In St Mary’s churchyard there is an unmarked Commonwealth War Grave from WWII. Checking with the Commonwealth War Grave Commissions (CWGC) website this is in fact the grave of Sgt Edwin Charles Trow who died on 28 Jun 1943
The entry on the CWGC website can be found here.
From this entry we know that at the time of his death he was a sargent in the Military Police and the husband of Elsie Trow. The grave registration report reads:
Chalgrove (St Mary) Churchyard – Index No: U.K. 2972
TROW, Sjt. Edwin Charles, 547657. Corps of Military Police. 28th June 1943. Age 36. Husband of Elsie Trow, of Kimblewick, Buckinghamshire
On the Grave Registration Report Form for St Mary’s, Chalgrove, dated 30 April 1957 it says:
Initials/Name & Honours: E.C. Trow
Date of death: 28 June 1943
Details of grave: U/Marked
By whom maintained: Relatives
From a copy of his death certificate obtained from the General Register Office (GRO) we know that he actually died in hospital at Letchworth, Hertfordshire from injuries suffered during a road traffic accident, the truck he was driver overturned.
More information on Edwin Charles Trow
Edwin Charles Trow was born on 5 June 1907 in Liverpool, Lancashire the son of John Turner Trow and Alice Jane (nee Breene). He was baptised on 27 June 1907 at “Blessed Sacrament”, Liverpool, Lancashire (Note: this is a Roman Catholic church).
He had at least 9 siblings, one of whom died before he was born.
In the 1911 Census he is listed as living with his mother at 59 Luxmore Road, Walton on the Hill, Lancashire, England. His father was a ships steward and is not listed on the 1911 census, so was probably away at sea on census night.
In 1921 Census the family are still in Walton on the HIll, Lancashire.
At the time of writing this his military record is still with the MoD so we don’t know when he joined up and whether he was in the Army before the war broke out. However, he has not been found in the 1939 register, so may have already enlisted by the time the register was compiled.
Why is a man from Liverpool buried in Chalgrove?
From the GRO marriage indexes we know that in Apr/Jun 1936 he married Elsie Lacey in the Oxford registration district, so must likely in Oxford itself.
Elsie Lacey was born 28 December 1906 in Cuxham, Oxfordshire the daughter of Free Lacey and Ann (nee Coleman) and had 4 siblings. In the 1911 census Elsie is with her parents in Cuxham. However, by the time of the 1939 register Elsie had married Edwin Trow (see above) and is listed in the household of her parents living on the High Street, Chalgrove. There is no house number, however, on the 1939 form they are listed between Home Farm and the Post Office. Elsie gives her occupation as a Pressed Steel Welder. Other members of Elsies family that are at the same address in 1939 are:
Free Lacey – her father – Hay Binder
Ann Lacey – her mother – Unpaid Domestic Duties
Elsie died in Aug 2004.
It is very likely that Elsie was still living in Chalgrove in 1943 so that is why Edwin was buried in St Mary’s Churchyard. The reference in the grave registration form to Kimblewick, Buckinghamshire is a bit misleading, since the reports were compiled after the fact and don’t necessarily reflect address and circumstances at time of the persons death and burial. Why the family did not want a CWGC stone and did not erect any stone themselves we may never really know. Without a grave marker it is not possible to tell with any certainty where Edwin is buried. When CLHG carried out the churchyard survey and recording of the Monumental Inscriptions with Oxfordshire Family History Society, people did point out a rough area where they believed Edwin was buried.
For those with an interest in the monumental inscriptions with St Mary’s Churchyard and Church, a copy, in the form of a download, of the Chalgrove Monumental Inscriptions, with relevant churchyard maps can be obtained from the Oxfordshire Family History Societies on-line shop: https://www.ofhs.uk/shop/Chalgrove-St-Mary-by-download-p416931169