5th May 1916

On 5th May 1916, Second Lieutenant Gerald Alexander Dutton was accidentally killed in a training accident on Jersey, and was buried with full military honours in St Peter’s Churchyard on the island. He was serving with the 4th Battalion South Staffordshire Regiment, which moved from Lichfield to Jersey as soon as war broke out in August 1914. The battalion trained men for the Front and remained in Jersey until transferring to Marske, near Redcar in September 1916.

Gerald Dutton was born in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire in 1898, to parents Samuel (a relay clerk with the General Post Office, born in Liverpool) and Alice. Gerald was the middle of the couple’s three children, having an older sister, Marjorie Elsie (born 1896), and a younger brother, Ian James Victor (1900-1982). The family is recorded as being in Haverfordwest on the 1901 and 1911 census but moved to “Bramcote”, Hampton-in-Arden sometime between 1911-1916.

It’s known that Gerald was gazetted Second Lieutenant with the 4th Battalion, South Staffordshire Regiment in November 1915. The Coventry Standard 12th May 1916 reported that he was a promising officer and had passed several qualifying examinations for promotion. He was only 17 years old and was killed by the premature explosion of a rifle grenade. The adjutant of the battalion wrote to Gerald’s parents and spoke of his as being

beloved by his brother officers, liked and respected by his men; a keen and capable soldier, and a perfect little gentleman; that which nothing finer or better can be written of any man.

If you have any further information on the family, please let us know.

Tracey
Heritage & Local Studies Librarian

tel.: 0121 704 6977
email: heritage@solihull.gov.uk

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