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Walton Street Methodist Chapel: Isaac John AFFORD (1896–1917)

Isaac John Afford (registered and baptised thus, but known as John Isaac Afford) was born at 32 Canal Street, Oxford in 1896. He was the son of Walter Henry Joseph Afford (born in Cardigan Street, Oxford on 1 January 1869 and baptised at St Barnabas' Church) and Sarah Ann White (born at Shabbington, Buckinghamshire in 1869/70).

At the time of the 1891 census John's father Walter (22) was still single and living with his parents at 5 St Barnabas Street. John's grandfather Isaac was a cab fly proprietor, and his father and uncle both worked as cab drivers. His mother was living at Tiddington in Oxfordshire. Nine months later on 26 December 1891 at Albury, Oxfordshire John's parents were married, and they settled in Jericho and had seven children:

  • Maud Elizabeth Hilda Afford (born at 32 Canal Street on 17 April 1893 and baptised at St Barnabas' Church on 21 May)
  • Albert Stewart Afford (born at 32 Canal Street on 27 July 1894 and baptised at St Barnabas' Church on 2 September)
  • (Isaac) John Afford (born at 32 Canal Street, Oxford on 27 March 1896 and baptised at St Barnabas's Church on 3 May)
  • Walter Reginald Afford (born at 32 Canal Street on 23 March 1899 and baptised at St Barnabas' Church on 2 July)
  • Grace Mary Miller Afford (born at 32 Canal Street on 13 August 1900 and baptised at St Barnabas' Church on 9 September)
  • Doris Beatrice Afford (born in Oxford in 1906, reg. third quarter)
  • Gladys Louise Afford (born at 57 Great Clarendon Street on 2 January 1909 and baptised at St Barnabas' Church on 18 March).

At the time of the 1901 census John (5) was living at 32 Canal Street with his father Walter (32), who was now a self-employed cab proprietor, his mother Sarah (30), and his siblings Maud (8), Albert (7), Walter (2), and Grace (seven months)

By the time John's youngest sibling was born in 1909, the family had moved to 57 Great Clarendon Street. The 1911 census shows John (15), who was working as a grocer's errand boy, living there with his parents, and his father now specified that he was a cab driver for the Clarendon Arms. Five of John's siblings were also at home: Albert (16), who was an odd-job boy at the University Museum, and Walter (12), Grace (10), Doris (6), and Gladys (2). His eldest sister Maud (18) was a general servant in Hornsey, Middlesex.

Isaac's father Walter Henry Joseph Afford died at 57 Great Clarendon Street at the age of 44 in 1913 and his funeral was on 29 May (recorded in St Barnabas parish register).

Poppy In the First World War Isaac John Afford served as a Private, first in the Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry (Serve No. 10020) and then in the 5th Battalion of the Royal Berkshire Regiment (Service No. 37706). He died of wounds in Brighton on 14 May 1917 at the age of 21 and was buried in Botley Cemetery (grave ref. I1.86): picture of grave. He had a military funeral, with an Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry firing party at the grave, and two photographs of his funeral appeared in the Oxford Journal Illustrated on 23 May 1917 (p. 6: POX0051870).

As well as being remembered on the Walton Street Methodist Chapel plaque, he was also included on the one in St Barnabas' Church.

After the war

Isaac's widowed mother Sarah Ann Afford died in Oxford at the age of 75 in 1946.

See also

© Stephanie Jenkins

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