Students at Hackforth and Hornby School researched this story for the Ribbon of Remembrance.
Do you know the story of Major Robert Henry Edmund Hutton-Squire? He was a World War 1 Hero. A person from our area: a soldier in the British Army who fought for our freedom.
Major Robert Hutton-Squire was born on the 10th October 1877, at Holtby Hall, his family home, in the Parish of Hornby, near Bedale.
As a child, Robert grew up at Holtby Hall with his older siblings, John and Emmeline; his younger siblings, Lucy and Eleanor; his father, Robert, a magistrate and militia army officer and Catherine, his mother. Very sadly, Lucy died in 1903, before the outbreak of World War 1. She was buried at St Andrews Church in Great Fencote, near Holtby Hall.
The family were looked after by their servants, including a housekeeper, a butler, a cook, a nursery maid and a gardener.
Robert Hutton-Squire did not go to his local school (Hackforth & Hornby C of E Primary School). In 1891, he was a boarding scholar at Charterhouse School with his brother, John. He was at school, away from his family.
After he left school, Robert trained as an engineer. In 1899, he was working in India, in Madras. In 1900, he joined the British Army in India, as an officer in the Royal Artillery. He was promoted to Lieutenant in 1901. In 1906, his father died and was buried alongside his daughter in Great Fencote.
In 1911, Lieutenant Hutton-Squire returned to England, to Shoebury Barracks. This is recorded in the 1911 Census. A year later, he was promoted to Captain. On 14th July 1914, aged 39, he married Violet Hamilton in Edinburgh.
Robert Hutton-Squire fought in France and Belgium from September 1914. He was promoted to Major in 1915 and took part in the Battle of the Somme in 1916. In January 1917, Major Hutton-Squire was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO). Tragically, he was wounded near Arras and died in hospital in April 1917; five months later, on 29th September, his son, John was born. Major Hutton-Squire was buried in the Barlin Hospital Cemetery, in France. His friends remembered him as a good, kind, brave soldier.
As Robert Henry Edmund Hutton-Squire is remembered on the Memorial Plaque in St Mary’s Church, Hornby, the junior pupils at Hackforth and Hornby C of E School researched his life; created time lines and wrote a biography together, to celebrate his life. The pupils used census returns from 1881 to 1911; War Memorial Records from Charterhouse School; the Roll of Honour and maps to investigate his life. All the junior pupils hope you enjoyed reading their biography.
Explore more memories from the ribbon
Vicki Walker of Little Crakehall called into the museum to show us a photograph of Duncan Harvie, her grandfather. The photo is a postcard addressed to ‘Mary and Sam’, sent on 3 April 1916 and shows a group of Signallers on board HMS Laconia. Duncan Harvie (5th South African Regiment) is sat at the front of the group with crossed legs. The ship’s log shows the Laconia (an armed merchant cruiser) to be anchored at Zanzibar on that date, on it’s way to British East Africa (now Kenya). The ship was used in the early part of the war to patrol the South Atlantic and the Indian Ocean, but in April 1915 her role changed and she was used as a headquarters ship to aid in the fight in German East Africa. Following her return to to Cunard, the Laconia was sunk by U-50 160 miles northwest of Fastnet while returning form the United States on 25th February 1917. Twelve people were killed following a double torpedo strike.
Herbert Read served in the 2nd, 7th and 10th battalions of the Yorkshire Regiment from 1915 to 1918. During his time in service he was awarded the Military Cross for his actions in leading a trench raid, successfully securing a German prisoner for interrogation and a Distinguished Service Order for his role commanding the 2nd Battalion during the German Spring Offensive of March 1918. He published two volumes of war poetry during the conflict and is commemorated alongside Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon in Poets’ Corner in Westminster Abbey. He became a leading figure in the 20th Century, as curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum and Professor of Art at Edinburgh and Harvard Universities. He counted Picasso, Dali, Graham Greene, George Orwell, Peggy Guggenheim and Man Ray amongst his friends. A knighthood in 1953 (at the suggestion of Winston Churchill) came as a surprise to his circle of political associates. His headstone at St Gregory’s Minster near Helmsley reads ‘Knight, Poet, Anarchist’.
Submitted by Angela Atkinson. L/Sgt Joseph (Joe) Taylor – shown in the picture on the wall – served in 4th Battalion Yorkshire Regiment. Joe was my Grandad’s brother, born in 1887. Joseph worked as a length man on the North Eastern Railway before the war. He was killed in action on 25/4/1915. He is commemorated at Ypres and on the Lych Gate in Brompton, Northallerton. His parents were my great grandparents and I believe the others on the photo are all his family. The other person in uniform is William Robert (Bill) Taylor, who was born in 1883. Captain Stead wrote to Taylor’s family:- “Sergeant Taylor, along with his Company Commander, Major Matthews, were the first of their battalion to fall for their Country. His rapid promotion shows the confidence that was placed in him. He was an excellent soldier and a brave man.”