A biography of the military career of Brigadier General William Moxhay Sutton who served in the 1st Battalion Somerset Regiment
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Brigadier General William Moxhay Sutton

Serving Soldiers' Biographies

William Moxhay Sutton was born in Stockton on Tees County Durham on the 23rd July 1885 the son of the reverend Edwin Sutton son of the owner of Sutton Seeds of Reading and Annie Hill nee Moxhay.

The eldest of 5 children William came to the village with his 2 sisters Dorothy and Gwendolen in 1890 when his father became vicar of Eaton Bray. Brothers Basil and Geoffrey were to follow being born in Eaton Bray.

From March of 1898 to February 1903 he attended Haileybury School in Great Amwell Hertfordshire originally opened in 1809 for young gentlemen to train and eventually work for the East India Company but a Public School from 1862.

In 1905 he gained a commission in the Somerset Light Infantry and being a regular army officer was sent to France in 1914 with the British Expeditionary Force.

1st Battalion Somerset Regiment

Below is the history of the 1st Battalion Somerset Regiment in which William Moxhay Sutton served.

At the outbreak of war in 1914 The 1st Battalion, was in Colchester, with 11th Brigade, 4th Division, was one of two regular battalions of the Somerset Light Infantry. The Battalion arrived in France with the BEF on 22 August 1914, in time to fight in the battle of Le Cateau during the retreat from Mons. They remained on the Western Front with 4th Division, throughout the war, suffering 1,315 losses. They were in action at the The Battle of the Marne, The Battle of the Aisne and at The Battle of Messines in 1914. In 1915 they fought in The Second Battle of Ypres and in 1916 moved south and were in action during the Battles of the Somme. In 1917 they were at Arras, in action during the The First and Third Battles of the Scarpe, before heading north for the Third Battle of Ypres, where they fought in The Battle of Polygon Wood, The Battle of Broodseinde, The Battle of Poelcapelle and The First Battle of Passchendaele. In 1918 they were in action on The Somme, then returned to Flanders fighting in the Defence of Hinges Ridge during The Battle of Hazebrouck and in The Battle of Bethune, The Advance in Flanders The Second Battles of Arras, the Battles of the Hindenburg Line and the Final Advance in Picardy. They were demobilised in Belgium in early 1919.

From The War Time Memories Project web site. [2]

On 15th January 1918 he married Barbara Marie Corballis and had 3 children. Barbara was the daughter of James Frederick Joseph Corballis who had become Minister of Labour in 1917 and Sybil Musgrave Beadon.

In 1932 he was made Commander of the Royal Tank Corps in India and in 1935 became Commandant of the Royal Corps Training Centre and Armoured Fighting Vehicles School retiring in 1939.

Retirement didn't last long and he was recalled later the same year serving until 1945 when he retired for the last time.

William Moxhay Sutton died on 2nd November 1949 in Bath Somerset.


Brigadier William Moxhay SUTTON DSO MC Haileybury Lawrence 1898.3-1903.2

He was born 23 July 1885. Son of Reverend E. Sutton. RMC . Commissioned Somerset Light Infantry 1905. Great War: 1914 - 1919 Captain 1915 Brevet Lieutenant Colonel DSO [London Gazette, 1/1/1919], MC Mention in Despatches, Officier du Merite Agricole. Transferred to Royal Tank Corps Lieutenant Colonel 1932. Colonel 1935 Brigadier Commanding RTC Centre 1935 Retired 1939 Re-employed Aldershot District 1940 - 1945. Died 2 November 1949


  1. Brigadier William Moxhay Sutton on The Peerage
  2. The Wartime Memories Project
  3. Pupils at Haileybury College prior to 1912