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Oxford War Memorials: St Frideswide’s Church, Oxford

John William FENEMORE (1873/4–1918)

Fenemore, OJI 7 July 1915
Oxford Journal Illustrated, 7 July 1915
Reproduced by kind permission of Oxfordshire
County Council, Oxfordshire History Centre


Fenemore on memorial

Parents and siblings
  • Father: William FENEMORE: born in North Hinksey in 1841 and baptised as FINMORE at St Lawrence’s Church there on 7 March; died in Oxford in 1899/1900
  • Mother: Esther KILBY: born in North Hinksey in 1843 and baptised at St Lawrence’s Church there on 30 July; died at 1 West Street, Osney in 1899 and buried at North Hinksey on 19 April 1899

John’s parents were married at North Hinksey Church on 16 May 1865 (with name now spelt FINMOR) and had seven children (but the four in italic died in infancy or childhood):

  • Esther Fenemore: born in North Hinksey in 1865 (reg. as FINMORE) and baptised at St Lawrence’s Church there on 27 August; died aged 4 yrs 10 mths and buried in its churchyard on 1 June 1870
  • Mary Jane Fenemore: born in North Hinksey in 1867 (reg. as FENMORE) and baptised at St Lawrence’s Church there on 23 June; died age 3 and buried in its churchyard on 23 June 1870
  • Ann Fenemore: born in North Hinksey in 1871 (reg. as FENMORE) and baptised at St Lawrence’s Church there on 14 May; died aged 11 and buried there on 5 February 1883
  • John William Fenemore: born in North Hinksey in 1873/4 (reg. as FENEMOR) and baptised at St Lawrence’s Church there on 8 March 1874
  • George Fenemore: born in North Hinksey in 1877 and baptised at St Lawrence’s Church there on 8 July; died aged 13 months and buried in its churchyard on 8 August 1878
  • Ada Fenemore: born in North Hinksey in 1881 and baptised at St Lawrence’s Church there on 18 September
  • Arthur Thomas Fenemore: born in North Hinksey in 1886 and baptised at St Lawrence’s Church there on 31 October

North Hinksey Church
St Lawrence’s Church, North Hinksey

The 1871 census shows John’s parents living alone at North Hinksey: their first two children (Esther and Mary Jane) had already died in infancy. John’s father (30) was a Master Boot & Shoe Maker, and his mother Esther (28), who was due to give birth to her next child, Ann, in a matter of weeks, was a shoe binder.

John was born in North Hinksey in 1873/4 (reg. first quarter) and baptised at the church there (with surname spelt FINMOR) on 8 March 1874. His younger brother George was born in 1877, but only lived for just over a year.

At the time of the 1881 census John (7) was with his parents and only surviving sibling Ann (9) in North Hinksey. His next sister Ada was born later that year; his sister Ann died at the age of 11 in 1883; and his youngest sibling Arthur was born at North Hinksey near the end of 1886.

Between 1886 and the time of the 1891 census, the family had moved to 1 West Street in Osney. John (17) was now an apprentice to a cabinet maker, and his father was still a shoemaker. His younger brother and sister were at school, and also in the household was his cousin, Annie Hutson.

In 1899 John’s mother Esther died at 1 West Street at the age of 55 and was buried at St Lawrence’s Church, North Hinksey on 19 April; his father William died shortly afterwards at the end of 1899 or beginning of 1900 (registered first quarter of 1900).

On 12 March 1900 at St Frideswide’s Church, John William FENEMORE, described as a cabinet maker of 1 West Street, married Clara SHOTT. Clara (born in Highgate, London in 1871, reg. second quarter) was then living at 24 Duke Street. They had three children:

  • Winifred Hester Fenemore (born at 6 Christ Church New Buildings, Oxford on 15 October 1900 and baptised at St Thomas’s Church on 23 January 1901; died shortly afterwards (death reg. first quarter of 1901)
  • Sydney Thomas Fenemore (born at 6 Christ Church New Buildings, Oxford on 3 December 1901 and baptised at St Thomas’s Church on 22 January 1902)
  • Constance Mary Fenemore (born on 12 February 1904 and baptised at St Thomas’s Church on 13 February; died shortly after birth (death reg. first quarter of 1904).

At the time of the 1901 census John (28), now a journeyman carpenter, and his wife Clara (30) were living at 6 Christ Church New Buildings. Their first daughter Winifred had already died, and John’s sister Ada (19) had come to live with them. In the third quarter of 1908 Ada married Eric W. Remnant in the Headington registration district, and they moved away from Oxford.

John’s son Sydney was born at the end of 1901, but his daughter Constance, born in 1904, died soon after birth. Then in 1910 John’s wife Clara Fenemore died at the age of 39 (reg. Oxford fourth quarter), leaving him with a 9-year-old son.

John’s brother Arthur died at the age of 27 in 1912 (reg. Oxford fourth quarter). Thus in the years between 1900 and 1912 John had lost both of his parents, his wife, two of his children, and his only brother, while his only surviving sister had moved away. The 1911 census shows his only surviving son Sydney (9) in a boarding establishment at 6 Abbey Road, while John, a widower of 37, was living alone in two rooms at 12 Christ Church buildings and still working as a carpenter. His sister Mrs Ada Remnant was with her husband and first son at 91 Benskin Road, Watford.

John’s address in 1915 was (according to Jackson’s Oxford Journal) in Duke Street. His mother-in-law Mrs Shott was still living there at No. 24, and it is possible he and his son were living with her, and that she was able to care for his son when he volunteered to go to war.

Poppy In the First World War John William Fenemore enlisted in Oxford as a volunteer and served as a Private in the 5th Battalion of the Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry (Service No. 10111). He was wounded in mid-1915, but returned to fight again in the 1st Battalion. He died in Mesopotamia at the age of 44 on 20 April 1918.

He was buried in the Baghdad (North Gate) War Cemetery), Iraq (Grave ref. XVIII.E.8).

Aftermath

John Fenemore’s only surviving child

  • Sydney Thomas FENEMORE (born 1902) married Winifred E. COULING in Oxford in the first quarter of 1934. The birth of their son Peter A. Fenemore was registered in Oxford in the first quarter of 1935. Sydney Thomas Fenemore died in 1966 in the Oxford district.

John Fenemore’s only surviving sibling

  • Ada FENEMORE (born 1881) and her husband Eric REMNANT had four children: Walter Leslie Remnant (born in Bicester in 1909/10); Eric W. Remnant (born in Watford in 1911); Marjorie E. Remnant (born in Hackney in 1915); and Dora L. Remnant (born in Watford in 1917/18). Mrs Ada Remnant lived to be 85 and died in 1966 in Chatham Kent.

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© Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 15 November, 2016

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