Poppy logo

Walton Street Methodist Chapel: William Frederick Chandler (1892–1917)

William Frederick Chandler was born in Summertown on 20 February 1892, the son of William Henry Chandler (born in Romsey, Hampshire in 1868) and Clara Jane Gregory (born at Oakhill, near Shepton Mallet, Somerset in 1863/4). His parents were married at Oakhill on 27 January 1891, and William's father's banns were called at St Paul's Church in Oxford, as he was then living in that parish. They had three sons:

  • William Frederick Chandler (born in Summertown on 20 February 1892 and baptised at St John the Baptist Church there on 20 March)
  • Charles Edwin Chandler (born in Summertown on 21 September 1893 and baptised at St John the Baptist Church there on 22 October)
  • Albert Montague Chandler (born in Summertown on 8 April 1897 and baptised at St John the Baptist Church there on 9 May)

The couple settled in Summertown, and the 1891 census (taken a couple of months after their marriage) shows them living there at what was then numbered as 3 Banbury Road.

William, born the following year, was their eldest child, and at the time of the 1901 census he was eight years old and living at 31 Beechcroft Road, Summertown with his father William (32), who was a grocer's manager, his mother Clara (37), and his younger brothers Charles (7), and Albert (3).

William attended the Central Boys' School in Oxford: he would have started at the old school behind the George Street Congregational Chapel, and then moved into the brand-new school in Gloucester Green in 1901. Around the time of his twelfth birthday he moved on to the Oxford Boys' High School in George Street as a Free Scholar from January 1904: both of his brothers also attended the high school for a short period.


William left school in March 1906 at the age of 14 and went to work as an under-assistant at the Bodleian Library. Later that year he was apprenticed to Messrs Wyatt & Son, ironmongers

In early 1911 he was appointed an assistant at Messrs Heywards Brothers in Tewksbury, but moved swiftly on as an improver with Messrs Potter Bros in Thame. At the time of the 1911 census William (19), described as an ironmonger's assistant, was boarding at 7 Park Terrace in Thame. Meanwhile his parents William (42) and Clara (47) were still living at 31 Beechcroft Road with their son Charles (17), who was a tailor's apprentice, and Albert (13), who was at school. They also had three boarders.

In 1912 he worked as an assistant for Messrs Adams Bros, and then moved to Messrs Randall Bros in Bedford.

Poppy In the First World War William Frederick Chandler served as a Private in the 44th Field Ambulance unit of the Royal Medical Corps. He died in Oxford of sickness at the age of 25 in 1917 and was buried in Wolvercote Cemetery on 13 March (Grave A2/172).

His appears not to have been considered a war death by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission; none the less he is not only remembered here on the Walton Street Methodist Chapel memorial but also on the Central Boys' School and the Oxford Boys' High School memorial.

Both his brothers also served in the war, but they survived.

After the war

William's maternal grandmother

  • Mrs Ann Jane Gregory died at the age of 87 in 1924 and was buried in William's grave in Wolvercote Cemetery on 14 April 1924. She died in the Headington district, so had probably come to live with William's parents.

William's parents

  • From 1925 William's father William Henry Chandler was a grocer at 56 St Giles, continuing to live at 31 Beechcroft Road. He died at the age of 64 in 1931, and William's brother Charles Edwin Chandler.
  • William's mother Clara Jane Chandler died in Oxford at the age of 80 in 1944.

William's brothers

  • Charles Edwin Chandler (born 1893) married Dorothy M. White in the Headington registration district in 1920. On 17 August 1921 they were living at 241 Banbury Road and had their daughter Vera Mary Chandler (born on 26 June) baptised at Walton Street Methodist Chapel. He worked as a tailor's cutter in Canada from 1929 to 1931, but then returned to Oxford after the death of his father and ran his shop at 56 St Giles from 1932 to 1945. Charles died in Oxford at the age of 83 near the beginning of 1977.
  • Albert Montague Chandler (born 1897) died in Oxford at the age of 77 near the beginning of 1974.

See also
  • Chandler's name and brief details on the City of Oxford Honour Roll

© Stephanie Jenkins

War Memorials home    Oxford History home