Charles Edward James Hatton

Stop number ORANGE 9: Continue along until you reach the next upward path to your right which will take you up to the upper main drive. When you reach the main drive turn to your right and walk towards the avenue of lime trees which you will see in front of you. Just before you reach them, look to your left and you will see the Hatton grave.
Hatton plot
Hatton plot
Read the story below and when you are ready to move on click on the dot/circle for A Gardham.

Charles Hatton's memorial William Birch chair factory
Charles Hatton's memorial William Birch chair factory (SWOP MHW24701)

Charles Edward James Hatton 1885-1917

I am Charles Edward James Hatton, known as James, and I was a chair polisher. My brothers and sisters grew up in West End Road where my father was a shoemaker but also a chairmaker and my mother was a chair caner. There was Annie, myself, then Ernest who we called George, Catherine, Louis and Harriet, so quite a handful for our hardworking parents. We lived next door to Cecil Page who was killed this August at the Somme and just a few doors away from George Tranter who was also killed at the Somme in July.

In 1909 both George and myself got married, George to Rosa and myself to Kate which eased the burden at home. George moved to Upper Green Street (he worked for Mr Healeyís factory), and myself and Rosa moved to Upper Richardson Street where we now have two children, and I worked for Birchís In Denmark Street. But the war changed all that and George and myself enlisted the same day, joining the Essex regiment.

The news in 1916 is bleak and the casualty lists are getting longer. The deaths of Cecil and George weigh heavily on those who knew them. Fortunately, at present, we Hattons are fighting fit but I am as yet unaware of the tragedy which will shortly engulf us.

In 1st May 1917 our own George will be wounded by a shell and will die in a French Hospital. We will later gather, from a colleague of his who was also hit by the same shell, that he must have died the very same night as he was hit. Apparently the sergeant had just told George that he was to be orderly man for the next day and then, a few minutes later, a shell came over and hit them. George was the only one standing up at the time and was hit in the head and severely injured whereas the others were only slightly wounded. Our only consolation will be the fact that he didnít suffer. He was carried unconscious to the hospital where he later died. If only he could have got home one more time to see his wife and child. Yes, I would have gladly stayed in France longer if only that could have happened.

George was respected by all who knew him and will be greatly missed. He was a very good musician and was a member of the Sons of Temperance Band, the Furnishing Trades Band and the Hughenden Band. He loved his music. He will be buried in the Faubourg d'Amiens Cemetery near Arras. Then in August that same year of 1917 Rosa will hear of my own death.

I had also been in France but had been invalided home with trench foot only to return to active service in the April. No doubt she had hoped that I would return again with a Blighty wound but it was not to be.

I will be remembered on the Arras Memorial and both George and myself will have our names inscribed upon the Wycombe War Memorial. My children will not forget me either for I am also remembered on their motherís grave in Wycombe Cemetery (in the 1920s extension).

performed by Mr Andrew Wright
Charles Hatton performed by Mr Andrew Wright
Researched by Sally Scagell and performed by Mr Andrew Wright of John Hampden Grammar School

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