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Description of images on our homepage

A series of four black & white photosOxfordshire Family Images

Do you have family photos you would like to share with OFHS? If you are a member then please contribute to our new image gallery.

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Here is more detail on the images that are on the website homepage banner.

RAF recruit

Submitter: Kevin Poile

John and Amy Messenger, taken 12 months after he joined up in WWII. John Messenger was born in 1925 in Coventry, Warwickshire, the youngest son of Robert Messenger (born 1887 in East Woodhay, Hampshire) and Amy (née Gibbs – born 1887 in Shutford, Oxfordshire). After leaving school John started to train as a carpenter. Then at the age of 17 (1942) he joined the RAF. This photo was probably taken sometime just after he joined up. His first posting was to a maintenance unit at Castle Bromwich where his carpentry  skills were put to use fixing Airspeed Oxfords. He was then posted to 99 Squadron which flew Liberators (an all metal aircraft) out of the Cocos Islands, so he became the camp carpenter. After the war he came home and settled in Shutford.

Wedding photo

Submitter:  Richard Merry

This photo came originally from Donald Evans.

The occasion is the wedding of Mary Buckingham Merry (known as Daisy Merry, a professional singer)  to Rev Thomas Evans (Wesleyan Methodist), Oxford, 1912. The location is not known for certain but they were associated with the Walton St Wesleyan chapel (now demolished, I believe), so it could have been there.

Family background:  This Merry family had moved from Eynsham to Oxford in the 1870s, where W E Merry worked as a cabinetmaker for George Blake and Co in Walton Crescent.  George Blake was probably also from the Eynsham area and a Wesleyan.  This Merry family had farmland in Cuckoo Lane until the 1850s.  The Merry and Buckingham families of Freeland were associated for many generations.  Many Merry family members of this generation had red hair, including Fanny, Mary and Walter J who was nicknamed ‘Carrots’.

The people present are:

(Rear, L-R):  Mr Webber (Mary’s singing/music teacher); Charles Percy Merry (Percy, lived Salisbury); Annie (née Walker; Mrs Percy Merry) Merry, Edward George Merry (George, lived Highgate, London); Jessie (née Burrows) Merry (Mrs George Merry); Frederick William Merry; Mark Bragg (lived Aldershot)

(Third row):  John Arthur Merry (lived Birmingham); Florence (née Litchfield) Merry (Mrs John Merry); Fanny Elizabeth (née Merry) Bragg; Edward Evans; Alice Ellen Merry; Florence Mary (née Merry) Lawrence; Charles Lawrence; Rev Henry High

(Second Row):  Rev Hunter; Margaret Emily Merry; Rev Thomas Evans; Mary Buckingham (‘Daisy’ Merry) Evans; Walter Edward Merry; Charlotte Sarah (née Merry) Johnson (lived Gainsborough); Marjorie Johnson

(Front):   Gwendolen Muriel Bragg (‘Muriel’, married Bearcock) and another Johnson girl.

Missing from the family photo at this time:  Mary (née Buckingham) Merry (deceased 1910), wife of Walter Edward Merry, and Walter James, who migrated to Tasmania in 1904 and Edith Maria (née Mayer)Merry.

Family Group

Submitter: Wendy Archer

Henry John Pulker, born in Oxford in 1870, with his wife Lucy and children Douglas and Margaret. Henry spent his young life in Paradise Square, Oxford. The photo was taken in 1914.

Bicycle lady

Submitter: Sue Honoré

An unknown lady of Minster Lovell with her newly-acquired bicycle, something of great interest in the village when women of that time were not known to ride bicycles.

Radcliffe Square

The Radcliffe Camera in evening light



Submitter: Nikhilesh Haval

The image is a still taken from a 360 view of the cobbled Radcliffe Square in the centre of Oxford. It contains the iconic Radcliffe Camera and St Mary’s, the University church. The square is bounded on the west by Brasenose College and on the east by All Souls College.

Oxford Canal
Oxford Canal




Submitter: Kevin Poile

The Oxford Canal is 78 miles long and runs from Oxford to Bedworth, near Coventry in Warwickshire/West Midlands, passing though Banbury and Rugby. It was once an important trade route, with links through from the Thames in the south and to a major canal network in the Midlands. Several families spent their lives running businesses or working on the canals in Oxfordshire including names such as Humphries, Tooley, Salter, Hambridge, Batchelor, Skinner, Hone, Tooley, Littlemore and Grantham amongst others.

An article that explores canal boat genealogy is found on the Canal River Trust site.


Chalgrove - Village Green




Submitter: Kevin Poile

This image shows the beautiful green, houses and war memorial in the village of Chalgrove. Chalgrove is about 10 miles south east of Oxford. More information on the history of the village can be seen on the website of the Chalgrove Local History group.


Rows of graves in Eynsham churchyard



This photograph was taken at the parish church at Eynsham – St Leonard’s. It is situated right in the middle of town and has an extensive graveyard.

Submitter: Sue Honoré

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