Category Archives: Battlefield Areas

Victor Leopold Stevens Bedwell

Victor Leopold Stevens Bedwell
2nd Lieutenat
4th Battalion Suffolk Regiment

Division 34

 Bedwell VLS Rcem com  Bedwell VLS name


Victor Leopold Stevens Bedwell was the son of the late Thomas Bedwell and of Mary Louisa Bedwell, of 52, Beechhill Rd., Eltham, London. Born in 1894 Victor had and older brother and sister; Edward  lived until he was 90 years old and Constance until she was 98.  In the 1901 census  his father’s occupation is given as School Master and Clergyman (Church of England) The family are living at The College, Saham Toney, Norfolk.  It appears that Thomas Bedwell was in charge of a small school of eleven boys ranging in age from 16 years to 7 years. Assissting in this task was an assistant schoolmaster and two servants. Victor was aged 6 years at the time and no doubt was also educated at the college with the younger children.

No 1911 information has been found for Victor L S Bedwell. However, the online Wisden on the Great War ‘The Lives of Cricket’s Fallen 1914 – 1918’ records that he was educated at St. John’s, Leatherhead and was a member of the cricket eleven in 1912 and 1913. It is also known that he was a  Craven Scholar at Oxford University in 1915 and that the Bedwell Prize was  founded at Exeter College, Oxford, in memory of his brilliant learning and personality.

Victor is commemorated on the family grave of his parents and grandfather. Victor was killed in action on 18 April 1916 during the fighting around the Somme and he has no known grave. He was 22years old.  His name is recorded on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing Pier and Face 1C and 2A.

The entry below shows the details of his estate upon his death.

Bedwell will

Arthur Penton Strong

Arthur Penton Strong
Lieutenant 7th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers

Division 32

Strong AP photo

Arthur Penton Strong was the son of Arthur and Kate Strong, of Reading.  He is commemorated on the footstone of the family grave. The 1891 census indicates that Arthur had three younger brothers and an older sister his father was a builder and contractor. Kate’s brother also lived with the family. They lived at 5. Zinzan Street, Reading. By 1901 Arthur’s father had died and the family were living at 215, King’s Road, Reading. Arthur was now aged 17 and employed as a factory clerk. In 1911 Kate was living at 30. Telford Avenue with her younger sons. It has not been possible to trace Arthur through the 1911 census.

Arthur was killed in action on 26th October 1917, Aged 34.  This was the first day of what came to be known as the Second Battle of Passchendaele.   On this day the British and their allies improved their positions from Passchendaele to Poelcapelle.   Matrix tells us that the attack began at 5.40am.  On either side of the Menin road the British 7th and 5th Divisions were frustrated by marshes.  The Australians and Canadians took their objectives moving off in a mist that became a heavy rain as the day progressed.  The Canadians had 70% casualties.  Poelcapelle means church in the bog and it was in a bog that the British fought.  Several days later New Zealand troops came upon the remains of the Northumberland Fusiliers and Durham Light infantry lying in rows where they had been mown down by German machine guns as they had made their advance on the first day of the battle.

Arthur Penton Strong is buried in Poelcapelle British Cemetery. Location XXXVII. F. 19

This cemetery was made after the Armistice by the concentration of graves from other cemeteries and from the battle fields.  The great majority of the dead fell in the last five months of 1917, particularly the month of October.


Eustace Martin Sutton

Eustace Martin Sutton
Lieutenant 35th Signal Company
Royal Engineers

Division 65

Sutton EM photo

Eustace Martin Sutton was the second son of Leonard Goodhart Sutton and Mary Charlotte Sutton (nee Seaton).  His mother died in July 1900 probably giving birth to the only girl in the family, Emily May. The family home was ‘Hillside’  Allcroft Road, Reading. He was the fourth of the Sutton brothers to lose his life in the war.

Eustace was educated at St. Andrew’s School Southborough, Kent and Repton School. He had qualified to enter Balliol College in 1915. However, he was appointed from his Officer Training Corps to a commission in the Royal Engineers and he entered the Army before going to Oxford. He went abroad in January 1916.  The 35th Signal Company was one of three Royal Engineers raised in Reading at the behest of his father.

The German Spring Offensive along the Western Front began on the 21 March 1918.  In the early days of the attack the Germans made fast progress and great advances with the British taken by surprise. The fighting was fierce but the British found themselves in retreat and the bodies of the fallen easily lost as the Germans advanced. Eustace Martin Sutton was killed in action on 24 March 1918 aged 22. He has no known grave and his  name is commemorated on the Poziers Memorial, Somme.

The local newspapers reported that Mr Sutton had received the following letter from the Brigadier-General of the brigade to which Eustace Martin Sutton was attached.

“My dear Mr Sutton,

I am writing to express to you my great sorrow at the loss of your son, E.M.Sutton, and to offer you my very sincere sympathy.
He was killed most gallantly leading a counter-attack, made up of signallers and other headquarters men, who were hastily collected and thrown in to stop a local rush of the enemy round brigade headquarters.
I last saw him full of keenness dashing  forward cheering on his own signallers and the other details he had collected.
The enemy who killed him was bayonetted by one of his own signallers.
He is a very great loss. We were all very fond of him in our mess. He was a most reliable worker, and most gallant on all occasions and in several previous fights had done most valuable work. His cheerfulness and unfailing good temper were invaluable.
Please accept my very sincere sympathy for your loss.”

A sapper in Eustace’s signal company wrote:
“Poor Mr Sutton died a real hero,leading his section. We are all proud of him, and I sincerely hope his gallant action, which undoubtably saved a critical situation, will be duty recognised. Mr Tomson has taken Mr Eustace’s place. One of my operators,  named Mr Davis, was killed.
The company has suffered very severely again, especially in officers. Mr Sutton’s place will be very hard to fill, and we all miss him terribly.  It seems as though we had all lost a brother and a good friend.  Personally, I suppose, owing to my many happy associations with him, I feel his loss more than anyone else. He always treated me so well, and I feel almost broken-hearted.
He died a hero’s death, shot by a sniper though the head, as he was leading part of his section into action at a very critical time during an attack, and it is the opinion of my men that his gallantry undoubtedly saved the situation.”