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Walton Street Methodist Chapel: Christopher CHOLDCROFT (1888–1915)

Christopher CHOLDCROFT was born in Oxford on 13 March 1888. He was the son of Christopher James Choldcroft (born in Great Hormead, Hertfordshire in 1859) and Laura Barker (born in Hachford, Norfolk in 1857).

His parents were married in London in 1879 (reg. Pancras district fourth quarter) and had ten children:

  • Bessie Laurina Choldcroft (born in Leytonstone, Essex in 1880)
  • Cecil James Choldcroft (born in Leytonstone, Essex in 1881/2)
  • Linda May Choldcroft (born at Walton Street, Oxford on 20 September 1884 and baptised at Walton Street Chapel on 30 November)
  • William Jesse Choldcroft (born at 47 Leckford Road, Oxford on 25 June 1886 and baptised at Walton Street Methodist Chapel on 18 September)
  • Christopher Choldcroft (born at Oxford on 13 March 1888 and baptised at Walton Street Methodist Chapel on 21 June)
  • Winifred Mary Choldcroft (born at 64 Hayfield Road, Oxford on 23 December 1889 and baptised at Walton Street Methodist Chapel on 17 April 1890)
  • Gladys Lilian Choldcroft (born at 64 Hayfield Road, Oxford on 8 November 1892 and baptised at Walton Street Methodist Chapel on 16 March 1893)
  • Gertrude Nellie Choldcroft (born at 64 Hayfield Road, Oxford on 29 August 1894 and baptised at Walton Street Methodist Chapel on 18 October)
  • Phyllis Constance Choldcroft (born at 11 Woodstock Road, Oxford on 17 January 1897 and baptised at Walton Street Methodist Chapel on 28 March)
  • Norman Eric Choldcroft (born at 11 Woodstock Road, Oxford on 3 January 1900 and baptised at Walton Street Methodist Chapel on 15 April).

At the time of the 1881 census Christopher's father Christopher James (21) was a hairdresser, living at 5 High Street, Leytonstone, Essex with Laura (22) and their first child Bessie (six months), plus an apprentice hairdresser.

By September 1884 the family had moved to Oxford. They first lived in Walton Street, moving to 47 Leckford Road by 1886 and 64 Hayfield Road by 1889.

The 1891 census shows Christopher (3) living at 64 Hayfield Road with his parents and his siblings Bessie (10), Cecil (9), Linda (6), William (4), and Winifred (1).

By 1897 Christopher's parents had moved to 11 Woodstock Road, where his father had his own hairdressing business. The 1901 census shows Christopher (13) living here with his parents and seven of his siblings.

By the time of the 1911 census Christopher (23), now a master boot repairer, was living on his own in a one-roomed dwelling at 38 Mount Sion Place, Brighton and working from home as a master bootmaker. His parents were still at 11 Woodstock Road with six of their children and a servant.

In June 1913 Christopher Choldcroft emigrated to Canada.

Poppy In the First World War Christopher Choldcroft served as a Private in the 3rd Battalion of “B” Company of the Canadian Infantry (Service No. 63188). He was killed in action in Belgium at the age of 27 on 19 February 1916. His photograph appears in the Oxford Journal Illustrated of 1 March 1916 (p. 6), under “Heroes of the War” heading and again on 11 April 1917 (p. 6).

He is buried at Loker Cemetery (grave ref. I.F.21), and his family paid for the additional words GREATER LOVE HATH NO MAN THAN THIS to be added to his headstone.

As well as being remembered on the Walton Street Methodist Chapel war memorial, his name is on St Giles Church brass memorial plaque and the Canadian Virtual War Memorial. He is also on the City Honour Roll.

After the war

Christopher's parents were still living at 11 Woodstock Road after the First World War, but retired to 72 Hamilton Road. His mother Laura Choldcroft died on 11 July 1943 and his father Christopher James Choldcroft died just sixteen days later on 27 July 1943.


See also

© Stephanie Jenkins

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