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Person Details
25 Mar 1891
John Wesley Wootton was born in 1891 at Nottingham and was the son of Arthur, a lace curtain manufacturer, and Julia Wootton of 137 Foxhall Road Nottingham and the husband of Barbara Wootton of 56 Abbey Road mansions London NW8. His father Arthur was born in 1855 at Nottingham and his mother Julia Emma Smith was born in 1854 at Sittingbourne, Kent, they were married in 1879 their marriage was recorded in the Maidstone registration district, they went on to have the following children, Ethel b1881, Grace b1883,Hubert Arthur b1884, Leonard b1887, Annie b1890 and John Wesley b1891. In the 1911 census the family are living at 137 Foxhall Road, Nottingham and are shown as Arthur 56 yrs a lace manufacturer, he is living with is wife Julia Emma 57 yrs and their children Ethel 30 yrs no occupation listed, Grace 29 yrs no occupation listed, Leonard 24 yrs a lace manufacturer, Annie 21 yrs no occupation listed and John Wesley 20 yrs a student.
He obtained a 1st in History from Trinity Cambridge.
11 Oct 1917
23278 - CWGC Website
11th Bn Suffolk Regiment
He was a member of the Cambridge OTC and was commissioned soon after the outbreak of war and served with the 11th battalion Suffolk Regiment.He was shot in foot by a machine gun at La Boiselle 1st July 1916, near Lochnagar Crater. Two days after marriage in September 1917 he re-joined his regiment and was mortally wounded a month later.
Here is a description of the action, from a book about Wootton’s wife book called “A Critical Woman: Barbara Wootton” by Ann Oakley., about the beginning of the battle in this sector and on the wound sustained by John Wesley Wootton, known as “Jack”:- “By the end of June, they [ 11th Suffolks, Wootton’s battalion]were headquartered in Bécourt Chateau, near the village of La Boisselle, only a thousand yards from the German trenches. The land round the chateau was a riot of wild flowers, flooded with the song of nightingales during the hours of darkness. The first day of the Battle of the Somme, 1 July, was a clear sunny morning. At 5 a.m. the 11th Battalion followed the 10th Lincolns [Mackay’s Battalion] out of Bécourt Wood into ‘an inferno of blood, smoke and iron’. Each attacking company formed a line, with the men two to three yards apart, four lines in all, fifty to a hundred yards behind one another. The men walked slowly in straight lines across no man's land into the German front line. Private W.J. Senescall in Jack's battalion described how it went: ‘The long line of men came forward, rifles at the port as ordered. Now Gerry started. His machine guns let fly. Down they all went. I could see them dropping one after the other as the gun swept along them. The officer went down at exactly the same time as the man behind him. Another minute or so and another wave came forward. Gerry was ready this time and this lot did not get as far as the others … Then during the afternoon Gerry started shelling no man's land in a zig zag fashion to kill the rest of us off. As each shell landed they gave a burst of machine gun fire over where it fell, to catch anyone who should jump up … A very large shell fell some yards to my left. With all the bits and pieces flying up was a body. The legs had been blown off right to the crutch … It sailed up and towards me. I can still see the deadpan look on his face under the tin hat, which was still held on by the chin strap.’ The outcome of the battle was decided by 8 a.m., but throughout the day further rushes were attempted by survivors, many of whom were instantly burnt to death by German flame-throwers. Jack Wootton was one of 120,000 men who ‘went over the top’ along the thirteen-mile front of what was afterwards known as the Battle of Albert. But to Barbara's relief and delight, he escaped with ‘a splendid wound’ – in other words, a small wound that took a long time to heal. A shell fragment had severed the Achilles tendon in one of his heels, and it kept him safe in England for fourteen months. Many years later, a man who described himself as Captain Wootton's servant, a ‘Mr H. Allgood’, wrote to Barbara on reading her autobiography to tell her more about what happened to Jack that day: ‘We were going forward in rows. One row was leaving too large gaps, Captain shouts, “Fill those gaps up”. Soon after that I heard his voice. I looked back, he was on the ground, I went back & took off his boots, saw a hole through his ankle. He said, You will have to go, Allgood. I hope I shall see you again.’ Barbara Wootton, Baroness Wootton of Abinger CH (14 April 1897 – 11 July 1988) was a British sociologist and criminologist. She was one of the first four life peers appointed under the Life Peerages Act 1958. She was President of the British Sociological Association 1959–1964. Research Simon Williams Article published 16th October 1917 in the Nottingham Evening Post :- “THE ROLL OF HONOUR. “LOCAL OFFICERS IN THE LIST. “KILLED. “Captain J. W. WOOTTON. “Captain John Wesley Wootton, Suffolk Regiment, youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Wootton, 137, Foxhall-road, died of wounds on October 12th. He was educated at the Nottingham High School, where he obtained many prizes, and was Senior Prefect, Captain of the School, Secretary of the School Society, and a very efficient member of the Officers’ Training Corps, of which he became colour-sergeant. He won a Sir Thomas White Exhibition on the School Foundation, an Open Scholarship of £80 year, and a Major Scholarship of £120 at Trinity College, Cambridge. In the College Examinations, he always obtained a First Class, and was awarded prizes for history and literature whilst placed in the First Class in both parts of the Historical Tripos, and won the Derby Scholarship of £100 for Historical Research. At the outbreak of war returned home from Cambridge, and took great interest in the formation of the City Battalion, which he helped to organise and drill, till he was given a commission in the Suffolk Regiment. He was wounded July 1st, 1916, at the Battle the Somme, and afterwards, for nine months, was in charge of a company of the Officer Cadet Battalion. He was married on September 5th last to the daughter of the late Dr. Adam, of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and went out to rejoin his regiment, in France, two days later. Captain Wootton's two elder brothers are both serving their country. Captain Hubert A. Wootton being at the Ministry of Munitions, and Lieut. L. T. Wootton, who was wounded in September, being in hospital in London. Above article is courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918
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