Auton Henry (Harry)

Name of Researcher / Enw’r ymchwylydd: Mavis Williams

Name of Memorial / Enw’r gofeb: Connahs Quay

Name / Enw: Auton Henry (Harry)

Regiment/Catrawd: 1st Bn Prince of Wales’s, North Staffordshire Regiment.

Service Rank and Number / Rheng gwasanaeth a rhif: Private 7656

Military Cemetery/Memorial / Fynwent milwrol: Bailleul Communal Cemetery (Nord)

Ref No Grave or Memorial / Rhif cyfeirnod bedd: II.E.148

Country of Cemetery or Memorial / Gwlad y fynwent neu gofeb: France

Medals Awarded / Medalau a ddyfarnwyd: Victory and British War medals and 1914 Star (entitled to 14 Clasp)

Date and Circumstances of Death / Dyddiad ac amgylchiadau marwolaeth:

Died of wounds 26th June 1916

Henry’s parents’ marriage. There is a possible recorded marriage of a Henry ANTON to an Emma WYKES at Christ Church, Crewe, (Cheshire East 1029/1/274) in 1875. On FreeBMD Henry is shown with 2 surnames, ANTON and AUTON, on the CheshireBMD he is shown as ANTON.   (Be careful ordering Certificate).

Henry Allford Auton ‘s birth was registered in Crewe, Cheshire in 1884 and he first appeared on a census in 1891 living with his family  at 12, Mill Street, Monk’s Coppenhall, Crewe, Cheshire. The head of the household was  Henry Snr 46. He had been born in Ottery St. Mary, Devonshire  He was a tin plate worker, and he worked from home. His wife Emma, 40, had been born in Birmingham. Their listed  children were Miranda 16, Eveline 11, Ida J 9, Hyallford (sic) 7,  Eva, 6 and Dorothy  1.  All the children had been born in Crewe.

The 1901 census shows 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 no longer at home.

The 1901 census records Miranda living with her husband James Adnitt at 88, Alexander Street, Coppenhall Monks, Crewe, Cheshire. James was 26 a Coal Carrier born in Wolverton, Bucks and Miranda, 26 was a Tailoress. Living with them was James’s mother  Elizabeth Adnitt, 72. Miranda & James must have moved to Shotton, between the censuses, as the 1911 census shows them living at Toby’s Cottages, Nine Houses, Shotton, Flintshire. By 1911, Miranda 36 and James Adnitt  38 had been married for 12 years but had no children. Their household included boarders, Henry and Randolph Auton, 26 and 20 respectively. Henry’s occupation was Close Anealer and Randolph was a Case Maker.

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

UK soldiers who Died in The Great War 1914-19 accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk  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 19rh 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. Somebody made an effort to ensure he was remembered.