Poppy Percival Henry PHIPPS (1893–1915) Poppy

See also Percival’s younger brother, Albert Frederick Phipps

Percival Phipps
© Images & Voices,
Oxfordshire County Council

Percival Henry Phipps was born at Wolvercote in 1893, the son of Henry Phipps (born in Eynsham in 1869) and Sarah Ann Harper (born in Eynsham in 1871).

At the time of the 1891 census Percival’s father was still a single man, lodging in a house in Hook Norton where he was working as a hay binder, and his mother was a servant in a household in Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire. They were married at Eynsham Church on 19 February 1891, and had nine children:

  • Percival Henry Phipps, known as Percy (born in Upper Wolvercote on 5 August 1893 and baptised there on 8 October)
  • Edith Mary Emma Phipps (born in Wolvercote on 23 January 1896 and baptised there on 15 March)
  • Albert Frederick Phipps (born in Wolvercote on 18 February 1898 and baptised there on 10 April)
  • Ernest Edward Phipps (born in Wolvercote on 17 November 1899 and baptised there on 24 December)
  • Alfred Cyril Phipps (born in Wolvercote and baptised there on 24 August 1902;
    died aged one and buried at Wolvercote on 19 August 1903)
  • Arthur George Phipps (born in Oxford on 2 July 1904 and baptised at
    St Margaret’s Church on 14 August)
  • Winifred Margaret Phipps (born in Oxford on 15 December 1906 and baptised
    at St Margaret’s Church on 2 February 1907)
  • Gilbert Harold Phipps (born in Oxford on 2 February 1910 and baptised at St Margaret’s Church on 13 March)
  • Gwendoline Hilda Phipps (born in Oxford on 11 January 1912 and baptised at St Margaret’s Church on 11 February).

At the time of the 1901 census Percy (7) was living at Green Road, Wolvercote with his father Henry (31), who was still working as a hay binder, his mother Sarah (29), who worked at home as a dressmaker, and his siblings Edith (5), Albert (3), and Ernest (1).

Around the beginning of 1904 the Phipps family moved to Oxford. By 1907 they were living at 26 Hayfield Road in St Margaret’s parish.

By the time of the 1911 census Percival (18) had already joined the army, and was based at Shorncliffe Camp in Kent. Meanwhile his father Henry (41), who was a labourer (more precisely a furniture remover) was living at 26 Hayfield Road with his mother Sarah (40), and his siblings Albert (14), who was an under-butler, Edith (16), who was a kitchen maid, and Ernest (12), Arthur (7), Winnie (4), and Gilbert (1). His maternal aunt Annie Harper (23) was also living with them. His youngest sister Gwendoline was born early the following year.

Poppy In the First World War Percival Henry Phipps served as a Private in the 1st Battalion of the Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry (Service No. 9345). He was accidentally drowned in the Persian Gulf at the age of 21 on 5 April 1915 and is buried in Iraq (then Mesopotamia) in the Basra War Cemetery (V.L.14). He is remembered on the war memorial outside St Margaret’s Church in north Oxford.

Percival’s younger brother Albert died in France the following year on 25 November 1916.


St Margaret's Church War Memorial

After the War

Percival’s parents
  • Sarah Ann Phipps died at 26 Hayfield Road at the age of 56 and her funeral was held at St Michael's Church on 31 March 1928.
  • Henry Phipps continued to live at 26 Hayfield Road until his death in 1952.
Percival’s sister Edith
  • Edith Mary Phipps (born 1896) gave birth to two illegitimate children in her parents’ house: Jack Phipps (born on 28 November 1913 and baptised at St Margaret’s Church on 30 January 1914) and Harold Phipps (baptised at the church on 18 March 1918).
Percival’s brother Arthur
  • Arthur George Phipps (born 1904) served in the Royal Navy from 22 August 1921 to 15 September 1926 and then worked at the Pressed Steel Company as a sheet metal worker and spot welder until his death on 23 December 1965 aged 61. He married Katherine Knight at Chipping Norton in 1927 and they moved to a new house in Dene Road, Headington in about 1930. They had four children.

See also


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