Serjeant 5769 Henry Sutton
2nd King’s Royal Rifle Corps
Died of Wounds 14 September 1914
Son of Mrs. Elizabeth Sutton, of 7, Water End, Hemel Hempstead, Herts; husband of Edith Sutton, of 8, Annesley Rd., Hucknall, Notts.
La Ferte-Sous-Jouarre Memorial.
Henry Sutton was a member of the King’s Royal Rifle Corps, 2nd Battalion, who landed at Le Havre on the 13th August 1914, making them one of the first units in action.
After nearly a fortnight of long marches across France, Sutton’s Battalion encountered the Germans at the Battle of Aisne on the 14th of September 1914. During this period, these men had been waking in the early hours of the morning to march all day with little food or water- on one occasion a local village shop supplied only ‘20 loaves for 1,000 hungry men’.
The first account of fighting took place on the 8th of September, however it was not until the 12th that the British encountered the Germans’ full force. A rumour of a large force of Russians coming from England to Ostend, had caused this particular group of Germans to abandon their advance on Paris and instead encounter Sutton’s Battalion. As a result, the British advanced towards the German front on September 13th, and by the 14th numerous companies and regiments were under heavy pressure from the enemy.
The firing line of Henry Sutton’s Battalion had successfully pushed through two German batteries, however, towards the evening it became apparent that the men would have to occupy the trenches at night; unfortunately this meant that they had to leave many of their wounded ‘lying out in front’. 306 brave men lost their lives at the Battle of Aisne, the courageous Henry Sutton from Hemel Hempstead being one of them.
War Diary of Battle of Aisne, 14th September 1914, Report by 2nd K.R.R.C
By Ella Tilford and Lucy Deering
30 June 2015