Poppy Arthur Hubert MORRIS (1899–1918) Poppy

Arthur Morris

Arthur Hubert Morris was born at 74 Hayfield Road, Oxford in 1899, the son of Charles Morris (born in Bletchingdon in c.1860) and Ellen Louisa Peverell (born in Bletchingdon in c.1860 and baptised there on 10 March 1861).

Arthur’s parents were married in the Bicester Registration District (but apparently not at Bletchingdon) in the third quarter of 1882, and their first child was born shortly after the wedding. They had eighteen children in all, of whom eleven survived infancy, including the following:

  • Ellen Louisa Morris (born in Bletchingdon in 1882 and baptised there on 28 January 1883)
  • Edith May Morris (born in Oxford and baptised at St Giles’ Church on 26 October 1884)
  • Constance Charlotte Morris (born in Oxford and baptised at St Giles’ Church on 17 April 1886)
  • Charles Edward Morris (born in Oxford and baptised at St Giles’ Church on 17 June 1888)
  • Harry Morris (born in Oxford and baptised at St Giles’ Church on 29 December 1889; died aged one, funeral at that church on 24 October 1890)
  • Ethel Morris (apparently also known as Blanche; born in Oxford and baptised at St Giles’ Church on 11 July 1891)
  • Elsie Morris (born in St Giles’ parish, Oxford in c.1893)
  • Winnifred M. Morris (born in Oxford in c.1894)
  • Frank Morris (born in St Giles parish, Oxford in c.1895)
  • Jack Morris (born in Oxford in c.1897; probably baptised at St Giles Church); died age 5, with funeral at St Giles’ Church on 30 April 1903)
  • Arthur Hubert Morris (born in St Margaret’s parish, Oxford in 1899, registered second quarter)
  • Annie Morris (born in St Margaret’s parish, Oxford in early 1901, registered second quarter)
  • William Peverell Morris (born in St Margaret’s parish, Oxford in 1904, registered the fourth quarter).

Arthur’s father was a general labourer. His parents evidently started off their married life in their home village of Bletchingdon, but had moved to Oxford by 1884 and lived in St Giles’ parish in Radcliffe Row (which was presumably in the Woodstock Road, near the Radcliffe Infirmary). They were there at the time of the 1891 census, and remained until at least the middle of that decade.

In about 1898 the family moved to 74 Hayfield Road in St Margaret’s parish. They can be seen there in the 1901 census, when Arthur was just one-year old.

Arthur’s mother died at the age of 47 around the time of his eighth birthday, and her funeral was at St Giles’ Church on 1 March 1907. Arthur was a sickly child, but had several older sisters to help look after him.

At the time of the 1911 census Arthur was a schoolboy of 11, and his widower father, now more precisely described as an Oxford corporation labourer, was still living with eight of his children at 74 Hayfield Road: his eldest daughters were now 28 and 26 and presumably kept house for him. By 1913 the family had moved to 70 Hayfield Road.

Poppy In the First World War Arthur Hubert Morris served as a Private in the 2nd Battalion of the Northamptonshire Regiment (Service No. 49198). He went to the front in March 1918 (having barely recovered from an operation at the Radcliffe Infirmary for appendicitis) and died less than three weeks later at 47 Casualty Clearing Station in France on 25 April 1918, following a shrapnel wound to his abdomen, at the age of 19. He is buried in the Crouy British Cemetery, Crouy-sur-Somme (I.B.16) and is remembered on the war memorial outside St Margaret’s Church in north Oxford.

The telegram received by Arthur’s mother on 6 May 1918, twelve days after his death, is shown below:

Morris telegram

Morris's grave

 

Left: Photograph of A. H. Morris’s grave in France, kindly supplied by British War Graves. The text reads:

[Emblem of the
Northamptonshire Regiment]

49198 PRIVATE
A. H. MORRIS
NORTHAMPTONSHIRE REGT
25TH APRIL 1918

ONE OF THE BRAVEST
ONE OF THE BEST
DOING HIS DUTY
WAS CALLED TO REST

This is one of the 40% of war graves that bears a personal message at the end (for which the family had to pay 3½d per letter).

 

Below left: Arthur Morris’s war medal, inscribed with his name and HE DIED FOR FREEDOM AND HONOUR.

 

Below right: Arthur Morris’s original wooden cross, erected in the field that was to become the Crouy British Cemetery. The embossed metal strips give his service number, name, regiment, and date of death.

Arthur Morris's war medal

Original wooden grave of Arthur Morris

More letters relating to Albert Morris


St Margaret's Church War Memorial

After the War

Arthur Morris’s father
  • Charles Morris continued to live at 70 Hayfield Road, Oxford as a widower until his death at the age of 69; his funeral was at St Giles’ Church on 26 March 1930.
Arthur Morris’s siblings
  • Charles and Frank Morris became greengrocers: Charles’s shop was in at 209 Banbury Road in Summertown (then Summertown Parade), and Frank’s at 15 North Parade.
  • William Morris and his family and Miss Elsie Morris continued to live at 70 Hayfield Road after their father’s death, and William is still listed there in 1976. Elsie died in 1979.

See also


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