William Ottaway

Photograph

Memorial Plaque

 PTE W. OTTAWAY

     GRENR GDS

    27 SEPT. 1918

Connection with Effingham

He was born in the village, as were several earlier generations of his family, and was resident there until he joined the Grenadier Guards in, or a little before, 1911.

Genealogy

William’s grandfather was William (Snr.) Ottaway, born in Effingham around 1817. In 1841 William (Snr.) and his future wife Caroline (née) Sumner were both working in Effingham, just two households away from the Vicarage, as servants in the domestic household of a publican Edward Burt:

1841 Census
Effingham : PRO Ref: HO107 Piece 1071 Book 3 Folio 4 Page 1

            Edward Burt : 30 : publican : yes [=born in Surrey]
            Lucy Burt : 30 : — : no
            and several servants, including:
            Caroline Sumner : 20 : female servant : no
            William Ottoway : 20 : male servant : yes

Caroline had been born to parents Isaac Sumner and Elizabeth and baptised at Slaugham, Sussex on September 21st 1821 [IGI: Batch C071071]. Later in 1841 William (Snr.) and Caroline married, almost certainly at St. Lawrence [GRO Ref: Dorking 4 83, 1841 (Q4)]. Here they are in 1851, when he was now occupied as a sawyer:

1851 Census
The Street, Effingham : PRO Ref: HO107 Piece 1598 Folio 362 Page 4

William Ottaway : head : mar : 34 : sawyer : Effingham, Surrey
Caroline Ottaway : wife : mar : 30 : — : Slugham [sic], Sussex
Elizabeth Ottaway : dau : unm : 6 : scholar : Effingham, Surrey
James Ottaway : son : unm : 4 : at home : Effingham, Surrey
Thomas Ottaway : son : unm : 2 : at home : Effingham, Surrey

By 1861 he was not only still a sawyer but had also been appointed the (parochial) Parish Clerk:

1861 Census
The Street, Effingham : PRO Ref: RG9 Piece 441 Folio 68 Page 3

William Ottaway : head : mar : 44 : sawyer (wood) & Ph. Clerk : Effingham, Surrey
Caroline Ottaway : wife : mar : 41 : — : Slugham [sic – again], Sussex
George Ottaway : son : unm : 9 : scholar : Effingham, Surrey
Ellen Ottaway : dau : unm : 7 : scholar : Effingham, Surrey
John Ottaway : son : unm : 1 : infant : Effingham, Surrey

The youngest child above, John, would become the father of William (Jnr.). The GRO index appears to contain no reference to John’s birth. William (Snr.) evidently died in the 1860s and his death reference is most probably [GRO Ref: Dorking 2a 82, 1869 (Q4) – aged “55”]. The 1871 Census finds John aged 11 living with his widowed mother Caroline, who was now having to take in laundry and lodgers to maintain the family:

1871 Census
[no address cited] Effingham : PRO Ref: RG10 Piece 829 Folio 100 Page 3

Caroline Ottaway : head : wid : 49 : laundress : Slaugham, Sussex
Elizabeth Ottaway : dau : unm : 26 : laundress : Effingham, Surrey
John Ottaway : son : unm : 11 : scholar : Effingham, Surrey
and several lodgers …

In this same year John’s future wife was born. She was Annie (née) Warham, born somewhere in the Whitchurch/Malshanger region west of Basingstoke [GRO Ref: Kingsclere 2c 210, 1871 (Q4)].

John has not been found in the 1881 Census, but his mother was then living on a pension in Effingham’s Vicarage. This was divided into five separate households, the first being that of the incumbent vicar Henry Malthus:

1881 Census
The Vicarage, Effingham : PRO Ref: RG11 Piece 796 Folio 118 Page 10

1st household:
Henry Malthus : head : mar : 76 : Vicar of Effingham : Bath, Somerset
Sophia Malthus : wife : mar : 74 : — : Leatherhead, Surrey
5th household:
Caroline Ottaway : head : wid : 59 : annuitant : Slafham [sic], Sussex

The Rev. Henry Malthus was the only son of (Thomas) Robert Malthus (1766-1834), the noted political economist and population theorist. Henry, who produced no children, died in August 1882. The incumbency of St. Lawrence then passed to Rev. Frederic Ernest Bayly who, despite being single, occupied the entire Vicarage himself, with four servants. One of these was Annie Warham, a parlour maid aged 19. Caroline had meanwhile had to move out of the Vicarage and was living with her son John (now 31) nearby, probably in the Street:

1891 Census
The Vicarage, Effingham : PRO Ref: RG12 Piece 576 Folio 88 Page 3

Ernest F. Bayley [sic] : head : unm : 41 : Vicar of Effingham : Southsea, Hampshire
with 4 servants, including:
Annie Warham : servant : unm : 19 : house parlour maid : Whitchurch, Hampshire

1891 Census
The Village, Effingham : PRO Ref: RG12 Piece 576 Folio 88 Page 4

Caroline Ottaway : head : wid : 68 : — : Slaugham, Sussex
John Ottaway : son : unm : 31 : gardener, domestic servant : Effingham, Surrey

John and Annie married in 1892 [GRO Ref: Dorking 2a 251, 1892 (Q3)]. Their first child William was born a year later [GRO Ref: Dorking 2a 153, 1893 (Q3)] and a daughter two years later. Caroline lived just long enough to see her infant grandson, as she died aged “73” in the following quarter [GRO Ref: Dorking 2a 95, 1893 (Q4)].

By 1901 John was serving with the Royal Garrison Artillery in Essex while his wife and children continued living in Effingham:

1901 Census
Circular Redoubt [Fort], Harwick St. Nicholas, Essex : PRO Ref: RG13 Piece 1699 Folio 106 Page 43

among numerous other soldiers:
John Ottoway [sic] : — : mar : 39 : bombardier R.G. Artillery : Effingham, Surrey

1901 Census
The Street, Effingham : PRO Ref: RG13 Piece 623 Folio 89 Page 3

Annie Ottaway : head : mar : 29 : — : Malsanger, Hampshire
William Ottaway : son : unm : 7 : scholar : Effingham, Surrey
Caroline Ottaway : dau : unm : 5 : scholar : Effingham, Surrey
Frederick Nevell : boarder : unm : 11 : scholar : London

John was back with Annie in Effingham by the time of the 1911 census, and now occupied as a domestic gardener again. Meanwhile William, aged “18”, was serving as a Lance-Corporal in the 2nd Bn., Grenadier Guards on the “Marlborough Lines Aldershot”, residing at the Blenheim Barracks in Farnborough parish. His Service Number then was 14839.

1911 Census
Church Street, Effingham : PRO Ref: RG14 Piece 3193 Schedule 53

John Ottaway : head : mar : 50 : gardener domestic : Effingham, Surrey
Annie Ottaway : wife : mar : 39 : — : Malshanger, Hampshire
Caroline Annie Ottaway : dau : unm : 15 : domestic under-parlourmaid : Effingham, Surrey
Ellen Mary Ottaway : dau : unm : 3 : — : Effingham, Surrey
William Alfred Hall : nephew : unm : 17 : gardener domestic : Oldbaising [sic – Old Basing], Hampshire
William Beauchamp : boarder : unm : 19 : gardener domestic : Esher, Surrey

1911 Census
Blenheim Barracks, Government House Camp, Nursery Vine Cottage,
Poverty Place and Blanford House, Malplaquet Barracks,
Marlborough Lines Aldershot, Farnborough parish: PRO Ref: RG14 Piece 6263 Schedule 192

among numerous other soldiers:
William Ottaway : Lance Corporal : unm : 18 : 2 B Grenadier Guards : Leatherhead, Surrey

When the time came for William to serve in the War he enlisted – probably in mid-August 1914 – with the 4th Bn., Guards Machine Gun Regiment under a new Service Number 2643. He was killed in action on September 27th 1918, less than two months before the end of the War.

His father John died aged “68” in 1928 [GRO Ref: Dorking 2a 250, 1928 (Q2)].

Military Records

1. Service Record – not found

2. Commonwealth War Graves Commission Record

Name
Rank
Regiment
Age
Date of Death
Service No.
Additional info.
Grave/Memorial Ref.
Cemetery

OTTAWAY, WILLIAM
Private
Guards Machine Gun Regiment, 4th Bn
26
27/09/1918
2643
Only son of John and Annie Ottaway, of Church St., Effingham, Leatherhead, Surrey.
I. B. 1.
SANDERS KEEP MILITARY CEMETERY, GRAINCOURT-LES-HAVRINCOURT

3. “Soldiers Died in the Great War” Record

This adds that he enlisted at Caterham and that he was killed in action in France/Flanders in the Western European Theatre of war, and confirms his former service in the Grenadier Guards.

4. Medal Record