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Oxford War Memorials: St Frideswide’s Church, Oxford

Herbert BUNCE (1894–1916) and Sidney BUNCE (1896/7–1918)
Parents and siblings

• Father: Frederick John BUNCE: born in St Ebbe’s, Oxford in 1861 (reg. fourth quarter); died at 4 Russell Street in mid-1913

• Mother: Jane CALCUTT: born at Newland, Cogges in 1862 (reg. Witney fourth quarter); died in 1945

Herbert and Sidney’s parents were married at Cogges on 19 December 1887: Frederick (26) was a smith of 4 Russell Street, Osney, and Jane (25) lived at Oxford Road, Cogges. They had eight children, all born at 4 Russell Street:

Sidney Bunce
Sidney Bunce
Oxford Journal Illustrated, 7 August 1918

Reproduced by kind permission of Oxfordshire
County Council, Oxfordshire History Centre

Sidney Bunce on memorial




Herbert Bunce

Oxford Journal Illustrated, 10 November 1915

Reproduced by kind permission of Oxfordshire
County Council, Oxfordshire History Centre


Bunce boys on the memorial

• Rose Bunce: born 1888/9 and baptised at St Frideswide's Church on 5 March 1889

• Frederick John Bunce: born 1889/90 and baptised at St Frideswide's Church on 10 April 1890

• Arthur Bunce: born 1891 and baptised at St Frideswide's Church on  8 November

• Leonard Bunce: born in 1893 and privately baptised by St Frideswide's Church on 21 October; death registered fourth quarter of that year

• Herbert Bunce: born 1894 and baptised at St Frideswide's Church on 28 October

• Sidney Bunce: born in 1896/7 and baptised at St Frideswide's Church on 16 March 1897

• Harold Bunce: born on 30 January 1899 and baptised at St Frideswide's Church on 4 April

• Hector Macdonald Bunce: born on 19 May 1901 and baptised at St Frideswide's Church on 31 October.

At the time of the 1881 census the grandparents of Herbert & Sidney, John & Mary Ann Bunce, were already living at 4 Russell Street. John was a blacksmith, and the boys’ father Frederick (19) was working as a blacksmith’s striker.

By the 1891 census Herbert & Sidney’s mother Jane (28) was at 4 Russell Street with her firstborn son, Frederick (1); her husband was away.

At the time of his children’s baptisms in the 1890s, the boys’ father was described as a blacksmith, but by the time of the 1901 census he was working as a builder’s labourer. The family was living at 4 Russell Street with their six surviving children, including Henry (6) and Sidney (4), all at home.

By 1911 Herbert (16) was a shop porter and Sidney (14) was dividing his time between school and working as a newsboy. Their two younger siblings, Harold (12) and Hector (10) were at home, but their three older ones had left home: Rose (22) was married and living in Jericho Gardens; Frederick (21) was a Private in the Royal Army Medical Corps working as a servant at the Royal Victoria Hospital at South Stoneham, Hampshire; and Arthur (19) was a boy soldier in the 16th Lancers at the Cavalry Barracks, Norwich.

Herbert and Sidney Bunce’s father, Frederick John Bunce, died at 4 Russell Street in 1913 at the age of 51, and his funeral was at St Frideswide’s Church on 16 July.

The two eldest sons, Frederick and Arthur Bunce, were already in the army when the First World War broke out, and survived. Arthur, who was in a cavalry regiment, was invalided out after being kicked in the head by a horse.

Their two younger brothers who died, Herbert and Sidney, were volunteers. The Oxford Journal Illustrated of 10 November 1915 published the photograph below in its “Patriotic families section. The caption reads:

(Second row) The four sons of Mrs. F. J. Bunce, Russell-street, Osney: (left to right) Tpr. A. Bunce (16th Lancers);
Pte. H. Bunce (1/4th O.B.L.I.); Pte. S. Bunce (2/4th O.B.L.I.); Pte. F. J Bunce (R.A.M.C).

Bunce family

A fifth brother, Harold Bunce, also went to war. He lied about his age, and was only 17 when he joined the Royal Flying Corps, where he acted as an observer; and he also went to Russia.

Poppy Herbert Bunce enlisted in Oxford as a volunteer in the First World War and served as a Lance Corporal in the 1st/4th Battalion of the Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry (Service No. 2801) He was killed in action in France at the age of 21 or 22 on 23 July 1916.

He was buried in the Serre Road Cemetery No. 2, France (Grave XIII.J.17).

Poppy Sidney Bunce also enlisted as a volunteer and served as a Lance Corporal in the 2nd/4th Battalion of the Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry (Service No. 20165). He was reported in the Oxford Journal Illustrated of 7 August 1918 as being a prisoner, but it was evidently later decided that he had died in France at the age of 21 on 14 June 1918.

He was buried in the Premont British Cemetery, France (Grave IV.A.41).

Aftermath

Herbert & Sidney Bunce’s widowed mother

  • Jane Bunce (born 1862) was living at 10 Castle Street just after the war. She died in Oxford in 1945 at the age of 82 (registered first quarter).

Herbert & Sidney Bunce’s siblings

  • Rose Bunce (born 1888/9) married Jack or John Denton in Oxford in the first quarter of 1907. At the time of the 1911 census they were living in Jericho Gardens with their daughter Gladys Rose Denton (3). John was a newsagent at 16 Magdalen Road when their daughter Sylvia Denton (born 28 December 1921) was baptised at St Frideswide’s Church on 19 February 1922.
  • Frederick John Bunce (born 1889/90) married Edith D. E. Bossom in Oxford in the third quarter of 1912. Their two children were born in Oxford: Cyril F. J. Bunce (1913, reg. third quarter) and Bertha I. Bunce (1914, reg. fourth quarter).
  • Arthur Bunce (born 1891) married Lilian Bertha Mabel Hunt at Cowley St John Church on 20 September1919. He was working as a motor driver and still living at 4 Russell Street with his wife when their son Donald Arthur Bunce was born on 27 May 1921 (baptised at St Frideswide’s Church on 10 July 1921). The birth of their daughter Daphne A. Bunce was registered in Oxford in the first quarter of 1925.
  • Harold Bunce (born 1899) married Edith May in Oxford in the first quarter of 1923. They had four children in Oxford: Harold E. Bunce (1924), Sidney J. Bunce (1925), Brian Bunce (1931), and Roy A. Bunce (1933).
  • Hector Macdonald Bunce (born 1901)was working as a machinist when he married Mary Victoria Rose Webb at St John The Evangelist Church, New Hinksey on 24 November 1923. They had five children in Oxford: Eileen J. Bunce (1924), Philip M. Bunce (1931), John F. Bunce (1934), Terence K. Bunce (1935), and Alan M. Bunce (1939). They were living at 579 Church Cowley Road in 1935.

© Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 15 November, 2016

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