Cecil JACKSON-COLE (1901–1979)

Philanthropist and founding member of Oxfam Committee

17 Broad Street, Oxford

Cecil Jackson-Cole was born at Forest Gate in London, the son of a furniture dealer. He began work as an office boy at thirteen and rose to be the owner and manager of Andrews Furnishers with branches in London and Oxford.

In 1942 he joined a group of Oxford Quakers concerned about conditions in Greece at that time. A public meeting, chaired by Canon Richard Milford, was convened in the library of the University Church and The Oxford Committee for Famine Relief was born. Cecil Jackson-Cole became the first Secretary and spear-headed the post-war growth and expansion of Oxfam as a global charity. He retained interest and involvement until his death in 1979.

He believed in philanthropic links between business and charities. A devout Christian, he set up various charitable trusts including the Voluntary and Christian Service Trust. VCS ultimately gave rise to the charities Help the Aged (1961), the Anchor Housing Trust (1968) and Action Aid (founded as Action in Distress, a child sponsorship charity) in 1972.

17 Broad Street


The shop at 17 Broad Street (right), established in 1947, was the first permanent Oxfam shop and also the administrative centre in the early years. New headquarters were built in Summertown in 1962 and in 2005 a second move was made to Cowley Business Park.


Source: Hibbert: Encyclopaedia of Oxford (Macmillan 1988)


The plaque was unveiled at 17 Broad Street, Oxford on 14 November 2002 by Theo Jackson-Cole as part of Oxfam’s 60th Birthday Celebration.

Jackson-Cole plaque

Oxfordshire Blue Plaques Board



Entrepreneur and Philanthropist

Helped establish the first
Oxfam shop and office
here in 1947 

Oxford Civic Society

© Oxfordshire Blue Plaques Board


Email: oxfordshireblueplaques@gmail.com