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Suttons Seeds in 1914 a Prelude to World War One

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.

1914 Suttons Seeds Catalogue Cover

1914 Suttons Seeds Catalogue Cover

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.

1914 Suttons Seeds catalogue Inside

1914 Suttons Seeds catalogue Inside

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.

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Lis

About Lis

Our Suttons Blog comes from Lis Wallace, Head of Customer Service here at Suttons since 2002. Living on the edge of Dartmoor Lis has a large and “somewhat tricky” garden split across several levels but with the bonus of a stream tumbling through and a large, fertile veg patch. Across the blog Lis will share some of the knowledge she has gained over the years from her father, from working at Suttons and also from her own trial and error. Storm the Jack Russell is bound to chip in now and then. That’s what terriers do!

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