“It will be a satisfaction to those who have for so many years supported our House to know that we have been able to maintain our large staff at full time and on full pay, even though for several months of the year the demand for seeds is never in any way commensurate with the heavy weekly wages bill.
No fewer than 75 of our employees have responded to the call of their King and Country. Their places have been kept open and assistance given to the dependants of married men.
The strategic position of Reading, its comparative proximity to Southampton and Portsmouth, and its direct communication with all parts of the kingdom, have naturally resulted in considerable numbers of troops passing through the town. By adapting certain portions of our large premises and providing Recreation Rooms we have the satisfaction of knowing that much has been and still is being done to maintain that healthy and moral tone so essential to the welfare and training of His Majesty’s troops. The picture … would appear to indicate that the men are not slow to appreciate the opportunities afforded them.”
By January 1918 over 200 Suttons employees were fighting at the front as confirmed by the following excerpt from a
“Letter to our Customers”
“Rapid Execution of Orders
Over two hundred of our trained expert employees having responded to the Empire’s call, their places had to be filled by others who were less experienced and last year it was not possible to avoid some delays in despatching orders. We have now been able, by extending our premises and still further augmenting our staff, to make arrangements as will, we are confident, lead to the prompter execution of orders, for which our House has been so justly noted.”
In addition the Royal Horticultural Society issued the following statement in late September 1914.