Poppy Cyril Bryer LAMBERT (1895–1916) Poppy

Cyril Bryer Lambert was born in Oxford in 1895, the son of Archibald George Henry Lambert (born in Oxford in c.1872) and Lilian Anne Hine (born in Oxford on 5 March 1872 and baptised at St Barnabas’s Church on 19 May 1872). His parents had already had their first son, Archibald, and Cyril himself must have been well on the way when they were married in the Paddington Registration District in the third quarter of 1896. They had six children:

  • Archibald Edward Lambert (born at 72 Cranham Street, Oxford on 25 July 1895 and baptised at St Paul's Church on 30 August)
  • Cyril Bryer Lambert (born at 52 Observatory Street, Oxford on 20 October 1896 and baptised at St Paul's Church on 6 December)
  • (Ralph) Leonard Lambert (born at 29 St Bernard's Road, Oxford (then called St John's Road) in 1898 and baptised at St Paul's Church on 17 June)
  • Gwendoline Elfrida Lambert (born at 66 Walton Street, Oxford on 18 April 1900 and baptised at St Paul's Church on 3 July)
  • Hilda Lilian Lambert (born at 24 Observatory Street, Oxford on 30 September 1902 and baptised at St Paul's Church on 19 October)
  • Phyllis Rose Lambert (born at 24 Observatory Street, Oxford in 1904 and baptised at St Paul's Church on 18 December).

Cyril's parents moved around: they were at 72 Cranham Street in 1895, and then after their marriage at 52 Observatory Street in 1896, 29 St Bernard's Road in 1898 and 1899., and 66 Walton Street in 1900.

By the time of the 1901 census they were living at 24 Observatory Street, and Cyril’s father Archibald was described as a bootmaker’s assistant. Cyril (4) was not with his parents, however; he spent census night at 70 St Giles’ Street with his widowed grandmother, Mrs Agnes M. Lambert (59) and his unmarried aunt Eveline: since 1894 his grandmother had been running a boot & shoe maker’s shop at 70 St Giles’ Street, and both are described as boot & shoe sellers.

Cyril’s mother Lilian died at the age of 33 in the fourth quarter of 1905. Her family understand that she died after injuring herself lifting a very heavy sideboard too soon after the birth of her youngest child.. By the next year his father had moved to 15 Frenchay Road, their first address in St Margaret’s parish.

The 1911 census shows Cyril, who was still at school at the age of 14, living with his widowed father, his housekeeper, and three of his younger siblings at 15 Frenchay Road. His eldest brother, Archibald (15), described as a former college servant, was now a bugler in the army, in barracks in South Stoneham, Hampshire, while his sister Hilda had been adopted by a childless couple, the coal merchant Samuel Foster and his wife Cecilia, and was living with them in Queen’s Road, Thame.

Lambert shops in St Giles in 1912

The above engraving by Frederick Charles Richards of c.1912 shows the shops demolished in 1931 to make way for an extension to the Taylorian Institution. The name of the boot & shoemakers Lambert can be read on both their shops: No. 73 on the left (next to the old part of the Taylorian) and No. 70 three doors to the north.

In about 1915 Cyril’s father, Archibald G. H. Lambert, took over Mrs Agnes Lambert’s second boot & shoe maker’s shop at 73 St Giles. The following year the family moved to 16 Farndon  Road in St Margaret’s parish.

Poppy In the First World War Cyril Bryer Lambert served as a Private in the 1st Battalion of the Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry (Service No. 18057), and is believed by his family to have joined under age. He was killed in action in the Persian Gulf at the age of about 19 on 6 April 1916 and has no known grave. He is remembered on the Basra Memorial (Panels 26 and 63) and on the on the war memorial outside St Margaret’s Church in north Oxford.

The following year, on 9 June 1917, Cyril’s elder brother, Archibald Edward Lambert, was also killed in the war (in Belgium) at the age of 22. He was a Gunner in the 2nd/1st Berkshire Battery of the Royal Horse Artillery (Service No. 616369) and is buried at the Strand Military Cemetery (IV.E.4). Having joined the army as a boy bugler, he had married Constance N. L. Mallett in the Woodbridge registration district in the third quarter of 1916, and their daughter, Betty L. R. Lambert, was born in the Headington registration district in the second quarter of 1917. He is missing from the St Margaret’s war memorial because he had moved away from home before his family moved into the parish. Archibald’s widow married Frank L. Mitchell in the Headington registration district in the third quarter of 1919, and went to live at Charlton, Canterbury Tye, Brentwood, Essex.

Cyril’s younger brother Leonard  also signed up for the war under age and was badly gassed in France.

St Margaret's Church War Memorial

After the War

Cyril’s grandmother
  • Mrs Agnes Lambert continued to run a boot & shoe maker’s shop at 70 St Giles until 1925. Then her daughter, Miss Evelyn Lambert, took the shop over until it was demolished by the University to make way for the first extension to the Taylorian Institution.
Cyril’s father
  • Archibald George Henry Lambert married his second wife, Miss Alice Mary Williams, at St Margaret’s Church on 1 July 1919: he was still living at 16 Farndon Road, and she lived three doors away at No. 14. They had two daughters, who would have been Cyril’s half-sisters: Kathleen May Lambert (baptised at St Margaret’s Church on 24 July 1921) and Anne M. Lambert (born 1 June 1924). Cyril’s father continued to run his boot & shoemaker’s shop at 73 St Giles until 1930, when his shop was demolished along with his sister’s. He remained at 16 Farndon Road until 1945, and then Cyril’s posthumous stepmother, Mrs Lambert, is listed at the house from 1947 to 1969.
Cyril’s siblings
  • Leonard Lambert died in 1975.
  • Gwen Lambert stayed in Oxford to help run the shoe shop with her father.
  • Phyllis Lambert became a teacher and travelled, and lived in Holland for a number of years in later life.

See also

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