Marguerite was born on the 25th March 1892 in Kensington London. From an early age she had a love of books. She attended Norland Place School in Notting Hill. It was soon apparent that she was academically gifted. She also excelled at sport, especially Hockey. During the war years she became Honorary Secretary of the Norland School Old Girls Association. Marguerite left school in 1908 and went on to higher education attaining First Class honours at the Cambridge Higher Local with a distinction in history. In 1910 she went to Dresden in Germany to study culminating in First Class Honours again with a distinction in spoken German. She was also fluent in French.
In January 1911 went to Canada in what was a combines holiday/studying venture. October of that year would see her entering Clough Hall Newham College Cambridge to study further in the German language, again attaining First Class honours.
At the outbreak of war Marguerite was employed by the Young Men’s Christian Society (YMCA). The Society had been established in London in 1844 as a prayer and bible study group. At the outbreak of war it turned their attention to providing support for servicemen. In November 1914, working with the BEF, it established centres in France. By 1918 there were over 300 centres. Marguerite would find herself working in the War Office Translation Bureau because of her language skills. From March 1918 Marguerite was part of the Army Education Service of the YMCA at Etaples on the northern coast of France. It was there in early 1919 she contracted pneumonia and died on the 13th February just 26 years old. She is buried in Etalpes Military Cemetery.
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Richard Oliver was 22 years old when he enlisted at Cramlington in September 1914. He was from Esh Winning, Crook, Co. Durham and was a miner. He enlisted in the Northumberland Fusiliers but was posted to the Yorkshire Regiment. He served in the 9th and 10th Battalions and whilst with the 10th Battalion in 1915 he was awarded the Military Medal. He served in France and Italy and became disabled due to the effects of gassing. He was discharged in March 1920 and was initially given a pension of 8 shillings a week, but this was subsequently withdrawn and his appeal rejected. He left the army as a Corporal, he served in France from 1915 to 1917 and on the Italian Front from November 1917 until December 1918.
John was born in October 1876, the eldest son of Warrin and Ellen Mitton of Hawes. His father Warrin was both a joiner and a farmer. John married a girl from the Leyburn area, Mary Teresa, in July 1905 and had two daughters. Before joining the Army he spent four years as a postman in Raydaleside and previous to that, for about 14 years, a rural postman at Finghall near Leyburn. It was while he was there he got married. On leaving Finghall the people on his round presented him with a marble clock, pipe and a pouch containing some money. Needless to say he was a very well liked postman! He played for Hawes football team for many years, and for two years the club secretary. He was a fine billiards player and a member of Hawes Church choir. John was described as a cheery likeable chap. John enlisted at Leyburn joining the 2nd Battalion Yorkshire Regiment and embarked for France at the end of July 1916. On April 7th 1917 the Battalion readied itself for the Arras Offensive which was due to start on the 9th. Private John Mitton was killed on that opening day. He was 40 years old. John is buried in the Neuville-Vitasse Road Cemetary, SE of Arras.
Gertrude was born in 1891, She spent the war as a nurse in the Other Empire Force, Voluntary Aid Detachment, QAIMNS. She was sent straight to France upon joining the Red Cross and from the 9th November 1915 – 8th June 1916 and then 1st July 1916 – 1st August 1916 she was stationed in France. In 1917 she married Harry O ‘Baines. Gertrude was posted from March 1917 until April 1917 at Military Hospital Havant before moving to Catterick Camp in March 1918. This information has been drawn from the Imperial War Museum’s ‘Lives of the First World War’ archive.