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Walton Street Methodist Chapel: S. SIMS

S. Sims has not been identified. It is possible that he had a middle initial, as some of the other people on this war memorial are recorded by only one initial.

The Oxford City Honour Roll lists just three people called SIMS who died:

  • SIMS, Bertie C. A., a Private in the 5th OBLI who was killed in action on 9 April 1917:
    CWGC lists Bertie Charles Alfred SIMMS (note different spelling of surname), who lived in Summertown:
  • SIMS, Henry C., a Private in the Royal Berkshire Regiment who was killed in action in 1917:
    CWGC: Sims, Henry Cyril
  • SIMS, S., a Private in the Royal Berkshire regiment who was killed in action on 9 August 1916: CWGC.

Henry Cyril Sims (wrong forenames, but lived near the chapel)

A William Sims (born at Water Eaton in c.1848) was living at 63 Cranham Street in 1899. In 1901 census with wife Annie (born Wolvercote c.1849): only children at home were Ada (14) and Henry Cyril Sims (12), both born Oxford. William Sims died at that address at the age of 57 in 1905 and was buried on 28 December (recorded in the St Mary Magdalen parish register). None of their sons appear to have the initial S.

William Sims died at 63 Cranham Street at the age of 57 and was buried on 28 December 1905 (St Mary Magdalen register) and his daughter Ada Mary Ann Sims died there aged 30 and was buried on 27 January 1906.

In 1911 Mrs Sims was there with her son Henry Cyril Sims (22), who was a corn dealer's porter, born St Mary Magdalen parish and her married daughters Emma Cantwell and Blanche Louise Alder.

Henry Cyril Sims served in the Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry (Service No. 267448) and was indeed killed in the First World War on 10 August 1917 at the age of 27 (CWGC). His grave has the inscription “IN THE SWEET BYE AND BYE”, and he is pictured in the “Heroes of the War” section of the Oxford Journal Illustrated of 9 August 1916.

Mrs Sims was still listed at 63 Cranham Street in 1918.

Stephen Sims (name more likely, background less so)

Died in France at the age of 31 on 14 July 1917
5th Battalion, Royal Berkshire Regiment
Buried at Feuchy Chapel British Cemetery, Wancourt (Grave ref. I.A.13)
Son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Sims, of Faringdon, Berks
Husband of Mrs. A. L. M. Rogers (formerly Sims), of Berwick Bassett, Swindon, Wilts.

He enlisted in Faringdon, and does not appear to have any connection whatsoever with Oxford.

Born at Rotherhithe on 4 Sep 1884, son of Stephen Sims senior.
Entered Harper Street School in Southwark at the age of 3 on 11 June 1888
Living in Wiltshire in 1901
Farm labourer of 26 boarding at Union Street, Faringdon in 1911

Married Ada L. M. Stickley in Faringdon second quarter of 1911. Four children, first two in Faringdon, third in Swindon area, and last in Faringdon, who was baptised at Faringdon CofE Church on 12 July 1916, which suggests no Methodist connection

Stephen Sims is listed on the Faringdon war memorial, suggesting he was still there at the time of his death

© Stephanie Jenkins

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