George Herbert WINTERBOURNE (1885–1917)

Winterbourne OJI

George Herbert Winterbourne was born in Wootton in 1885, the son of Mark Winterbourne and Louisa Harriet Edgington. His parents were married in the Abingdon district in the second quarter of 1876 and had eight children, including:

  • Charles Richard Winterbourne (born at Boars Hill in 1878, registered fourth quarter, and baptised at Wootton on 2 February 1879)
  • Oliver George Winterbourne (born at Cumnor in 1881 and baptised at Wootton on 12 June 1881; died aged 11 months at Dean Court, Cumnor and buried at Wootton on 2 February 1882)
  • Ellen Gertrude Winterbourne (born at Wootton in 1882, registered third quarter, and baptised at Wootton on on 17 September 1882)
  • George Herbert Winterbourne (born at the Pounds, Wootton in 1885, registered third quarter, and baptised at Wootton on 12 July 1885)
  • Alice Elizabeth Winterbourne (born at the Pounds, Wootton in 1886/7, registered first quarter of 1887, and baptised at Wootton on 9 January 1887)
  • Olive Winterbourne (born at Wootton in 1892, registered third quarter, and baptised at Wootton on 4 September 1892)
  • Elsie Esther Winterbourne (born at Wootton in 1898/9, registered first quarter of 1899, and baptised at Wootton on 26 February 1899)

George’s parents were living at Boars Hill by 1878, and his father was an agricultural labourer. The 1881 census shows George’s father described as a carter and his mother as a needlewoman living in Wootton with their children Charles and Oliver. When George and his younger sister were baptised in 1885 and 1887, their address is specified as The Pounds.

At the time of the 1891 census, George (5) was at school. Their home is described as being in the village of Wootton, presumably at the Post Office, as George’s mother was now the Wootton postmistress. George’s father was still an agricultural labourer, but by the time George’s next sister was baptised in 1892, he was also parish clerk; and by 1899 he was a postman.

The 1901 census shows the family definitely living in the Post Office at Wootton (below). George’s father was now Sub-Postmaster as well as a gardener, while his mother was Sub-Postmistress. George (15), named by his middle name Herbert, was working as an assistant gardener, and his sister Alice (14) was a general servant.

Wootton Post Office

George does not appear in the 1911 census index, and at that time only his youngest sister Elsie was at home with their parents in Wootton. Although his father is recorded in that census as simply a domestic gardener, in Kelly’s Directory for 1914/15 he is listed as “Tobacconist & post office, and Parish clerk”.

Poppy In the First World War George Herbert Winterbourne served as a Private in the Mechanical Transport Unit of the Army Service Corps (Service No. M2/045737), attached to the 58th Ammunition Sub Park. He died at the age of 32 on 26 October 1917 in Poperinge in Belgium. He is buried at the Gwalia Cemetery (Grave II. E. 5), and his parents paid for the words I HAVE FOUGHT A GOOD FIGHT / I HAVE FINISHED MY COURSE to be added to his headstone.

He is remembered on the war memorial outside St Peter’s Church at Wootton, and also has a memorial inside the church reading:




George Herbert Winterbourne’s parents
  • Mark Winterbourne was born at Sunningwell in 1855 (registered third quarter as “Winterburn”) and baptised at St Leonard’s Church on 1 May 1856. He died at the age of 68 at the Post Office, Wootton and was buried at St Peter’s churchyard on 26 January 1925.
  • Louisa Harriet Edgington (Mrs Mark Winterbourne) was born in Hanney, Berkshire in 1857 (registered third quarter). She was still running the tobacconist and post office in Wootton in 1947. She died at the age of 92 on 4 June 1950 and was buried with her husband.
His siblings
  • Charles Richard Winterbourne married Clara Blackborough (who did not know where she was born, but in fact her birth was registered at Islington) in the second quarter of 1907 in the St Pancras district . In 1911 the couple were living at St Pancras, without children: Charles (31) was at 12 Argyle Street and working as a chauffeur/mechanic, while Clara (30) was in St Pancras (Poor Law) Infirmary.
  • Ellen Gertrude Winterbourne married Edward James Wiblin in the Abingdon registration district in the third quarter of 1907
  • Alice Elizabeth Winterbourne married James Champ of Sunningwell in the Abingdon registration district in the first quarter of 1910 and their daughter Annie Louise was born in Wootton in about May 1910. James also lost a brother in the First World War
  • Olive Winterbourne married Herbert E. Thouless, a mechanic, in the Abingdon registration district in the second quarter of 1930, and their son Herbert Martin Thouless was born in Wootton on 16 March 1932 and baptised at St Peter’s Church on 17 July 1932.
  • Elsie Esther Winterbourne married Edmund S. Thouless, an engineer, in the Abingdon registration district in the second quarter of 1920, and their children were born at Wootton: Edmund Richard Salter Thouless was born on 6 December 1920 and baptised at St Peter’s Church on 16 January 1921, and José Thouless was born on 6 July 1922 and baptised at St Peter’s Church on 23 August.


See also

  • CWGC: Winterbourne, G. H.
  • Oxford Journal Illustrated, 19 December 1917, p. 6: Photograph of “Pte G. H. Winterbourne, M.T., A.S.C.” in the “Heroes of the War” section (shown above with kind permission of Oxfordshire County Council, Oxfordshire History Centre)
  • Wikipedia: Royal Army Service Corps