By 1914 Suttons had already been in business for 109 years and had witnessed the Napoleonic and Boer Wars, the Irish Potato Famine and other horrors. 1914 itself started as a normal year with the annual catalogue being distributed and “novelty” seed introduced however WW1 was then to start and the year would end very differently.
Over the coming months we’d like to share with you some of the materials held in the Suttons archives relating to WW1. This will show how the war impacted on the company, the staff and its customers. For example, at the start of the year a “My Garden Diary for 1914” was published and we’d like to share with you the information given for each month. So, on the second of each month, for the remainder of this year, we will post this information in a blog. It will be interesting to see if anything has changed!
We’d also like to share how Suttons changed from being in the main a supplier to vast estates and aristocratic establishments to supplying smaller amounts to the home gardeners needing to produce food for their own tables.
We hope you’ll be interested to read of the Suttons employees who enlisted and how the company adapted to their absence and cared for their loved ones who remained at home. And we’ll also share the tragic story of how 4 of the 5 sons of Leonard Goodhart Sutton were killed just 18 months apart from each other with Lieutenant 7th Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment Eric Guy Sutton having posthumously been awarded the Military Cross, aged just 21.
We hope this information will interest you and act as a poignant reminder of that dreadful time.