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
John Sweeny was 22 years of age when he enlisted in the Yorkshire Regiment in late 1914. He was the son of John and Mary Sweeney of Washington Station, Co. Durham. The 8th Battalion arrived in France in late August 1915 and John is reported to have been wounded in that November. He was again wounded in December 1916 and was killed in action in August 1917. The only reported 8th Battalion casualties at this period were working as Yukon Pack Carriers, re-supplying the front line with munitions in the area of Ypres. He is commemorated on Panel 33 of the Menin Gate at Ypres, Belgium. 144466 Private John Sweeney of ‘A’ Company was awarded the 15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
Vicky Hurwood provided this information about her grandfather, George Ernest Hurwood. He was born on 19 November at Scorton 1880 to Richard and Mary Hurwood. He worked for the Post Office with his father. When the war broke out George would enlist as a Sapper in the Royal Engineers, his Regimental Number being 67828. His medal card gives his ‘Theatre of War’ as France where he had arrived on the 7th October 1915. He was awarded the 1915 Star, which means he enlisted before conscription was introduced, along with the British War medal and Victory medal. George made and engraved match box covers recording Ypres 31/7/17 and Arras 9/4/17 which Vicky still has at home. He survived the war and is commemorated on a list at the Scorton War Memorial Institute. He ended the war as a Sergeant and from his demobilisation on the 30th June 1919 became a Class Z Reserve.
Otto Wedgewood was born in July 1882 at Bredgar in Kent to Rowland and Annie Wedgwood. He was a descendant of Thomas Wedgwood, the elder brother of the famous potter Josiah Wedgewood. Otto was one of six children. The 1891 census has Otto’s father’s occupation as ‘living on own means’ and was successful enough to employ two servants. The 1901 census shows Otto was living at the home of his nephew George Maxstead in Hornsea Yorkshire. Otto at the time was an Engineer Apprentice. On the 24th October 1914 Otto embarked from London to Bombay in India. His occupation on the passenger list is given as ‘Expert’ and presumably the trip was work related. It is not certain when he returned to Britain. However, it probable that he felt he had to ‘do his bit’ for the war effort and so came home. He subsequently joined the Royal Engineers. From the 4th May 1917 he served with CRE IX Corps. The London Gazette of the 4th December 1915 details Otto attaining the rank of 2nd Lieutenant. By the end of the war he was a Captain. Otto spent time in Canada in the early 1930s but by 1939 he was back in England working as a Cement Works Manager at Gravesend in Kent. In 1944 he married Stella Vincett in Chatham. Otto died on the 23rd May 1957 and was cremated five days later at Greenwich in London. He was 74 years old. Otto’s Granddaughter, Jeanette Schofield, in Richmond.