Poppy George Richard MORRIS (1881–1917) Poppy

George Morris
© Images & Voices,
Oxfordshire County Council

(middle initial wrong in newspaper)

George Richard Morris (usually known as Richard Morris) was born in Headington Quarry in 1881, the son of James Richard Morris (born at China Lane, Headington Quarry and baptised at Holy Trinity Church on 26 July 1857) and Matilda Elizabeth Goodgame (born at Headington Quarry and baptised at Holy Trinity Church on 14 August 1859). His parents were married at Holy Trinity Church in Headington Quarry on 16 April 1881 and had four children:

  • George Richard Morris (born in Headington Quarry and baptised at Holy Trinity Church, Headington Quarry on 25 September 1881)
  • Matilda May Morris (born in Headington Quarry and baptised at Holy Trinity Church, Headington Quarry on 24 June 1883)
  • Frank Morris (born in Headington Quarry on 6 October 1886 and baptised at New Inn Hall Street Methodist Chapel on 5 January 1887)
  • Walter Morris (born in Headington Quarry on 13 August 1890 and baptised in New Inn Hall Street Wesleyan Chapel on 8 October 1890).

Young George Richard’s father (who also appears to have been known as Richard) was a builder’s labourer. The 1891 census shows the family living in Quarry: young George Richard was then a schoolboy of nine. Their home is specified as “The Pits” in the 1901 census, and George (19) is a gardener (“not domestic”).

On 7 May 1904 George Richard Morris (22) married Florence Annie Cooper (21) at Holy Trinity Church, Headington Quarry, and they appear to have had six children (the first four are definite, and the last two extremely likely, as the mother’s maiden name is correct):

  • Gertrude May Morris (born in Headington Quarry on 23 June1905, and baptised at the Methodist Chapel in Tyndale Street, East Oxford on 25 July 1905)
  • Arthur Richard Morris (born in Headington Quarry in 1906, registered fourth quarter)
  • Frederick Morris (born on 14 November 1908 at 20 Harpes Road, Sunnymead and baptised at Holy Trinity Church, Headington Quarry on 5 March 1909)
  • Charles Edward Morris (born on 11 October 1911, birth registered in Headington district)
  • Likely: George W. Morris (born in 1913, birth registered in Headington district second quarter)
  • Likely: Florence E. M. Morris (born in 1915, birth registered in Headington district third quarter).

Between 1906 and 1908 George Richard and his young family had evidently moved to 20 Harpes Road. By the time of the 1911 census they were living at 42 Hayfield Road in St Margaret’s parish, but their eldest daughter Gertie spent census night back with her grandparents in Headington Quarry.

Poppy George Richard Morris volunteered to serve in the First World War and served as a Private in the ill-fated 2nd Battalion of the Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry (Service No. 24691). He was killed in action in France at the age of 35 on 28 February 1917, and has no known grave. He is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial (Pier and Face 10 A and 10 D), on the stone plaque in the porch of Holy Trinity Church in Headington Quarry, and on the memorial outside St Margaret’s Church in north Oxford.


St Margaret's Church War Memorial

After the War

George Richard Morris’s parents
  • James Richard Morris died at the age of 77 at 14 Pitts Road (shortly afterwards renumbered 38) and was buried at Holy Trinity churchyard on 4 May 1935.
  • Mrs Matilda Morris died at 38 Pitts Road at the age of 79 and was buried with her husband on 30 May 1939.
George Richard Morris’s widow
  • Mrs Florence Annie Morris married her second husband, James Phipps, in the second quarter of 1922 (Headington registration district). They continued to live at 42 Hayfield Road for the rest of their lives. James Phipps died at the age of 50 around the beginning of 1936, and Florence died at the age of 63 in 1945 (death registered Oxford third quarter).
George Richard Morris’s children
  • Frederick Morris (born 1908) married Elsie Cooper, and they had four children: Peter, Sidney, Richard, and Sheila.
  • Charles Edward Morris (born 1911) was aged 24 and living at 42 Hayfield Road with his mother and stepfather when he married Dorothy May Thomas (26) of 65 Cardigan Street at St Margaret’s Church on 3 August 1936. Both were shop assistants. His father who was killed in the war is recorded as a “deceased gardener”.

See also

  • CWGC: MORRIS, George Richard
    (FindMyPast confirms that this particular George Richard Morris was born in Headington)
  • Oxford Journal Illustrated, 4 April 1917, “Heroes of the War”: photograph of George Morris of Hayfield Road, who had died just over a month earlier (wrongly captioned G. H. Morris and shown above)
  • Wikipedia: Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry

Please email if you would like to add any material to this page

New book about the men on this war memorial now on sale: 47 Men of North Oxford

Back to St Margaret’s War Memorial home page