH OCT. 1877
AGED 38 YEARS

Born in c.1840, probably the John McGauley whose birth was registered in the third quarter of 1840 in Liverpool.

Not identified in censuses.

He had evidently joined the 85th Light Infantry by 1877.

He died on 25 October 1877, aged 38.

The burial register of St James's Church in Cowley states that he died at Cowley Barracks at the age of 38 and was buried on 27 October 1877


John Henry Mutton (1865–1885)

Mutton

NO. 1504
PRIVATE JOHN HENRY MUTTON
OXFORDSHIRE LIGHT INFANTRY
DIED / 25TH JULY 1885 / AGED 19 8/12 YEARS

Born in 1865. Birthplace unknown. Possibly the John Henry Mutton baptised at Stoke Climsland, Cornwall on 17 June 1866.

Not identified in censuses.

Had evidently joined the Oxfordshire Light Infantry by 1885 (renamed the Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry in 1908).

He died on 25 July 1885, aged 19 years and eight months

The burial register of St James's Church in Cowley states that he died at Cowley Barracks at the age of 20 and was buried on 28 July 1885


John Page (c.1847–1878)

John Page

JOHN PAGE
85TH LT. INFANTRY.
DIED
5TH APRIL 1878
AGED 31 YEARS

Born c.1847. Birthplace unknown.

Not identified in censuses.

He had evidently joined the 85th Light Infantry by 1878.

He died on 5 April 1878, aged 31.

The burial register of St James's Church in Cowley states that he died at Cowley Barracks at the age of 31 and was buried on 8 April 1878.


Robert C. Paine (c.1845–1887)

Robert Paine

NO. 447
SGT ROBERT C. PAINE
DIED
30TH OCTR 1887
AGED 42

Born c.1845 (at Winlaton, Durham according to 1881 census, but birth reg. not found)

1881 census: Corporal Robert Paine (34), described as single, was based at Cowley Barracks.

He was a Sergeant when he died on 30 October 1887, aged 42 according to his grave marker. Despite the middle initial that it bears, his death was registered simply with the name Robert Paine.

The burial register of St James's Church in Cowley states that he died at Cowley Barracks at the age of 41 and was buried on 1 November 1887.


James Peacock (c.1860–1877)

James Peacock

JAMES PEACOCK
42ND BRIGADE
DIED
13 FEBY 1877
AGED 17 YEARS

Born c.1860. Birthplace unknown

Not identified in censuses.

He was in the 42nd Brigade by 1877.

He died on 13 February 1877, aged 17.

The burial register of St James's Church in Cowley states that he died at Cowley Barracks at the age of 17 and was buried on 15 February 1877.


Nicholas Walsh (c.1845–1881)

Nicholas Walsh

NO. 765
LANCE SERGT NICHOLAS WALSH
OXFORDSHIRE LIGHT INFANTRY
DIED 7TH NOVEMBER 1881
AGED 36 YEARS

Born c.1845 in Ireland

1881 census: Lance Sergeant Nicholas Walsh (36) of the 43rd Light Infantry, described as unmarried, was based at Copthorne Barracks in Shrewsbury.

Later that year he must have been transferred to Cowley Barracks, where he died on 7 November 1881, aged 36.

The burial register of St James's Church in Cowley states that he died at Cowley Barracks at the age of 37 and was buried on 11 November 1881 (“New Act of Parliament”).


George Wellbeloved (c.1848–1880)

George Wellbeloved

GEORGE WELLBELOVED
85TH LT INFTRY
DIED
15TH MARCH 1880
AGED 32 YEARS

Born c. 1848. Birthplace not known

Not identified in censuses.

He had evidently joined the 85th Light Infantry by 1880.

He died on 15 March 1880, aged 32.

The burial register of St James's Church in Cowley states that he died at Cowley Barracks at the age of 33 and was buried on 18 March 1880.

© Stephanie Jenkins

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