Is Rosie the elephant buried in Kidlington? That is the question no-one has been able to answer.

Rosie was the most popular animal at Oxford Zoo, on what is now the site of Thames Valley Police headquarters in Oxford Road.

It attracted hundreds of visitors during the brief spell it was open from 1931 to 1937.

Rosie died shortly before the zoo closed. But where she was buried remains a mystery.

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Rumour has it that she was laid to rest somewhere nearby, but that has never been confirmed.

Oxford Mail:

Drivers and their passengers, however, are reminded of her presence as they negotiate Kidlington roundabout every day.

There are wire structures there of Rosie, a stork, a monkey and a zookeeper, the work of artist Tony Davies with help from pupils at Gosford Hill School.

The sculpture weighing a tonne was lifted into place in October 2018.

Mr Davies’ elephant stands at three metres tall and has been crafted by weaving and twisting lengths of galvanised steel wire, totalling five miles.

South coast artist Mr Davies was commissioned by Kidlington Parish Council and Cherwell District Council to create the creature.

Pupils from Gosford Hill School inspired the design for the zookeeper following a series of workshops with the artist.

Mr Davies used to run a theatre company in Abingdon called Trading Faces and now lives in Brighton.

We were reminded of the zoo last week by former Kidlington resident Yvonne Cramer, now living in Sydney, Australia.

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Her mother, Doris Woodward, worked as a cashier at the zoo before she married her husband, Kenneth Duncan, at St Mary’s Church in the village in 1933.

She returned to Kidlington in 1934 for the birth of daughter Yvonne from Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex, where Kenneth was a school teacher.

Mrs Cramer writes: “We were still living at Westcliff when the Second World War started and I remember the first air raid over London, which passed overhead.

“Dad was called up into the Air Force and Mum evacuated us back to Kidlington, by which time my gran had moved from The Moors to 192 Oxford Road, where we stayed.

“During the war, mum worked for the BBC accounts department which had been evacuated to Woodeaton Manor.

“We came to Australia in 1951 when Dad was offered a post with the Australian Defence Department in Melbourne.

“When our three years were up, we had all settled down so well that we decided to stay in this lovely place, but mum and I always kept warm memories of Kidlington.”

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After the zoo closed, she remembers as a child playing in the concrete bunkers that once housed the animals. The abandoned zoo buildings were put to good use.

The former monkey house was converted to house and teach girls evacuated from East Ham Girls’ Grammar School in London during the war, and afterwards, Scouts occupied a building on site.