Walter JENKINS (1880–1915)
Parents and siblings
- Father: Albert JENKINS: born in St Ebbe’s, Oxford in 1841/2; died in Oxford in 1887
- Mother: Esther Chapman WEBB born in St Ebbe’s, Oxford in 1843/4; died Oxford in 1912
Walter’s mother Esther, who was the illiterate daughter of a boatman, was first married to James Pulling, a baker. Their marriage took place at St Ebbe’s Church on 14 July 1862: she was 20 years old and six months pregnant. The couple lived in Friar Street and had one child, whom Walter’s father later brought up as his own:
- Annie Pulling, later Jenkins, born in Oxford in 1862 (reg. third quarter) and baptised at St Ebbe’s Church on 21 June 1863.
Esther’s first husband James Pulling died in 1864 (death reg. fourth quarter as Pullin).
On 2 June 1868 at St Thomas's Church, Mrs Esther Chapman Pulling née Webb married her second husband, Walter’s father Albert Jenkins. They had at least another eight children:
- Esther Chapman Jenkins: born at Walton Street, Oxford in 1869 and baptised at St Paul’s Church there on 25 April
- Albert Jenkins: born at Walton Street, Oxford in 1870 and baptised at St Paul’s Church there on 3 July
- Rose Jenkins: born at New Street, St Ebbe’s in 1871/2 and baptised at St Ebbe’s Church on 25 February 1872
- William Jenkins: born at Bridge Street, St Ebbe’s in July/August 1873 and baptised at St Ebbe’s Church on 31 August
- Frank Jenkins: born in Holy Trinity parish, Oxford in 1876 (registered Oxford district third quarter)
- Frederick Jenkins: born at 25 Friars Street, Oxford on 10 June 1878 and baptised at Holy Trinity Church in St Ebbe’s on 7 July
- Walter Jenkins: born in Jericho, Oxford on 25 January 1880 and baptised at St Barnabas’s Church there on 28 March
- Thomas Jenkins: born at 14 West Street in December 1881 and baptised at St Frideswide’s Church on 3 February 1882;
died aged seven weeks, funeral at St Frideswide’s Church on 15 February 1882.
Walter’s parents evidently started off their married life at 111 Walton Street, where they can be seen in the 1871 census: Albert was 27 and working as a coachsmith and Esther was 29, and they had three children: Annie (8) by Esther’s first husband, and Esther (2) and Albert (10 months) from her current marriage. They also had a lodger.
The family then moved to St Ebbe’s parish (to New Street by 1872, Bridge Street by 1873, and Friars Street by 1878), and then on to Jericho by 1880. They had five more children before the next census: Rose, William, Frank, Frederick, and Walter himself.
Walter was born in Jericho, Oxford on 25 January 1880 and baptised at St Barnabas’s Church there on 28 March. Soon after his birth the family moved 14 West Street in Osney, where they can be found in the 1881 census. Walter (aged one) appears for the first time; his father was still a coachsmith; and all seven of his older siblings were still at home. The house had six rooms (including the kitchen), so they also found room for a lodger (William Crowell, a clerk in holy orders). Walter’s brother Albert (10) was already described as working as a coachsmith.
Walter’s father Albert Jenkins died in the Radcliffe Infirmary on 3 March 1887 at the age of 43: he was suffering from a strangulated hernia, vomiting, and exhaustion. His funeral was on 9 March at St Frideswide’s Church, and his address was given as 14 West Street
By the time of the 1891 census, Walter’s mother (49) had moved to 38 Duke Street. Walter (11) was at school, and only two of his siblings were still at home: Frank (14), who was working as a general labourer, and Frederick (12), who was at school. His brother Albert and sister Rose had married in 1889 at the ages of 19 and 17 respectively.
On 15 July 1897 Walter (17 years and 11 months) joined the militia (Oxfordshire Light Infantry, 4th battalion), and his address was given as 5 Hayfield Road. His military documents show that he was just over 5′ 7 ″ tall, weighed 133 lb, had a chest size of 34″–36″, and a fresh complexion, grey eyes, and light brown hair. He was working as a labourer when on 2 February 1898 (a week after his 18th birthday) he joined the Grenadier Guards. He served in the UK until 2 July 1898, and then in Gibraltar until 11 November 1899. He served in the UK again from 12 November 1899 to 11 February 1900, and was then sent to serve in the South African War from 12 February 1900 to 6 October 1902. He gave as his next of kin his mother Mrs E. C. Jenkins of 34 Hayfield Road, and also mentioned but did not name his three sisters and four brothers.
Thus at the time of the 1901 census Walter (21) was serving in South Africa His mother was meanwhile living with her son Frank and his family at 26 Hayfield Road. Walter’s married brother Albert (30) was also living there.
Walter spent the last seven years of his military service, from 7 October 1902 to 31 January 1910, in the UK. At the time of the 1911 census he was lodging at 19 Holme Street Bedford with a family surnamed Gillett and working as a labourer in a cabinet works. His brother Frank and family were now at 67 Hayfield Road (a fourth number in the street, which may have undergone renumbering), but his mother, Esther Chapman Jenkins (69), was no longer with them: described as a former seamstress, she was in the Cowley Road workhouse. She died at the age of 70 in 1912 (registered second quarter in the Headington district, which included that workhouse).
At the time he enlisted Walter Jenkins was living in Chertsey, Surrey. Two people named Walter Jenkins were married in England between the 1911 census and the time of Walter’s death in 1915, but as the registration districts (Worcester and Hunslett) seem unlikely.
In the First World War Walter Jenkins enlisted in London and served as a Private in the 5th Battalion of the Duke of Edinburgh’s (Wiltshire Regiment) (Service No. 3/227) He was killed in action in Gallipoli at the age of 35 on 10 August 1915.
He has no known grave, but is remembered on the Helles Memorial in Turkey.
- CWGC: Jenkins, Walter
Walter was the uncle of Frank Jenkins, the man listed before him on the memorial
Walter Jenkins’s siblings
- Albert JENKINS (born 1870) became a carpenter. He was 19 and living at 6 Russell Street when on 24 February 1889 at St Frideswide’s Church he married Ada Emma FIELD (20). At the time of the 1891 census they were living at 224 Marlborough Road with their son Albert Raymond Jenkins (born Oxford early in 1890). Albert was living at 6 Pensons Gardens when he signed up with the Oxfordshire Light Infantry on 19 January 1900, but he left in early 1901 after fighting in South Africa. In 1901 Albert, still described as married, was staying with his brother Albert at 26 Hayfield Road. In March 1905 his son Albert Raymond joined the militia at the age of 15, giving both his parents at 19 Kingston Road as his next of kin. In the last quarter of 1907 Albert Jenkins married his second wife, Elizabeth Alice PALMER in Witney, and at the time of the 1911 census he was a picture-frame maker living in Chertsey with his new wife and two more sons: Alfred James Jenkins (5) and Frederick William Jenkins (3). Their third child, Vera Jenkins, was born in Chertsey in 1914 (reg. fourth quarter). Meanwhile in 1911 his son by his first marriage, Albert Raymond Jenkins, who was a shoemaker by trade, was in the Grenadier Guards.
- Rose JENKINS (born in 1871/2) was 17 when on 19 May 1889 at St Frideswide’s Church she married George Fred DRURY (20), a railway engine fireman. They began their married life in Osney, and their first son died unbaptised at 63 West Street when a week old and his funeral was at St Frideswide’s Church. Their first daughter Lily Mildred Drury was born at 31 East Street and baptised at St Frideswide’s Church on 17 July 1892. They then moved to London, and their other three children were born in Hammersmith: Hilda May Drury (1895), George Frederick Drury (1897), and Rose Marion Drury (1898). Rose died back in Oxford at the age of 32 (death reg. first quarter of 1905), and in 1911 her youngest children George Drury (13) and Rose Drury (12) were boarding with Henry & Kate Goddins at 46 Mill Street.
- William JENKINS (born 1873) became a milkman and later a milk dealer, and lived at the present 123 Botley Road (then numbered 111). On 26 January 1893 at St Frideswide’s Church when he was 20 he married (Louisa) Jane HARBUD (21), and they had six children: William Jenkins (born near the end of 1895), Florence Hilda Jenkins (born on 16 June 1898), Mildred Edith Jenkins (born on 15 July 1900), Laura Alice Jenkins (born near the middle of 1902); Frederick Jenkins (born near the end of 1907) and Phoebe Ethel Jenkins (born in December 1910): all but the last were baptised at St Frideswide’s. William’s first wife Louisa Jane died at the age of 42 in 1913 (reg. third quarter) and he married his second wife, Emma Alberta MOLE, at St Frideswide’s on 16 June 1919 and they had two children baptised at St Frideswide’s: Mildred Edith Jenkins (born on 12 October 1922) and George Douglas Jenkins (born on 14 May 1924). William Jenkins is still listed as a dairyman at 123 Botley Road in Kelly’s Directory for 1947.
- Frank JENKINS (born in 1876) also became a milkman: see the details of his family in the biography of his son, Frank, who was also killed in the war.
- Frederick Jenkins (born 1878) was living at 30 East Street in 1928.