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Oxford War Memorials: St Frideswide’s Church, Oxford

Alfred MOBEY (1892–1917)

Mobey in OJI
Oxford Journal Illustrated, 19 September 1917
Reproduced by kind permission of Oxfordshire
County Council, Oxfordshire History Centre

Mobey in OJI

Parents and siblings
  • Father: William MOBEY: born in Binsey in 1855 and baptised at St Margaret’s Church there on 29 April 1855; died in Osney, Oxford in 1932
  • Mother: Jane BELCHER: born at Appleton in 1856/7; died in Osney, Oxford in 1926

Alfred’s parents were married at Binsey Church on 27 March 1880. They had eleven children (but the two shown in italic died in childhood):

  • William Alfred Mobey: born in Binsey in 1880/1 and baptised there on 13 February 1881
  • Percy John Mobey: born in Binsey in 1882 and baptised there on 16 July
  • George Herbert Mobey: born in Binsey in 1884 and baptised there on 31 August;
    died there in 1885 (reg. second quarter)
  • Ada Elizabeth Mobey: born in Binsey in 1886 and baptised there on 20 June
  • George Mobey: born in Oxford in 1887/8 and baptised at Binsey on 8 April 1888
  • Frederick Henry Mobey: born in Oxford in 1889 and baptised at Binsey on 20 October; died in Oxford aged 11 in early 1901 with funeral at St Frideswide’s Church on 21 February after Coroner’s Order
  • Alice Maud Mobey: born in Oxford in 1891 and baptised at Binsey on 2 August
  • Alfred Mobey: born in Oxford in 1892 (birth reg. not found) and baptised at Binsey on 25 December
  • Joseph Albert Mobey: born in Oxford in 1895 and baptised at Binsey on 12 May
  • Florence Annie Mobey: born at Rewley Place, Oxford on 30 June 1897 and baptised at St Thomas's Church on 5 September
  • Montague Berty Mobey: born at 24 Barrett Street, Oxford on 12 September 1900 and baptised at St Frideswide’s Church on 11 November

Alfred’s father William Mobey was born and bred in Binsey, and at the time of the 1871 census was a fifteen-year-old agricultural labourer, living there with his mother and his stepfather, Joseph Wren. His future wife Jane Belcher (14), the daughter of a shepherd, was a servant at Appleford Villa that year, but she was also living in Binsey when they married there at St Margaret’s Church on 27 March 1880.

The couple remained in Binsey at first after their marriage, and at the time of the 1881 census they were living in the village with their firstborn son William Mobey junior, who was three months old: William senior was then 26 and working as a railway porter, and he still had this occupation when his daughter Ada was baptised in 1886.

By 1888 the family had moved to 3 Rewley Road, where Alfred’s father kept a beerhouse; but the next five children were still taken up to Binsey to be baptised. The 1891 census shows Alfred’s parents living at 3 Rewley Road with their five surviving children: William (10), Percy (8), Ada (4), George (3), and Frederick (1). They also had a lodger, and a servant girl of 16. Alfred himself was born the following year. Alfred's father was still a publican at Rewley Place/Road when his daughter Florence was baptised on 5 September 1897.

The beerhouse venture could not have been very successful, as by 1899 Alfred’s father was now working as a general (not railway) porter, and the family had moved to 24 Barrett Street. The 1901 census shows them there: five more children had been born since the last census, and one had just died, so there were now nine children at home: William (20) who was a postman; Percy (18) who was a railway porter; Ada (15) who was a general servant; George (13), Alice (9), Alfred himself (7), Joseph (6), Florence (3), and Montague (six months).

The family were still at this house in 1911, and Alfred’s father now described himself as a pianoforte porter. He wrongly listed all nine his children on the census form (instead of just those who spent the night in the house), but it appears that five were still living with their parents: William (30), who was a postman; George (23) who was a shop assistant; Joseph (14) who was a railway porter; and Florence (13) and Montague (11), who were at school. The four children who had left home were Percy (28), who was married with two children and living in east Oxford; Ada (24), who was working as a parlourmaid at 4 Staverton Road, Oxford; Alice (19), who was a kitchenmaid at Thanet in Kent; and Alfred himself (18), who was a footman at Cuddesdon College. There were two unexplained children in the household in 1911, described as sons but possibly illegitimate grandsons: Fred Henry Mobey (11) and George Herbert Mobey (11 months).

Poppy In the First World War Alfred Mobey served as a Serjeant in the 2nd/4th Battalion of the Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry (Service No. 201057) He was killed in action in Belgium at the age of 24 on 22 August 1917.

He is remembered on the Tyne Cot Memorial in Belgium (Panel 96–98), and on the St Thomas's Church war memorial. He is also listed on the right hand panel of the roll of honour for Cuddesdon College on the wall of Cuddesdon Church. He is at the end with three other people (probably all servants), and his surname is misspelt Moby.

Alfred is shown in a group of OBLI men in France in a photograph published after his death in the Oxford Journal Illustrated on 28 November 1917. His younger brother Joseph was also in the OBLI (see OJI of 9 February 1916).


Alfred Mobey’s parents

  • Mrs Jane Mobey (born 1856/7) died at 24 Barrett Street in 1926 at the age of 70 (funeral at St Frideswide’s Church on 13 July).
  • William Mobey (born 1855) died at 24 Barrett Street in 1932 at the age of 77 (funeral at St Frideswide’s Church on 10 August).

Alfred Mobey’s siblings

  • William Alfred Mobey (born 1880/1) worked for the Post Office for all his life. In the second quarter of 1911 in the Chipping Norton district he married Ida Stockford. Their daughter Irene May Mobey was born at 42 Mill Street, Osney on 22 October 1911 and baptised at St Thomas's Church on 24 December. William was living at 23 Princes Street, St Clement’s in 1935.
  • Percy John Mobey (born 1882) married Harriett Honour in Oxford in 1907 (reg. fourth quarter). At the time of the 1911 census he was a wine porter, living at 34 Howard Street in east Oxford with their two children, Winifred May Mobey (3) and Fred Mobey (under one month). They had two more children: Alfred E. Mobey (reg. fourth quarter of 1912) and Phyllis M. Mobey (reg. third quarter of 1915).
  • Ada Elizabeth Mobey (born 1886) was living at 27 Abbey Road when she married the decorator Ernest Quelch at St Thomas's Church Oxford on 4 December 1917.
  • George Mobey (born 1888) is probably the man of that name who married Ellen P. Austin in Oxford in the Headington district in the third quarter of 1932. The birth of their daughter Catherine E. Mobey was registered in the Oxford district in the fourth quarter of 1934. George Mobey was living at 54 Southmoor Road in 1935.
  • Alice Maude Mobey (born 1891) is probably the Alice M. Mobey who married Percy W. Wheeler in Oxford in the second quarter of 1925.
  • Joseph Albert Mobey (born 1895) is probably the Joseph A. Mobey who married Hilda P. Waddoups in the Banbury district in the third quarter of 1922. He was living at 50 Princes Street, St Clement’s in 1935.
  • Florence Annie Mobey (born 1897) is probably the Florence A. Mobey who married William G. E. Taylor in Oxford in the third quarter of 1932.
  • Montague Berty Mobey (born 1900) married Octavia D. Symons in the Willesden district in the fourth quarter of 1929.

© Stephanie Jenkins

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