Alexander Gordon Sutton
2nd Battalion Rifle Brigade
Alexander Gordon Sutton was killed in action on 2 January 1918 aged 19.
He is buried in Oxford Road Cemetery, Ypres. Grave location V. H. 9.
Alexander Gordon Sutton was the grandson of Martin Hope Sutton and the youngest son of Leonard Goodhart Sutton and Mary Charlotte Sutton (nee Seaton). His mother had died in July 1900 probably giving birth to Emily the only girl in the family. The family home was ‘Hillside’ Allcroft Road, Reading. The 1911 census indicates that Alexander, aged 12 and his brother Noel and sister Emily were at the family home. The house was run by a team of ten servants.
Like his brother Eustace, Alexander was educated at St. Andrews, Southborough and Repton Schools. He was in training at Oxford with the Officers’ Cadet Battalion and received his commission in October 1917. He joined his battalion on 2 December 1917.
His obituary stated that he was a well known member of St. John’s Church, Reading which he attended with the other members of his family whilst in Reading. He was described as having a thoughtful and reverent demeanor. (St. John’s Church is now used by the Polish Roman Catholic community)
He was the third son of Leonard Goodhart Sutton to be killed in action.
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William Victor Ross Sutton
1st/1st Berkshire Yeomanry
William Victor Ross Sutton was killed in action on 13 November 1917 aged 20.
He is buried in Ramleh War Cemetery, Israel, grave Q. 27.
William Victor Ross Sutton was the was the grandson of Martin Hope Sutton and third son of Leonard Goodhart Sutton and Mary Charlotte Sutton. His mother had died in 1900 and by the 1911 census William was a border at St. Andrews, Southborough, Tunbridge Wells and later attended Repton School.
The Reading Standard 24 November 1917 published a obituary. On leaving school at the age of 17 years William spent a year in Canada working with his uncle farming in Saskatchewan, he was very keen on agriculture. He was also a keen sportsman. When he was nearly military age he returned to England to join the army. William was appointed to the Yeomanry commission in January 1916. William joined his battalion in Egypt in October 1916.
William was very enthusiastic about his military work and his commanding officer, writing soon after he joined, said “He was very keen and hard-working.”
William was promoted to a Lieutenant one month before he was killed. He was the second of the brothers to lose his life.
Eric Guy Sutton M.C.
7th Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment
Eric Guy Sutton was the grandson of Martin Hope Sutton, one of the founders of the Sutton Seeds business and the second son of Leonard Goodhart Sutton and his wife Mary Charlotte Sutton (nee Seaton). His mother probably died in childbirth in July 1900 giving birth to his only sister Emily May.
He was educated at Rugby where he was a keen rugby footballer. He had always expressed an ambition to enter the Army but after leaving school he decided on a business career. He spent a year in France and six months travelling in America preparing for this and was due to return to Reading in the autumn of 1914. On the outbreak of war he returned from California and was gazetted into his regiment in September 1914. In the spring of 1915 he went to the front and in June he was appointed lieutenant.
Eric Guy Sutton was awarded the Military Cross for “conspicuous gallantry on the night of September 12th 1915, near Armentieres. With another officer he entered a mine, which was in a highly dangerous state at the time owing to gas fumes following an explosion, in order to rescue a man who had been overcome. Their prompt action undoubtable saved the man’s life.” He was decorated a Buckingham Palace on 23 February 1916.
On hearing of the distinction awarded to him he wrote:
“On looking back upon the incident it seems a very paltry affair. It was over in a few moments. One of the things prominent in my mind is – How many thousands more, especially in Gallipoli, deserve the honour much more that I do!”
He was killed in action on 8 April 1916 aged 21 and is buried in Vermelles British Cemetery, Pas de Calais, grave location II. D. 20.
The circumstances of his death were reported as follows:
He was in charge of the Lewis (machine) guns, as he had been for some time,prior to which he had temporary command of his company. At 6.30 p.m. on 8th april 1916 the Germans exploded a mine under part of the Britishd trenches blowing down the parapet and filling parts of the trench, leaving a portion exposed to rifle fire.
It appeard that in order to get his guns into position again he had to cross the exposed portion and examine the crater, and was shot by a sniper in the neck and died instantly.
Employees of the Sutton Seed firm were alerted to the sad news of his death by a flag flying at half mast over the business premises.