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.
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.
1st Battalion Kings Shropshire Light Infantry
(formerly 8/11985 Devon Regiment)
It was not until the closing stages of writing the book “The School, the Master, the Boys and the V.C.” that evidence was found to suggest the identity of this soldier. The CWGC web site revealed many F. Lloyds but all lacked family details that would link them to Reading. However, some research carried out on the War Memorial tablet of St. Peter’s Church, Earley, revealed the name Frank Lloyd. Using the Soldiers Died in the Great War a Frank Lloyd, born in Basingstoke and enlisted in Reading was revealed.
More recently, in 2014, with access to Ancestry UK, it has been possible to obtain more information. Frank Lloyd was born 19 December 1899, the son of Frank and Harriet Lloyd. In 1901 the family lived at 24 Sun Street, Reading. Frank senior was a labourer at the biscuit factory. Frank had two sisters Leila aged 2, and Florence Moth, his stepsister aged 8. By 1911 the family had moved to Swansea Road. Frank now had two younger brothers Edgar and George and Florence was no longer living at home. Frank senior was now a labourer in a timber yard. No occupation was given for any of the children so it is assumed that both Leila and Frank at 12 and 11 years were still in school.
Ancestry UK also has military records for Frank Lloyd but although they are with entries for Frank Lloyd junior they are in fact his fathers pension records. Frank senior, attested 28 July 1915 aged 34 as a member of the Royal Berkshire Regiment. The family were then living at 59. Brighton Road. He was discharged as no longer fit for war service on 9 November 1917, he held the rank of sergeant. His papers reveal that daughter Leila was a cripple. Frank’s military conduct and character were described as very good.
It is not known when the family moved to Brighton Road but this would certainly have enabled Frank junior to attend the Wokingham Road School and for the family to have worshiped at St. Peter’s Church, Earley.
Frank Lloyd junior was killed in action on 17th October 1918 on the day when the British and American forces began a massive attack along the River Selle north of Le Cateau. A CWGC search indicated that he was buried in the small Vaux-Andingy British Cemetery, Aisne, which holds sixty graves. The village, which lies between St. Quentin and Le Cateau, was captured in the attack. Originally the cemetery had also held German graves but these were later removed and thirty-five graves from the communal cemetery re-interred there after the Armistice. Frank Lloyd’s grave is located in Row C. 8