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Henry George Drewett

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Walter Drewett was born in 1853 at Wolvercote, Oxford and baptised at St Peter’s Church, Wolvercote, Oxford on 4th September 1853, the son of John Drewett [ b Wolvercote 1816-1859] and his wife Elizabeth [nee Simpson] 16 September 1818].

On 19 May 1877, Walter had married Hannah Duffield and in the following years they had eight children. Six girls and two sons, namely Bertie [b 1887] and Henry George [1889]. These two boys would have been close brothers.

The family had worked the land but by 1881 Walter was employed as a Railway Porter. Later his occupation changed again and he is shown as a general labourer by the 1891 census. Walter and Hannah still had all the children at home; Bertie shown as 3 years and Henry George as 1 year on the 1891 census for Cardigan Street, Oxford. This census shows Walter as 36 years old, although he was actually two years older. Sadly Walter died on 16th May 1894 and Hannah who had now moved to 67 St James Street, Cowley St John, Oxford, died on the 4th April 1899. Her funeral as her husband’s taking place at Oxford, St Barnabas.

Henry George Drewett CWG

There were an long established family named Drewett living in Longworth but it is not known if these two families of Drewett are related. Walter Drewett [b 1843]had a brother John [b 1848] who had married Hannah Baker at Iffley, Oxford

For some reason between 1881 census when John and family are living in Iffley, and 1901 they move to Southmoor to live somewhere in the region of Trafalgar Square where John Drewett is working as a Farm labourer. How did they manage, as on 1901 census night there were 13 of them living at what must have been a small cottage as they housed nieces, nephews and a lodger! During the next 10 years the family move again and are found living in 1911 at Kingston Hill Farm. Amongst their family of eight children is William Robert who was to marry his cousin Lillian Caroline Drewett.

Henry George aged 11 years is also shown in 1901 as a pauper child living in the Workhouse, Cowley, Oxford. Unless Henry went straight into the army from the workhouse, as John Drewett was Henry George Drewett's uncle it is probable that Henry has come to work on the farm where his uncle is a Cattle man, after the death of his parents and release from the workhouse. His listing in 'Soldiers who died in the Great War 1914-1919' show his home address as Abingdon, Berkshire, so it is highly probable that he was working at Kingston Hill Farm for some years prior to his army life. It would be the reason that Henry is named on the plaque in the church, having an uncle, sister and cousin living in Kingston Bagpuize.

When Henry George Drewett joined up he joined the Royal Berkshire Regiment 1st Battalion as #13308, 1st Bn.,

In 1914 the battalion was in Aldershot and under the command of 6th Brigade in 2nd Division.On 13 August 1914 they landed at Rouen, Normandy. On 13 December 1915 they transferred to 99th Brigade in the same Division. Henry George Drewett died at Rouen on 8th October 1918 aged 28.

He is Remembered with Honour at St. Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen, on the plaque at Kingston Bagpuize Church and on the memorials on Memorial Green, Kingston Bagpuize.

H.G.Drewett CWG

Henry George's siblings:

  • Alice Lucy Drewett
  • [born 1878-1893] - Buried 1 Oct 1893 at Oxford, St Barnabas, Oxfordshire, England aged 16 years. She was a Book sewer, and given where she lived was probably employed by Oxford University Press.
  • Edith Mary Drewett
  • [born 1879 – married William Rogers (1877–) where they raised five children. Ellen died in Wantage in 1972.
  • Catherine M Drewett [born 1883] last found as a servant to Alexander Mason 4 Warborough Rad, St Giles, in 1901 – he brother Henry George in his effects gave Ilsley as her address.
  • Lillian Caroline Drewett [born1857] Lilian [Lily] aged 15 was sent to the Cowley Workhouse [later Cowley Road Hospital] with her sister Ellen Drewett aged 8. After time in Cowley workhouse she married her cousin William Drewitt and came to live in Kingston Bagpuize, and later her sister Ellen is shown visiting Lillian at The Brake, Kingston Hill, Kingston Bagpuize in the 1911 census.
  • Bertie W J Drewett [born 1887] Spent some time at sea and obtained his Masters & Mates certificate. He married Alice Hale and lived in Liverpool. He was there when his brother Henry died.
  • Henry G Drewett [born 1899] as a small orphaned boy, he was taken to the workhouse.  I suspect that he entered the army as a boy soldier, but need proof. He did not show on census that he lived in Kingston Bagpuize or Southmoor but he had brother and sister living here, and his army home address is Abingdon, Berkshire.
  • Dorothy Drewett [born 1892 ] Dorothy died aged aged 20 months on 15th May 1892. Twin of Ellen.
  • Ellen (Nelly) Drewett [born 1892] went into the workhouse at Cowley aged 8 years with her sister Lilian [Lily] she may have left the workhouse when Lily married, but it is not yet known. She remained unmarried and died in Poole in 1982. It is known that during the 1st WW the workhouse was taken over to deal with war casualties. Twin of Dorothy.
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