Poppy Michael Ambrose MORRIS (1883–1915) Poppy

Michael Ambrose Morris was born at Stoke Fleming in Devonshire in 1883, the son of the Revd Charles Morris (born in Sarisbury, Hampshire in c.1843) and Penelope Dunn (born in Houghton-le-Spring, Durham, in c.1853). Michael’s parents were married in the Hastings registration district in the fourth quarter of 1880 and had seven children, all of whom were still alive in 1911:

  • Charles Edward Morris (born in Blackwater, Hampshire in c.1881, registered in Hartley Wintney registration district in fourth quarter)
  • Michael Ambrose Morris (born in Stoke Fleming, Devon in 1883 (registered in second quarter in Kingsbridge registration district)
  • Henry Rowland Morris (born in Strete, Devon, registered in first quarter of 1885 in Kingsbridge registration district)
  • Penelope Mary Morris (born in Strete, Devon, registered in first quarter of 1887 in Kingsbridge registration district)
  • Henrietta Dorothy Morris (born in Marston, Oxfordshire and baptised there on 1 November 1889)
  • Milicent Helen Morris (born in Marston, Oxfordshire and baptised there on 1 November 1890)
  • George Philip Morris (born in Marston, Oxfordshire and baptised there on 1 May 1892)

Michael’s father, Charles Morris, had been an undergraduate at Corpus Christi College, Oxford. He gained his B.A. in 1867 and was the Vicar of Stoke Easton in Gloucestershire from 1875 to 1879. At the time of the 1881 census, when he was lodging with his new wife at 17 Church Road, Hastings, he described himself as the “Curate of Holy Trinity” (presumably the church of that name at Blackwater, Hampshire, where their first child was born). Then from 1882 to 1888 he was Vicar of Strete near Dartmouth in Devon, where Michael was born.

From 1888 until his death in 1899 Michael’s father was Vicar of Marston, near Oxford, and at the time of the 1891 census Michael (8) is recorded as living at Marston Vicarage with his parents and five siblings (plus a nurse, housemaid, cook, and a nursemaid). Marston had no permanent house for the vicar at this time, and directories for 1893 and 1894 show that the family were living in “Jack Straw’s Castle” in Jack Straw’s Lane; and an affidavit by Michael’s uncle, George Morris, states that Michael Morris’s home at the time of his death was “Belle Vue Lodge, Headington Hill, alias Jack Straws Castle”.

Michael was a pupil at Magdalen College School.

By the time of the 1901 census, Michael’s widowed mother had moved to 175 Woodstock Road, Oxford (the family’s first address in St Margaret’s parish) with her seven children and a cook and a housemaid.

In about 1902 Michael’s mother’s address is given as 179 Woodstock Road in St Margaret’s parish. She can be seen living there at the time of the 1911 census with her eldest son Charles (who was an Indian Army Captain) and her youngest daughters Henrietta and Milicent. Michael does not appear to be listed anywhere in the census, implying that he might have been abroad, possibly in the army like his brother.

Poppy In the First World War Michael Ambrose Morris served as a Lieutenant in the 2nd Battalion attached 13th Battalion of the Hampshire Regiment. He was killed in action at Gallipoli at the age of 32 on 6 August 1915 and has no known grave. He is remembered on the Helles Memorial in Turkey (Panel 125–134 or 223–226, 228–229, & 328), on the brass plaque in Magdalen College School, on the plaque in St Barnabas Church, and on the war memorial outside St Margaret’s Church in north Oxford.

Administration was granted in London to his widowed mother, Penelope Morris, on 30 January 1917. He left £993 13s. 10d.

St Margaret's Church War Memorial

After the War

Michael’s mother
  • Mrs Penelope Morris remained at 179 Woodstock Road until 1921. A woman of this name and the right age (75) died in the Windsor Registration District in the third quarter of 1929.

See also

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