A WAR MEMORIAL STEERING COMMITTEE
was formed to agree on arrangements
during and for the 2014 Centenary


This Committee has now disbanded, having made arrangements as briefly outlined below.

THE COMMEMORATION SERVICE - AUGUST 4th 2014
I can only say that the evening service, both in the church, at the memorial, and the candle-lit vigil that followed, was all that we could ask. Moving and sensitive, handled with professionalism, I think that the servicemen and women we remembered would consider that we did their memory proud. We collectively recognised what they gave, and I think most folks present were very aware, and grateful, of what they gave it for.


THE ROYAL BRITISH LEGION
Again, we in the Old School Museum wish to pay tribute to the work of the RBL, both present and former members of the Sutton branch, over this past 90 years or so, for all they have done in keeping alive the collective promise the nation made all those years ago . . . "We Will Remember Them."

In all our discussions when planning the August Commemoration, we tried to keep in mind what former branch members would have wished us to do. It is largely through those hundreds of past members' efforts, and those of their wives and friends that helped them, that we are where we are now.

And so now, we will remember you too, dear friends, and promise to pass on to following generations how the Sutton Branch also remembered and paid tribute to their fallen comrades from all wars, over the past 10 decades.


OUR DISPLAYS IN THE OLD SCHOOL
Research on all of the names on the memorial is now well in hand. The first 36, of Sutton men carved in stone on the memorial itself, have already been completed, and in addition, there may be another half-dozen or so names that we feel were missed from the original inscriptions. The details of more of these men is now on display in the museum at our exhibition inside the Old School and over the Commemoration Weekend.

ADDING NAMES OF WAR DEAD MISSED FROM THE
ORIGINAL ROLLS OF HONOUR:

Work on this is now well advanced, and progresses slowly but surely, as I'm sure all who are involved in genealogy and military research will well appreciate. Not something to be rushed, details are easier to find on some men, and much harder on others. But we're getting there.

We still welcome contact from any descendants and relatives, with any extra information they may wish to give us. We implore anyone who knows of a casualty in their family, one not already recognised on those original rolls, to contact us or their ward councillor, and give those details. This really is the last chance to set the record straight.

We have until May 2018 to complete this, after which date no further submissions can be accepted, and the lists as they then stand will be published. The new stone scrolls bearing any additional names will be then be inscribed ready for the Armistice Day service in November of that year, itself being the centenary of the end of the Great War. We anticipate a period of 6 months will be required to make the neccessary arrangements and to have all the newly inscribed scrolls ready for November, 2018, hence the cut-off date of May.


THE MISSING WAR MEMORIAL COMMITTEE RECORDS

And as you may have read elsewhere on this site, we have had no success at all in finding out any more about the memorial itself. Such as the whereabouts or existence of the records pertaining to the Sutton War Memorial itself, the architect, subscription lists, committee, etc. If you think you can still help, please get in touch.




THE WAR GRAVES IN
SUTTON CHURCHYARD


There are in total fourteen war graves in Sutton-on-Hull churchyard. Six are from the Great War, and eight from the Second World War. All six of the Great War graves are of men not of this local area, though two of them were in what may be described as our 'local' unit, the East Yorkshire Regiment. The remaining four were in other units, the Lancashire Fusiliers, the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, and the Machine Gun Corps. As far as we can tell, sadly, there are no surviving 'full service records' for any of them. So we cannot be sure where any of them actually came from.

Although they are buried here, they are almost certainly remembered in their own home towns or villages on their own memorials, just as Sutton men are remembered on ours. Should someone recognise a name, and seeing the regiment and service number then realise it is the same man, we'd be grateful if they could let us know. Otherwise, it's a case of wait and see if, one day, any of their family contact us, from which we may glean more information.

The eight men buried here from the Second World War are also mainly from away, one of them from a long, long way away. One is again from the East Yorkshire Regiment, and one each from the Royal Engineers and Royal Artillery. Two are from the Royal Army Service Corps, and three from what was then the newest service of all, the Royal Air Force. Two of those, we think, were based at the local air station, RAF Sutton on Hull, which was in fact the base of a barrage balloon squadron for the provision and maintenance of the barrage balloons that protected Hull from low level air attack. It is not widely known that several RAF men were killed during Hull's blitz when manning barrage balloon sites ashore around the city, or on the barges moored in the Humber.

It's even more difficult to find details on seven of these men because their Second War service records are not yet generally available to the public, only to their immediate families. But we know a good bit about the eighth, paradoxically because he was from the furthest away. He was an Australian airman, a pilot killed in the Battle of Britain, who lies in our churchyard only because he married a local girl when he was stationed in Cornwall. He died in a head-on collision between his Spitfire and a Dornier, over Surrey, and because his next of kin was now his wife of only six weeks, and she came from Sutton, his body was brought back here for burial. Otherwise, he would have been buried in Surrey, near to where he fell. We have a lot more details about him on this site, HERE.

It is hoped that we will one day have just as much information on each of the other thirteen men as we already have on 'our' Australian airman. We also hope that folk who visit our newly refurbished memorial will also take the time to pop into the churchyard, just at the back of the memorial, and remember our 'other fourteen' servicemen, and perhaps leave a flower. I'm also hopeful that one day, perhaps the city council, or perhaps the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, may fix a discreet notice on the railings of our war memorial to inform visitors that there are indeed another fourteen war graves inside the churchyard, literally a short step away just around the back of the memorial itself.

I recently saw just such a notice, on a properly painted wooden board, affixed to the gates of a local cemetery in Harrogate, and thought this would be a good idea for us to adopt too. -- (pass your mouse over the image below) -- Yes, I went inside, and visited each of their half dozen graves, men I didn't know and had never heard of, but to who I equally owe the same debt of gratitude as to any in my own home town. It was only a few minutes, and surely worth that of my time to remember what they gave, and what I owe. Just a few minutes ain't much, is it.

the notice reads, At This Location, There Are . . .
a simple notice affixed to the cemetery gates in Harrogate

A page of photos of all the war graves in our churchyard,
and further web links, can be seen HERE



REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY 2013

A few images of last year's Remembrance Service
at the Sutton on Hull War Memorial


There are a few more photos of the service on
Monday evening, August 4th, on our Facebook page.










click individual smaller images for a slightly larger version
each opening in a new window. Use F11 to hide toolbars.

another useful tip: Ctrl+F4 closes a tab window without closing the programme


         


         

An unusual poppy wreath was that laid by 'Charlie', an English Springer Spaniel and now retired 'War Dog'. It can be seen in close up in the photo upper right, the large RAMC wreath on the left. Now with his new owner, Phil Jones, who took charge of Charlie after he was badly injured on recent operations in Afghanistan, he made the most of the affectionate attentions of the crowd at this year's service. The wreath was to honour and remember all those military working dogs that have already been lost when helping our forces in theatres of war. Click his picture to see his medals!

Phil, a retired Para as you can see, regularly takes Charlie to give talks on the work of our War Dogs, those especially trained to sniff out explosives, to schools and other organisation. Charlie, you may be surprised to know, is also a 'Para', fully qualified having undergone two parachute descents himself, and is the mascot of the 2nd Battalion of the Parachute Regiment. He wears his wings on the other side of his hi-vis coat to his medals.

Our best wishes to all those men and women still out 'in theatre', and especially to Charlie's hard-working compatriot War Dogs, many of who suffer terrible injuries before they are retired. See this link to see more Information on Working War Dogs, and the valuable service they perform daily. Few people know that retired army dogs can be adopted, but beware, it is a hard ask to give these wonderful dogs a home. Like marriage, adopting a War Dog is an institution not to be entered into lightly. If you're sure you can do it, and the selection process is rigorous, believe me, then visit this Pets4Homes Site for your next bit of advice.


there's a few more photos a little further down this page,
as well as on the museum's Facebook pages.



our FACEBOOK page



The photo above is of Sutton churchyard from a more unusual direction. It has often occurred to me that men with surnames that are at the end of the alphabet always did get a raw deal when privileges and goodies were being handed out. The last to sign the register at school, last for dinner, the last in a named line-up in the forces, last in everything. And so it has often seemed to me in the case of our war dead, and the guys that come at the end of any list. Last in life, and then last in death as well. So it must have always seemed for Robert Wright. This is his headstone, sprinkled here with dappled November sunlight in the darker corner at the very north end the churchyard. Probably the last war grave, in the far end of the churchyard, almost out of sight to most of our frequent visitors. In fact, none of the war graves are together, in a formal group. They are sprinkled around individually, buried where the next plot became available at the time of their deaths.

We in the musuem have just embarked upon a lengthy project to compile a modern database of all of Sutton's war dead. In a four year rolling project, we hope to find and publish all the known details of every name on our memorial. Not just an initial and a surname, but who they were, where they or their parents lived, what regiment or ship, and if possible, when and how they died. So that's why I include Robert Wright here. By definition, and his name, he is at the end of our list for WW1. But just for once, let him be first.

Lest we Forget.
   





MORE PHOTOS
taken November 2013


click individual smaller images for a slightly larger version
each opening in a new window. Use F11 to hide toolbars.

another useful tip: Ctrl+F4 closes a tab window without closing the programme


                   



If you press F11, or select View - Full Screen, these photos will appear
without the encumbrances of the top toolbars.
Just pressing F11 again brings them back.





TOP OF PAGE




1938 and All That
being an outline of the causes of the Great War


You may well ask, what has 1938 got to do with anything, particularly the Great War? The quick answer is, Everything. Because of all that had gone before, and all that was about to happen after.

At the bottom of this page is to a link to an extraordinary article, of a lecture in fact, given by an unknown naval officer, in November of 1938. I say, 'unknown', as he simply signs himself M.C.R. And I include it here on this website for those fascinated enough with the origins of the tragedy of the Great War, and all the subsequent tragedies that followed. It gives the best summing up that I have ever seen of the main causes of what led up to that terrible August of 1914, and an equally keen insight into the terrible events that led directly to what followed. Just remember that within 3 years of this article being written, Hull city centre was largely reduced to rubble. That terrible event had its roots in what happened 24 years before, the centenary of which we mark this year.

The author, perhaps without realising it, brilliantly outlines the chain of events in the Germany of Bismarck's era and leading up to 1914, the Great War itself and how that war ended, through to the 1930s and the rise of the Nazi Party, and on to the Second World War, even though that hadn't started when he wrote this. I'd love to know who MCR really was. And did he survive the coming onslaught? I hope so, but we really don't know. His writing seems to show an awareness of his own impending fate.

It's a long read, and takes about 30 minutes. I recommend it to old and young alike, those with a good knowledge of those events, and also the younger students of history who may well be just delving into this momentous period of European history. I would say that anyone much younger than 14 would struggle to fully understand all that this article says, it was after all meant for other naval officers of good and broad education, from 18 year old Midshipmen upwards to more senior ranks. It appeared in the 1939 Spring Edition of a magazine called THE NAVAL REVIEW, the in-house magazine of the Royal Navy, along with lots of other articles and discussions of naval interest. Once read, anyone will have a far better appreciation of what 1914 was all about, and why it is so important to understand and remember it now, even after 100 years. I wish I could have read this when I was about 16 and first getting really interested in naval history and the origins of the two great wars that cast such a shadow over my family and would be such an influence on myself.

You must understand that, at the time of its publication just before the Second War, these articles were meant only for the eyes of officers of the Royal Navy, to give them some background of the situation Britain was then in, and some idea of what may well be facing them in the near future. On that score, it is amazingly prophetic. The writer hopes there will not be a war, but in his heart of hearts, he knows it's coming, and coming soon. A case of 'hope for the best', and 'prepare for the worst'. As we know, 'the best' did not happen. It's a classic example of the meaning of the phrase we have all become familiar with from the recent TV series, "A WARNING FROM HISTORY." My Goodness, it certainly was that.

To answer the question, 'what has 1938 got to do with anything?', the answer is simple. Munich. The previous September to this article appearing, in 1938, had seen what we now call The Munich Crisis, that last-ditched and doomed effort by the British Government, in particular Neville Chamberlain, to avert another European war. The Munich summit was designed to persuade Herr Hitler to reign in his European military adventures, with no more repeats of the recent 'annexation' of neighbouring countries like Czechloslovakia. It was well known even then that Poland was next on the list.

So the article was written as a lecture, and given in the November, only weeks after Chamberlain returned from meeting Hitler, famously stepping off his aeroplane and waving the piece of paper bearing Hitler's signature, declaring it meant 'Peace in Our Time.' Well, he was right in a way, it was, for just under another year. But for so many millions, their 'time' was just coming to an end. Many men of the Royal Navy, reading this article in 1939, would not be alive six years later when it all came to an end.

If you've got this far, you may well now want to "READ THE ARTICLE".

THE NAVAL REVIEW . . . a link to all 400 editions, since 1913.
It opens in a new window.









TOP OF PAGE


END OF THIS PAGE