Category Archives: Somme

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

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.”

Eric Guy Sutton

Eric Guy Sutton M.C.
2nd Lieutenant
7th Battalion  Royal Sussex Regiment


Sutton EG photo


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.