Poppy The Revd Sidney DUNSTAN (1884–1918) Poppy

Sidney Dunstan was born on 12 March 1884 in King William’s Town in South Africa, the first son of William Dunstan, a mason, of Barberton, Transvaal. He was educated at St John’s College in Johannesburg, an Anglican school for boys founded in 1898.

Dunstan then came to England, and attended Dorchester Missionary College in Oxfordshire from 1904. He was ordained in London, as Deacon in 1908 and Priest in 1909. He then served as a Curate in London from 1909 to 1910, first at St Mary Cable Street and then at St George-in-the East.

Dunstan then returned to South Africa, and was a General Licentiate of the Diocese of Pretoria from 1910 to 1911, and then Curate of Boksburg from 1911 to 1913.

He then came to England a second time and was matriculated as a non-collegiate student of the University of Oxford in October 1914 when he was 30 years old and the First World War had already started. Such students could be members of the University without being members of any College or Hall, and were thus spared the considerable expense of membership of and residence in a college. He passed Responsions (the preliminary examinations for entry) in Michaelmas Term 1914.

In 1915 Dunstan became Curate of St Margaret’s Church in North Oxford, and lived nearby at 76 Kingston Road, which was then called the Villa Mediterranée and divided into apartments, run by a Miss Costar. He simultaneously continued with his course at the University, and in Hilary Term 1916 passed in Holy Scripture (which was then compulsory for all undergraduates). Dunstan is included in the lists of candidates for the examination in Greek and Latin (also compulsory) printed in the Oxford University Gazette in February and June 1917, but he does not appear to have passed this, or any further, undergraduate examinations during his time at Oxford.

On 27 July 1916 at Halifax, Sidney Dunstan (32), whose address was now given as Chalfont Road, married Muriel Alicia Worrall (25) of Halifax, the daughter of the merchant Thomas Edward Worrall. They do not appear to have had any children.

All the baptisms at St Margaret’s Church between 8 April 1917 and 18 March 1918 were conducted by Sidney Dunstan.

Poppy Dunstan commenced his war service 3½ years after his matriculation, on 2 May 1918. He served as a Chaplain (Fourth Class) in the Royal Army Chaplains’ Department, and was attached to the 84th Training Reserve Battalion.

He was only in the army for two months, because on 16 July 1918, at the age of 34, he died in the Military Hospital at Clipstone, Nottinghamshire of illness contracted while on active service. (It seems likely that he never actually served abroad, and that his two months as an Army Chaplain never took him further than the Clipstone training camp in Mansfield.)

Rev. S. Dunstan's grave

 

Dunstan is buried in Nottinghamshire at the Mansfield (Nottingham Road) Cemetery (Ref. A.3414) and remembered on the war memorial outside St Margaret’s Church in north Oxford.

 

Left: Photograph of the Rev. S. Dunstan’s grave in Mansfield, kindly supplied by British War Graves. The text reads:

[Emblem of Royal Chaplains’ Department]

REV. S. DUNSTAN
CHAPLAIN TO THE FORCES
4TH CLASS
16TH JULY 1918

 

Dunstan was also listed on the St Catherine’s Society War Memorial, which was lost, but replaced in St Cross Church when St Catherine’s College was built (below).

St Catz: Dunstan

Administration (with Will) was granted in London to his widow Muriel Alicia Dunstan on 9 January 1919. He left £343 15s. 11d.


St Margaret's Church War Memorial

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