Hutton, Robert

Robert Hutton was one of 3 Hutton family members who died in WW2, covering 2 generations, an uncle and 2 cousins. David Hutton and Robert Johnson.   Please click on the links to read their stories.

Robert’s father Richard, 21 and a Mariner, born Wepre, is seen on the 1881 census, living at Ferry Road, West Side, Township of Wepre, Connah’s Quay, Northop, Flintshire, with his widowed mother Mary, 60, a Charwoman, born in Manchester, also born there was Richard’s sister Margaret, 26 and also a Charwoman.   There are 2 Grandsons there as well, Thomas John, 5 and Robert, 4, both born in Wepre.

Robert Hutton was the son of Richard & Sarah Elizabeth Hutton,(nee Marrow) who had married on the 17th June 1889 at St. Mark’s Church, Connah’s Quay (I have a copy of the marriage in my notes).

Robert himself was born 20th April 1903 and baptised at St. Mark’s Church on the 10th May 1903, Richard’s occupation was “Master Mariner,” and the address was Church Road.

The 1911 census was the first time Robert is seen on a census.   The address was 12, Church Road, Connah’s Quay and Sarah Elizabeth, 41, tells us that she had been married 21 years and 9 children had been born to her, but sadly 2 had died.    Richard, 52, her husband, was not in the household, he was Master aboard the “J & M GARRATT,” which was at The Buoys, Teignmouth Harbour on the night of the census, Sunday April 2nd 1911.   Also with him was Richard’s brother David John Hutton*, Mate of the vessel.   At home on that night was Richard’s family, Sarah Elizabeth JONES**, their daughter, Mary, 12***, William, 9, Robert, 7, Doris, 6 and James 4 years old.

*David John Hutton’s son David is also on the WW2 War Memorial, please click on the link to read his story.

**Sadly Sarah Elizabeth JONES (nee HUTTON), who had married only 4 months earlier in St. Mark’s Church, Connah’s Quay, lost her new husband Frank JONES, when he drowned whilst the Master of the vessel “Fanny Fothergill.”    Also lost with him was Evan Thomas JONES, Mate of the vessel, both were feared drowned when their vessel went missing on the 10th January 1911.   Both men were born and resided in Connah’s Quay, so were they brothers?

*** Mary Hutton was to marry Robert Johnson in St Mark’s Church, Connah’s Quay, on the 25th December 1918 and their son Robert Johnson was another member of the Hutton Family to die in WW2, please click on the click to read his story

This family were to suffer multiple bereavements from 1911 to 1943.

I know that Robert was the son of a Mariner and most likely had grown up on boats and the River Dee, but I have no documentation /information on his years between the 1911 census and to WW2, except a photo taken when he was a young boy, and man on a Merchant Navy  Identity card and  when he is seen, sadly as a casualty, on his death certificate, the Connah’s Quay WW2 War Memorial and later on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission database.

The 1939 Register shows that Robert wasn’t home when that was compiled:-

1939 Register

Hutton Household (5 People)

9 Pennant Street , Connah’s Quay U.D., Flintshire, Wales

Bessie   Hutton  14 Feb 1903        Female Unpaid Domestic Duties               Married                248         1

William Hutton  13 Mar 1927        Male      At School             Single    248         2

Robert  Hutton  02 Jun 1930         Male      At School             Single    248         3

Grace M Hutton  06 Oct 1931      Female At School             Single    248         4

Peter     Hutton  29 Sep 1938        Male      Under School Age            Single    248         5

So I am assuming that as the War had been declared on the 3rd September 1939 and the Register was compiled on the 29th September, Robert was on a ship somewhere.    Any information on where he was then would be gratefully received.

Robert was the Master of the “Maurita” (Official No. 137098 Port of Registry Lancaster) when he set out on his fateful voyage.   The Maurita was once owned by Summers, but was sold to Gardner R., in Lancaster in 1935, so ended her days not far from where she used to work.

According to the information given on the 12th November at the Inquest they set off from Point of Ayr Colleries, Ffynnongroew at 3.10 on the 11th November on their journey, but on the 12th November 1941 the Steamer hit a mine in the Hilbre Swash in the River Dee Estuary and all 5 hands were lost.    I do not know either if any other body but Robert Hutton’s was found, but he is buried in the Connah’s Quay Cemetery.

A letter was received by Mrs Hutton, bearing condolences signed by Michael Carrick from the Shipbroker and Stevedore John Doyle, Dublin.    Dated 20th November 1941.   (I have a copy of the letter, please see below).

Robert’s father Richard and his brother David John are shown as the Master and Mate respectively of the J. & M Garrett, on the 1911 census.

Robert was the Master of the “Maurita” (Official No. 137098 Port of Registry Lancaster) when he set out on his fateful voyage.   The Maurita was once owned by Summers, but was sold to Gardner R., in Lancaster, in 1935, so ended her days not far from where she used to work.

Below are some websites that tells more of the Maurita:-

World Naval – 12th November 1941      Maurita                   Steamship        201         Mine

Taken from :- (now unable to bring this website up.)

On 12 November Mass was said for George Kennedy, a former soldier and a merchant seaman sailing from Lancaster on the MV Maurita, sunk by a mine in the Dee estuary.

Taken from:-

Y Felinheli war memorial, Gwynedd.

This memorial was erected in 1926 to commemorate the local people who died in the First World War. The names of those who died in the Second World War and later are also displayed on the memorial.

Bowles, Charles James, Chief Engineer Officer. Died 12/11/1941 aged 64. Merchant Navy – SS Maurita (Lancaster). Tower Hill Memorial. Husband of Elizabeth Bowles of Y Felinheli. Ship struck a mine and sank off the North Wales coast in the river Dee near Hilbre Swash.

What a miserable, rotten hopeless life . . . an Atlantic so rough it seems impossible that we can continue to take this unending pounding and still remain in one piece . . . hanging onto a convoy is a full-time job . . . the crew in almost a stupor from the nightmareishness of it all . . . and still we go on hour after hour.

So described a sailor aboard an Atlantic Convoy escort in World War 2. Frank Curry of the Royal Canadian Navy wrote those words in his diary aboard a corvette in 1941, during the Battle of the Atlantic, a battle that would be called the longest in history.

“if all the supplies carried by just one average sized Atlantic convoy (35 ships) were gathered together they would fill a line of ten ton trucks spaced 50 yards apart which would stretch from Inverness to Southampton via Carlisle”

Read more at wrecksite:

– SS Maurita [+1941] – The Crew:-

  1. BOWLES, CHARLES JAMES (64), Chief Engineer Officer, SS Maurita, Merchant Navy, †12/11/1941, Husband of Elizabeth Bowles, of Port Dinorwic, Caernarvonshire, Memorial: Tower Hill Memorial
  2. FERN, HENRY (51), Second Engineer Officer, SS Maurita, Merchant Navy, †12/11/1941, Memorial: Tower Hill Memorial
  3. HEPBURN, JOSEPH C. (21), Able Seaman, SS Maurita, Merchant Navy, †12/11/1941, Memorial: Tower Hill Memorial
  4. HUTTON, ROBERT (37), Master, SS Maurita, Merchant Navy, †12/11/1941, Son of Richard and Sarah Elizabeth Hutton; husband of Bessie Hutton, of Connah’s Quay, Memorial: Connah’s Quay Cemetery
  5. KENNEDY, GEORGE (34), Mate, SS Maurita, Merchant Navy, †12/11/1941, Husband of Mary C. Kennedy, of Skerton, Lancaster, Memorial: Tower Hill Memorial Read more at wrecksite:

Taken from :-

Wednesday 12th November 1941 – British steamer MAURITA (199grt) was sunk on a mine at Hilbre Swash, in the Dee Estuary.

Many thanks to HUTTON/ EVANS Family Tree.   JQatLB for some photographs and information.



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