Family Grave
Sutton Family Grave

SUTTON, CAPT R.N. 1871-1926
HIS WIFE ETHEL 1872-1951

JOHN LT. R.F.A. M.C. 1898-1917
GUY 1904-1921
GORDON 1909-1911

Further Information
John William Wellesley SUTTON attended Portsmouth Grammar School which in 1999-2000 set up a Millenium project to research the stories of their former pupils who fell in the First World War. Most of what follows comes from that research. We thank the school for allowing us to use this material.
J.W.W. Sutton was the eldest son of Mr Arthur Wellesley Sutton, who was an Engineer-Commander R.N., and Mrs Ethel Kate Sutton (formerly Parks) of Cobham Villa, 22 Victoria Road North. By the look of the house, the family was probably quite wealthy. It belonged to Mrs Ethel Kate Sutton's mother before she married Mr Arthur Wellesley Sutton, who had previously lived at Warleigh House, Grove Road South and was himself an Old Portmuthian.
J.W.W. Sutton's academic career was good. He was an intelligent boy; this is known by the Oxford Local Exam that he took. However, most of his school activities revolved around sport. He played for numerous school teams, and did well in them. In November and December 1913 he achieved three sporting goals. In August 1913, he played for Blues Team cricket and in December he played in the 1st Division Juniors, achieving his football colours on 3rd December 1913. Sport wasn't J.W.W. Sutton's only interest, although it seemed to be the majority of it. He was a Library Curator also in 1913.
J.W.W. Sutton left Portsmouth Grammar School in 1914 and passed an army entrance exam on 14th November 1914. He was classed as medically fit to join the army on 1st December 1914 and so was ordered to join on 30th December 1914. He was then granted a commission on 2nd February 1916 and became a 2nd Lieutenant, which to him must have been a great achievement, but the army would often promote privates to officers in those days.
In November 1916, he was awarded the Military Cross. This citation was published in the Supplement to the London Gazette, 25th November, 1916
"2nd Lieutenant John William Wellesley SUTTON R.G.A. For conspicuous gallantry in action. He rescued an officer who had been buried under very heavy fire. Later when his battery was under intense fire, he remained at his post and set a splendid example to his men."
J.W.W. Sutton was killed in action, by poisonous gas, on Friday, 29th June 1917 in the Battle of Vimy Ridge, near Farbus Wood, Arras, France. His death was first documented in a War Diary in which the progress of the battle prior to and following Sutton's death is fully described. He is buried in Roclincourt Military Cemetery.
Sutton left no will. This is stated in a document signed by both his parents. An application for a certificate of death was placed and a telegram certifying his son's death, was sent to Mr. Arthur Wellesley Sutton.
J.W.W. Sutton had one brother called Guy Wellesley Sutton, who died four years after John's death, on 3rd February 1921. Guy died of natural causes while doing his evening preparation work, having played football that afternoon and speaking at a debate in the evening.
The Grammar School project went on to check if the Sutton family were related to the Duke of Wellington (given the family use of the names Arthur and Wellesley) but could find no link.
NOTE: The Memorial says that Sutton was a member of the R.F.A. whereas he was actually in the R.G.A.
ALSO: The CWGC record shows that Sub Lt. Wilfrid John Sutton is buried in the same plot (see our War Graves section), but no family connection has yet been traced.