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OXLEY, Wilfred Benjamin

Born: 1880
Died: 1936 11 02


Was born in Helmsley, Yorkshire, and educated at St Chad's College, Denstone, Staffordshire, England. He was articled to SF Poynot (?), surveyor to Leicester Education Council in 1897. He was a student at the Leicester School of Art from 1897, going on several sketching tours of the continent. Between 1900 and 1903 he was assistant to Edward Burgess, architect to the Leicester School Board, and had 'the entire charge for erection of three schools, under Mr Burgess' (ARIBA nom papers 1912). From 1903 until about 1912 he was chief architectural assistant to the Leicester Education Committee. He married in Leicester in 1909. By arrangement with the Education Committee he had been allowed to take private work, erecting several houses near Leicester. He enlisted during the First World War and served as a captain in the ROYAL ENGINEERS' Territorial Forces. He commenced practice in 1919 and left for South Africa in about 1922. He was in Durban from 1922 until 1936 where he became involved in education again, giving classes in architectural history and construction at Natal Technical College. He attended the Federal Council on Architectural Education at the third Annual General Meeting of the ISAA in 1926. His practice as an architect was mainly concerned with domestic work and several small (unnamed) churches in Natal. He lived at Hillary, Durban. Oxley died of a sudden heart attack while on a visit to London in 1936. His brother was OJP OXLEY, professor of Fine Arts at the Natal Technical College from 1923 to 1936 and a reputed disciple of WB Lethaby.

ARIBA 1912; ISAA 1927. (ARIBA nom papers (1912) 2284; Hillebrand 1986; NAD MSCE 24896; NWW 1933; RIBA biog file; SAAR Jun 1926:53-4; SAAR Sep 1926:75-80)

These notes were last edited on 2021 01 27

All truncated references not fully cited in 'References' are those of Joanna Walker's original text and cited in full in the 'Bibliography' entry of the Lexicon.

List of projects

With photographs
With notes

Garage for Mrs Evans: 1926. Durban, KwaZulu-Natal - Architect
Hall: 1925. Hillary, KwaZulu-Natal - Architect
Hotel: 1925. aManzimtoti, KwaZulu-Natal - Architect
House CH Peach: 1926. Durban, KwaZulu-Natal - Project Architect