Poppy Charles William Fabin Finch NOYES (1889–1916)Poppy

Charles William Fabin Finch Noyes (with Finch-Noyes sometimes hyphenated as a surname) was born at Farnham, Surrey on 22 May 1889. He was son of Major (later Lieutenant-Colonel) Augustus Finch Noyes (born in Laverstock, Wiltshire and baptised there on 25 May 1843) and the grandson of John William Finch Noyes and Ellen Louisa Finch.

His mother was Katharine Florence Wootten-Wootten, who was born in Headington and baptised there on 28 July 1861, with her birth registered under the name Catherine Florence Wootten Undershell. She was the daughter of the banker William Wootten-Wootten (formerly Wootten-Undershell) of Headington House and the granddaughter of Richard Wootton, Mayor of Oxford in 1815/16 and 1834/5.

Charles’s father Augustus Finch Noyes served in the Army Pay Department and did not settle anywhere for very long. He and his first wife Jessie (born in Scotland in c.1842) lived in Aldershot in 1877, Colchester in 1878, and Malta between 1879 and 1882. They had five children (Charles's older half-siblings): :

  • Gwendoline Louisa Florence Finch Noyes (born in Aldershot in 1877, registered in Farnham registration district in third quarter;
    died aged three years five months and buried in Ta Braxia Cemetery, Malta on 29 December 1880)
  • Ethel Marguerite Finch Noyes (born in Colchester in 1878 (registered third quarter);
    died aged fourteen months and buried in Ta Braxia Cemetery, Malta on 18 August 1879)
  • John Arthur Douglas Finch Noyes (born in Malta on 26 December 1879)
  • Gwladys Mabel Dorothy (or Dorothy Mabel) Finch Noyes (born in Malta on 14 April 1881)
  • Herbert Augustus Lionel Finch Noyes (born in Malta on 3 December 1882;
    died aged 14 months at Anglesey, Hampshire on 20 January 1884).

Charles's father's first wife Jessie Finch Noyes died in Malta at the age of 40 on 15 December 1882, twelve days after the birth of her son Herbert, and Major Noyes came back to England as a widower with his three surviving children. He was living at The Villa, Anglesey, Hampshire when his baby son Herbert, died of croup at the beginning of 1884: this suggests that he had come back to live with members of his family, as they had been living in this house as early as the 1860s.

By August 1885 Major Augustus Finch Noyes was living at Sandfield Cottage on the London Road in Headington, near Oxford, as this was given as his address when he was highly commended for his poultry at the Headington show that month. And it was in Headington that he would have met his second wife, Miss Katherine Florence Wootten-Wootten (26) of Headington House. They were married on 2 February 1888 at St Andrew’s Church in Headington: he was 44 and she was 26. They had two children:

  • Charles William Fabin Finch Noyes (born at Hale Place, near Farnham, Surrey on 22 May 1889, birth announced in Jackson’s Oxford Journal on 1 June 1889; baptised at St Andrew’s Church, Headington on 7 July 1889)
  • Phyllis Joan Katherine Finch Noyes (born at Scotscraig, Inverness on 28 May 1891).

They were evidently living in Farnham in Surrey early on in their marriage, and moved to Scotland, so do not appear in the 1891 census for England and Wales. They then moved to Lincoln.

On 21 April 1897 in Lincoln, Charles’s mother Katherine Florence Finch-Noyes died at Minster Yard, Lincoln at the age of 36. She was buried at Eastgate Cemetery in Lincoln (photograph of her grave). Charles was then nearly eight years old. Her effects came to £286 6s. 5d., and her executors were her husband and her brother Montague Wootten Wootten, who was a banker.

Charles’s father, now a retired Lieutenant-Colonel and a widower again, brought his family back to Headington, and from 1898 to 1902 lived at West Lodge (the former lodge of Headington Manor House, near Ethelred Court).

At the time of the 1901 census Charles (11) was boarding at Cranleigh School in Surrey, while his father Augustus (57) was living at West Lodge in Headington with his youngest daughter Phyllis (9), plus her governess, and a cook and parlourmaid.

Charles’s father Augustus Finch Noyes died at Carlton Lodge, Exmouth, Devon at the age of 64 on 9 January 1907. His effects came to £566 12s. 4d., and his executor was his brother-in-law, the banker Montague William Wootten Wootten.

Charles was thus left an orphan at the age of 17. It seems likely that he and his younger sister were made wards of his mother’s older unmarried sisters, the Misses Elizabeth Georgiana and Alice Rebecca Wootten-Wootten, who lived in Oxford at Dalehurst, 7 Bardwell Road: in any event, his sister Phyllis (19) was living there with them at the time of the 1911 census. Charles himself, now a 21-year-old land agent, happened to be visiting Devon on census night, staying at Bradridge House, Diptford, South Brent, the home of John Marcell Conran (23), a banana planter in Jamaica, and his mother; but his permanent address was also 7 Bardwell Road, and remained so until his death, as witnessed by his probate record.

Poppy In the First World War Charles William Fabin Finch-Noyes, who was an ex-cadet of the Officers Training Corps, was gazetted Second Lieutenant on 1 November 1915 in the 9th Battalion of The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment. He was killed in action in France at the age of 27 on 3 September 1916 and has no known grave. He is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial (Pier and Face 11A), on the Cranleigh School War Memorial, on the Christ Church, Warleigh, Dikoya, Sri Lanka (photograph), and on the war memorial outside St Margaret’s Church in north Oxford. He is the only man on the memorial who did not live in the parish of St Margaret, so it can only be assumed that he and his aunts were loyal members of the congregation.

His death notice in The Times of 11 September 1916 read:

FINCH-NOYES.—Killed in action, on the 3rd Sept., 2nd Lieutenant Charles W. F. Finch-Noyes, Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, son of the late Lieut.-Colonel Augustus Finch-Noyes, A.P.D.

Limited administration was granted in Oxford to Herbert Torry Baines, solicitor, the attorney of Charles’s sister Phyllis Joan Katherine Finelli (wife of Charles Willing Finelli) on 19 January 1917 for £5,132, and for another £3,330 18s. 10d. on 23 August 1920.


St Margaret's Church War Memorial

After the War

Charles’s aunts
  • Elizabeth Georgiana Wootten-Wootten died at the age of 80 in 1932 (death registered in Headington district second quarter)
  • Alice Rebecca Wootten-Wootten continued to live at 7 Bardwell Road until her death at the age of 78 in 1937 (registered third quarter).
Charles’s full sister
  • Phyllis Joan Katherine Finch-Noyes had married Charles Willing Finelli by 1916, but apparently not in England. (In 1911 Finelli (18), then a college student and described as a resident of Italy, was staying with his widowed grandmother, Mary S. Willing, in Hove.) The couple lived in Maskeliya in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) during the First World War, and then set sail on the Celtic for New York on 29 October 1920.
Charles’s two surviving half-siblings
  • John Arthur Douglas Finch Noyes worked in Ceylon in the tea business, first as a planter, managing the Maskeliya estate, then as a director of Eastern Produce. He was in Ceylon from 1898 to 1935 before returning to London. He married Joyce Isabel Cunliffe in Kensington, London in the fourth quarter of 1914. He died in Sussex in 1964. His elder daughter Audrie was born in Ceylon 1915 and died in Sussex in 2004; and his son Anthony (Tony) (1920–2007) won the MC in Italy with the North Irish Horse.
  • Gwladys Mabel Dorothy Finch Noyes (born 1881) appears to have married in Buckingham area third quarter of 1908).

See also


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