Auton, Henry  (Harry)

A  Henry Anton  married an Emma Wykes at Christ Church, Crewe, (Cheshire East 1029/1/274) in 1875. These are possibly Henry’s parents.

There seem to be two versions of Henry’s surname  (Anton  and  Auton).    Henry Allford Auton ‘s birth was registered in Crewe, Cheshire in 1884.

In the census of 1891 he was recorded living with his family  at 12, Mill Street, Monk’s Coppenhall, Crewe, Cheshire. The head of the household was  Henry Snr who was 46 and a Tinplate worker who worked from home.   He had been born in Ottery St. Mary, Devonshire.  His wife Emma,  aged 40, had been born in Birmingham. Their listed  children were Miranda (Minnie) 16, Eveline 11, Ida J 9, Hy Allford  7,  Eva, 6 and Dorothy  1.  All the children had been born in Crewe.

The 1901 census records the family living at 61 Nantwich Road, Monks Coppenhall, Cheshire.  Their surname had been transcribed as ANTON.    Henry Snr.  57 was still a Tin Plate Worker at home. His wife Emma was 50. The listed children were Eveline, 21  and Eva, 16 were both  Tailoresses making men and boys clothing. Ida J was 19 and  was a Dressmaker working for her own account.  Henry A. 17  was like his father, a Tin Plate Worker at home. Randolph L.A. Auton was 9.   There was a boarder, Henry Mansell, 36. Their daughter Miranda was not in the household as she was married and living with her husband James Adnitt  in Alexander Steet Crewe.

The 1901 census records Miranda living with her husband James Adnitt at 88, Alexander Street,  Crewe. James was 26 a Coal Carrier and Miranda, 26 was a Tailoress. Living with them was James’s mother.  Miranda (Minnie) & James  moved to Shotton, between the censuses, as the 1911 census shows them living at Toby’s Cottages, Nine Houses, Shotton, Flintshire.

By 1911, Minnie, 36 and James Adnitt  38 had been married for 12 years but had no children. Their household included her brothers who were listed as boarders.  Henry and Randolph Auton, 26 and 20 respectively. Henry’s occupation was Close Anealer and Randolph was a Case Maker.

Henry married Wilhelmina Roberts in 1911 ,  (in the same Church as his parents and sister had married,  Christ Church, Crewe) (Cheshire East 1029/5/362).  After Henry’s death in 1916, Wilhelmina remarried. She married William Wainwright on the 3rd November 1917 at St. Deniol’s Church in Hawarden.

UK soldiers who Died in The Great War 1914-19 accessible on  confirms the regimental details at the top of this page. It tells us that he enlisted in Manchester and this source tells us that he died of wounds.

His name caused confusion for the army. There are two almost identical medal index cards made out for him. One under the name Auton and the other under the name Anton. His regimental details on both cards are as detailed at the top of this page. He is called ‘Harry’ on these cards. One of the cards says he disembarked for war on 10th September 1914. He must have been a reservist or  in the Territorials to have joined the war so early.  His medals were detailed as is the fact that he was entitled to a 1914 Clasp. We are told that he died of wounds.

Harry Auton in the UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 tells us that the sole Legatee was his widow Wilhelmina who was paid £3.11s 4d on the 17th August 1916 and his War Gratuity of £10. 10s 0d on the 19th November 1919.

Thanks to Bill Tyrell, who allowed me access to the Minutes of the the Conservative Club Shotton where in a meeting on the 9th October 1916 the committee voted to give financial help to sixteen widows of the area. Mrs. AUTON, Nine Houses, was one of those widows, they were each given 5/-. Please click on the link to read the names of the others who were mentioned in the minutes.

Henry was named on 2 other memorials – the Hawarden Memorial and the memorial screen at St Ethelwold’s Church.

Learn more about the other soldiers on the Connahs Quay and Shotton War Memorial

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