Admiral Oxley and the Cherubs of Ripon

"They all died so young," visitors to Ripon Minster would murmur in pity as they gazed at the second largest monument in the Cathedral. Was it typhoid or cholera? The Admiral, lurking behind a pillar in the shadows, would chuckle to himself, though even he might have been surprised to know that most of his children were destined to live well into their nineties if not a hundred. Known as the Terrors of Ripon for their mischievous ways the Oxley children were far from cherubic. This book is based on the reminiscences of the two youngest daughters, Rose and Dot, various family diaries and records and on extensive research of the period. After the death of their mother in 1898 life under the regime of their eccentric Admiral father was very different. Having gone to sea at the age of twelve and risen rapidly to become ADC to Queen Victoria the Admiral was more used to life on board than bringing up a family of five girls and two boys. Consequently like many of their Edwardian contemporaries the Oxley children were determined to escape from home and make a life for themselves. This they succeeded in doing and they all went on to lead interesting and unusual lives. Agnes, the eldest daughter, helped the Admiral's younger brother with good works in Wapping. Vi married the Dean's son who was in the Colonial service and set sail for the new Protectorate of Northern Nigeria in 1916. Daisy, who had a voice 'like a choir boy' spent six months in Dresden training to be an opera singer before continuing her training in London where she met her future husband who's family home was in the South of France. Rose realized her ambition to be a nurse and in 1908 enrolled as a Probationer at the London hospital, becoming Assistant Matron during WW1. Dorothy spent a few years as an early settler in Canada before rescuing a run-down family estate with her husband in Scotland and Chris, the baby of the family, followed in his father's footsteps entering the Navy via the new college of Osborne and later, as part of the RNAS 2nd Wing being awarded a DSO in 1916 during the Salonika campaign. Even Charlie, who was destined to run the family estates, having been turned down by the army because of flat feet, enlisted in the Navy during the war. Set against the background of Edwardian frivolity and the traumas of the 1st World War the book creates a vivid personal portrait of the period culminating in 1923 when a new world is being born out of the ashes.
ISBN: 9781788760713
Type: Paperback
Pages: 264
Published: 20 October 2017
Price: $11.65

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