Poppy Nathaniel ROBINSON (1877–1918) Poppy

Walter Robinson

Nathaniel Robinson was born in Wolvercote on 14 September 1877 and baptised there on 12 October.

His father was William Henry Robinson was born in Woodstock in about 1850, possibly at Hensington Workhouse. By 1859 he had moved with his parents to Summertown, and the 1861 census shows them living at Swan Yard off the Woodstock Road: his father was an agricultural labourer and his mother a laundress.

Nathaniel's mother was Emily Read (born in Oxford in c.1851). In 1861 she was living in The Hamel, St Thomas’s, Oxford, and her father was a labourer. At the time of the 1871 census Emily Read (19) was a servant, staying as a “visitor” (not a lodger) at the “Common Lodging House” in the Hamel, run by the Wheeler family. In 1873 she gave birth to an illegitimate child:

  • William Read, later known as William Read Robinson (born on 26 February 1873 in the Hamel;
    baptised at St Thomas’s Church on 13 April as William Reed and registered as William Read).

It is likely that Emily had another illegitimate child who died, possibly before William's birth.

On 3 April 1875 in New Osney, Oxford, William Henry Robinson married Emily Read, and thenceforth acknowledged William as his child. They evidently moved up to Wolvercote around the time of their wedding. According to the 1911 census they had had eleven children altogether, and the following nine were born after the wedding:

  • Hannah Robinson (born in Wolvercote on 22 May 1875 and baptised there on 8 August)
  • Nathaniel Robinson (born in Wolvercote on 14 September 1877 and baptised there on 12 October)
  • Kate Robinson (born in Wolvercote on 3 July 1880 and baptised there on 17 September)
  • Moses Robinson (born in Wolvercote on 18 February 1883 and baptised there on 29 July)
  • George Robinson (born in Wolvercote on 5 December 1885 and baptised there on 7 February 1886)
  • Rosina Robinson (born at 7 Hayfield Road, Oxford on 4 October 1888 and baptised at SS Philip & James’s Church on 8 November)
  • John Robinson (born at 7 Hayfield Road on 28 October 1891, baptised privately via SS Philip & James’s Church the next day,
    died at the age of two days and buried on 2 November)
  • Elizabeth Robinson (born at 7 Hayfield Road, Oxford and baptised at SS Philip & James’s Church on 15 January 1893)
  • Henry Robinson, known as Harry (born at Hayfield Road, Oxford on 24 October 1895 and baptised at SS Philip & James’s Church on 8 December 1895).

Nathaniel’s parents were still in Wolvercote at the time of the 1881 census: Nathaniel’s father was then a general labourer at the gasworks, and living at the White Hart, Wolvercote with his wife and his first four children, including Nathaniel (3).

By October 1888 the family had moved back to Oxford and were living at 7 Hayfield Road (then in SS Philip & James’s parish, but in St Margaret’s parish from 1896). They were there at the time of the 1891 census when Nathaniel (13) was working as an errand boy, and his father was a gas stoker.

By 1895 Nathaniel’s father was working as a lamplighter for the gas company.

At the time of the 1901 census Nathaniel (23) was a grocer’s porter, still living with his parents at 7 Hayfield Road.

At the time of the 1911 census Nathaniel (33) was still working as a grocer's porter and living at 7 Hayfield Road with his father William (61), who was still working as a lamplighter, his mother Emily (59), and five of his siblings: George (25), who was a jobbing gardener; Rose [Rosina] (22) and Elizabeth (18), who were domestic servants; and Harry (15), who was a chemist's errand boy. Also living with the family was Nathaniel's nephew James Wootton Robinson (2), who had been born in Oxford on 3 July 1908. The form stated that his parents had been married 39 years, i.e. since 1871/2, whereas in fact they had got married in 1875: it is possible that Nathaniel did not know that his mother had at least one child before her marriage.

Poppy In the First World War Nathaniel Robinson served as a Private in the 5th Battalion of the Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry (Service No. 22972). He was killed in action in France at the age of about 40 on 21 March 1918, and has no known grave. He is remembered on the Pozières Memorial (Panel 50 and 51) (below), and on the war memorial outside St Margaret’s Church in north Oxford.

Nathaniel Robinson

Nathaniel Robinson was the second cousin of Walter Robinson, who is listed next to him on the St Margaret’s memorial.


St Margaret's Church War Memorial

After the War

Nathaniel’s parents
  • William Henry Robinson moved with his wife to 61 Hayfield Road after the war. He died there on 1 April 1931 and the age of 81, and his wife Emily Robinson died the next day (age given as 78, but probably also 81).
Nathaniel’s siblings
  • William Read Robinson (born 1873) married Emily Alice Adelaide Watson in Oxford in 1897 and they had two children. He died on 3 March 1930 at Oxford.
  • Hannah Robinson did not marry. She died at the Cowley Road Hospital on 21 December 1955.
  • Moses Robinson (born 1883) was described as a mechanic of 7 Hayfield Road when he married Eliza Harris of 14 Victor Street at St Margaret's Church on 27 December 1909. He died in Oxford in 1956.
  • George Robinson (born 1885) married Mildred Nellie Lord in Oxford in 1933. He died on 24 May 1962.
  • Rosina Robinson (born 1888) married Francis Frederick Ash in Oxford in 1918. She died in the Wantage area near the beginning of 1976.
  • Elizabeth Robinson did not marry, and died in Oxford in 1982.
  • Henry Robinson (born 1895) appears to have married Sarah Freestone in the Blaby district of Leicestershire in 1920. He died in Leicestershire on 23 February 1972.

See also


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

Book about the men on this war memorial still on sale: 47 Men of North Oxford

Back to St Margaret’s War Memorial home page