Marston St Lawrence – Blencowe Photographs

A relative of the Marston St Lawrence family, Peter Blencowe has since 2014 has been sharing his family’s photographs, and included in this collection are photographs from his Marston St Lawrence branch of the Family. These photographs are in the process of being identified so these pages, will be updated and possibly corrected as research goes on. The reason for publishing them to these pages now is to allow access for Martson St Lawrence historians to help in identification.

The centre piece of the Collection is this family photo from 1915 which when it was annotated is missing only one member, William (Willie( James Blencowe  1885-1951 who had emigrated to Canada a few years earlier.

A family photo believed taken in the summer of 1915 at the Vicarage in Marston St  Lawrence
about the photographer(s)

The family group photograph may well have been a professional photographer’s work but it seems more likely all other Photos are taken by a family member or acquaintance.

There may have been more than one family member who had a camera.

First Album

The first album of photographs was taken at Banbury Red Cross Hospital.  The source of identification is the Great War Forum member Charlie 672  whose specialty is photo identification of hospital patients.

If it is Banbury Hospital then Marjorie is the likely photographer and the photographs were taken when she was the Quartermaster at the hospital in 1917-1918. Its also likely all these photographs are of Banbury Red Cross Hospital.

Group of soldiers with the Wesleyan Chapel West Street Banbury behind,  which served as the Banbury Red Cross Hospital. The next photo of the Chapel for comparison the windows is a key identifier. The man kneeling at the front is Charles Laughton of the Huntingdon Cyclist Bn a Military Medal badge on his hospital jacket
Wesleyan Chapel West St Banbury site of the Banbury Red Cross Hospital


Second Album

This album contains mainly photos from the Vicarage in Marston St Lawrence which the family of Charles Edward Blencowe was living in prior to the First World War. The photos identified so far indicate 1914-1916 as the timeline for most. This is understandable because in 1917 with the death of Lawrence C Blencowe the family had suffered a double tragedy and family gatherings were most likely not the same celebration as before.

Scan 1

The Vicarage is shown on the first page of the Album indicating that this is where the family lived at the time. The appearance of the house and the Greenhouse have been validated by Marston St Lawrence residents. The house is now called Glebe House.

From Dianne Young
“It’s the Vicarage/Glebe House and the smaller building to the right parallel to the road was a series of outbuildings – may be originally stables which were made into garages and now have a gym, etc. The lovely bay window is the lovely oval dining room.”

Three more photos on the page show the rear and grounds of the Vicarage we think.

Scan 2

More photos of the Vicarage Greenhouse and grounds. Note the black dog appears in a photo found in a Junkshop in recent years and shown later.

Scan 3

This appears to be a different location and features three siblings and Dorothy P Cooper who was to become Lawrence C Blencowes’s wife. The evidence of a boat trip and the buildings indicate it could be Dorothy’s hometown of Scarborough. Dating photos is a bit tricker and a couple of possibilities come to mind.

Worth noting that by the 1911 Census, Lawrence was a school teacher in Scarborough and would have met Dorothy (the proprietor’s daughter) at the school.

Dorothy’s clothing and hat especially are typical of the woman’s fashion of 1913-14.  A possibility is that this may be a visit to Scarborough on the occasion of the Wedding of Lawrence and Dorothy on 20 April 1914 at St Martins Church, Scarborough.

Dorothy may be pregnant in one of the photos and so this might be later in 1914 , note Arthur J W Blencowe was in France by 20 august 1914.

Top Left Lawrence C Blencowe Top Right Arthur J W Blencowe Dorothy Cooper and Oswald C Blencowe Bottom Left Arthur J W Blencowe Dorothy Cooper and Oswald C Blencowe Bottom right Dorothy Cooper
Scan 4

A picnic in the Vicarage Grounds includes some unidentified ladies and the Vicarage Gardener .

The gardener in this photo was positively identified by Marston St L residents
From Sue Donaldson

“On the 1911 census, James Henry Watson is living in the south part of Long Cottage (tenant of the Blencowe Estate) and his occupation has been recorded as a gardener, so it could be a photo of him. His wife, Sarah, ran the village shop for a time. This photograph is definitely taken on the grounds of the vicarage as you can just see the church tower in the background which is across the road from the vicarage.”

“Cousins, Brenda & Carol, have confirmed the gardener is Mr. Watson. The patch over the eye is the real clue to his identification – I originally thought it was a mark on the photo! They remember him with one lens in his glasses always blocked out, but they don’t know what had happened to his eye.”

Note a photo of James Watson in a church group with Arthur J W Blencowe from the 1940’s was received from the Marston St L History Group confirming the relationship and eye patch for Mt Watson.

Scan 5

This is an occasion that both Arthur recently promoted and Oswald just completed Officer training was in Marston St Lawrence. I put this given the brother’s movements most likely June-July 1916.

This photograph shows both Oswald in the uniform of a Sergeant in the Royal Fusiliers and Arthur (in the same uniform as previous photos) with their mother Katharine immediately to Oswald’s right. Dorothy Cooper is far left. The lady looking directly at the camera and the lady with her back to the camera is unknown. Given what we know from the hospital photos its seems very likely Marjorie is the photographer.

Finally on this page is a photo out of sequence taken at the war front of Arthur with comrades. Unusually we can date this specifically to the 1st August 1915 and an explanation of this is on Arthur J W Blencowes page

Probably taken near Auchonvillers France.
Scan 6

This scan contains four photographs identified to be Marjorie Blencowe.

In these photographs of Marjorie, she appears to be a young woman about 16-18 yrs and so that would date the Photos in the range 1911-1913 in any event earliest of the photographs in the album so far.

Scan 7

This page repeats a part of a scene shown earlier in June-July 1915, Arthur in his same Majors uniform back to the camera and Dorothy P Blencowe with baby Edward A C Blencowe born in 1915. The baby looks to be 6 months old head held on his own etc. Making Edwards birthday  January 1915? On this page is a photograph of Katharine Blencowe and her grandson Edward that is made into a postcard dated 6 Dec 1915. One other photo shows an unknown lady holding baby Edward.


Scan 8

This page features photos of Cecily, Marjorie, Oswald, and Katharine Blencowe.

The photographs are I think at different times. The photo of Oswald in Uniform and with his mother is probably June/July 1916.

One of  Cecily in the Garden working is I think about 1916 too, but the photographs with Marjorie and Mother are later I think. Several online photograph dating websites such as Vintage Dancer show similar style suits being a 1920 fashion so these photos could be 1920 onwards.

Scan 9

This page contains several of Oswald on his last visit home before he died in France including one where he is with brother Willie who is in England at the same time in 1916.

Oswald with an unknown lady in 1916, could be a friend or fiance or even a family member
Scan 10

Three photographs of William James Blencowe are from 1916  before he went to France in August.  In two he is in the Canadian Expeditionary Force uniform and one in civilian clothes with Marjorie, Cecily, and Dorothy P Blencowe.

Scan 11

This page contains the 1915 Family group photo posted above and three photos that are from 1916 and show both Edward AC and Lawrence W children of Lawrence and Dorothy as well as two other Photographs.

We can see below the first Photograph is Edward from previous with mother but the lady is not identified. The photo to the right is Cecily and Dorothy walking but can identify the location.

This photo in the scan generated this message from Sue Donaldson

I will study them in more detail but I can immediately identify the location of one of the photographs – and every resident of Marston would be able to tell you it is the “The Ponds Bridge”.  


Taken camera looking northeast

Taken camera looking northwest towards Marston church

Scans 12 &13

More photos from 1916 with children Lawrence and Edward were taken in 1916 then followed by two photos of Dorothy with a baby that could be later and third son Oswald James born August 1917 after father Lawrence was killed in action.

The photo below sits on one page of its own and is I believe part of the two above in a series of baby Oswald taken in 1917.

Scan 14

Contains a similar photo to Willie Blencowe previously posted and this man is an unknown senior territorial officer of the Alexandra, Princess of Wales’s Own, Yorkshire Regiment. He is possibly a family relative but equally could be a friend of one of the family

In the album this unknown Officer. who is from the Territorial Battalions of the Alexandra, Princess of Wales’s Own, Yorkshire Regiment
Scan 15

Two photographs, Dorothy and baby Oswald and a portrait. I think based on fashion after 1917 and Lawrence’s death.

Scan 16

This page features Marjorie in the Garden with one in her VAD uniform. The last photo of Willie and Oswald meeting up after 6-7 years when Willie was in Canada and sadly for the last time they were to see each other again.

Oswald and Willie , the Vicarage 1916

These photographs were sent to me directly in 2014 by Peter Blencowe as well as a postcard that dates a photograph.

Lawrence who was serving in England at the time had this photograph of him , Dorothy and baby Edward made into a postcard and sent to brother Oswald at the front in Dec 1915 .
Taken at the same time an unknown man in the photo, could be a colleague as they appear to have the same regiment
The postcard back of the photo of Lawrence Dorothy and Edward dated December 1915
Charlie’s Photographs

The Great War Forum is a very resource for all things of the WW1 period as some researchers specialise in identifying war photographs. Charle a member of the forum is one such person. and in March 2021 he contacted me saying he had from a junk shop obtained a package marked Marjorie Blencowe that contained photographs. Charlie shared these with me and they are now included as a part of this collection.

The first two photos of women of the same rough fashion period were taken in the Summer.  One is I believe Marjorie in the grounds of the Vicarage with a bicycle the other is proving trickier.

Margery before the war..This photo provided by Chalie692 of the  Great War Forum

Charlie and I originally thought this was a photo of Marjorie but we agree now it’s not her. The woman is married and it could possibly be Dorothy P (Cooper) Blencowe Lawrence C Blencowes’s wife.
This I think is Cecily and Arthur Blencowe and looks like after the war.
Strong similarities to Cecily above , the pug appears in this photo too
The much loved Blencowe dogs that appear above
  1. Peter Blencowe son of John Walcot Blencowe cousin to the Blencowe children
  2. Charlie 692 Great War Forum
  3. Sue Donaldson editor Marston St Lawrence History

Most of these Blencowe family photographs on the page were donated by Peter Blencowe and can be used if a license for re-use is grantedApply to this editor for a license to use.

Note: In the case of non-commercial purposes the license is likely to be granted.  The dates and places of the specific Blencowe photographs are a work in progress and any dates places named are mostly best guesses that may be updated over time.