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War Memorials

In Memory of
9th Reserve Regiment of Cavalry
Who Died on Sunday, 7th July 1918
Age 25

Remembered with Honour

Horace Morton was born in Beeston, Nottinghamshire early in 18971, the sixth of nineteen children2, of William Henry, known as 'Billy' (b. 1869, Nottingham) and Sarah (b. 1873, Beeston, née Fletcher). William Henry was the second of two children of William & Mary (née Archer) Morton who had been married for less than six years when William died very shortly after William Henry's birth3. Mary then went on to marry George Wakefield4, a plumber and painter and moved to Beeston, then Hucknall before returning to Beeston. During that time, William Henry was raised alongside five step-siblings and, probably inspired by his step-father and at least one of his step-brothers, he began to trade as a painter and decorator5. Sarah Fletcher was born in 1873 in Beeston6, a daughter of George Fletcher and his wife Sarah Ann (née Widdowson who married there in June 18627. William Henry and Sarah married at Beeston Parish Church in January 1891 and settled, first at 18 Stoney Street8, then 6 The City9, both while trading as a painter and decorator, before 32 Regents Street in retirement10, all in Beeston.

By 1911, Horace had started work as a milk seller while living at home with his parents and their still growing family but, by September 1914, when he volunteered for war service11. he had been working as a collier. Though aged only 17, he declared that he as 19 and on 6 September 1914 he was duly accepted for service with the Hussars of the Line at Colchester. On 10 October 1914 he was posted with the 9th Reserve Regiment of Cavalry for training. Sadly, after almost nine months service, after being admitted to the hospital connected to the Shorncliffe Camp in Kent, he was found to be unfit for military service and was discharged on 28 May 1915. A subsequent medical examination records that he had an enlarged heart and that he had developed dizziness and shortness of breath after strenuous gymnastics. He was issued with the Silver War Badge on 8 November 191612.

But he was still keen to serve and, on 25 June 1917, he enlisted again13, maintaining his inflated age and stating that he had been working as a joiner's labourer at Chilwell. He was accepted and joined 80th Training Battalion, Sherwood Foresters at Newcastle but was discharged as physically unfit for service on 26 December 1917. On 25 June 1918, he was medically examined at the Military Hospital, Carrington, Nottingham where he was diagnosed with valvular disease of the heart (VDH) which had been aggravated by war service. as a result he was awarded a 40% Army Pension.

Since returning home in December 1917, he had been unable to work and died there on 7 July 191814. He is remembered on the memorial in Beeston Parish Church.

His father, William Henry Morton, died in 1949, probably at Beeston, aged 80. His mother, Sarah, died in 1955, probably in Beeston, aged 81.15.

1His birth was registered in Basford Registration District (of which Beeston was part) in Q1/1897(Ref 7b 218). He was baptised at Beeston Parish Church on 19 May 1897
2Their children were Joseph William (b.1891), Samuel (b.1892), Sarah (b.1893), Elsie (b. 1895), Horace (b. 1897), Harold (b. 1898). Benny (b c1899), Richard Baden Powell (b. 1900), Dorothy (b. c1901), Lilian May (b. c1902), Gladys (b. c1903), Eva (b. c1904), Eric (b. c1906), Jack (b. 1907). Edith Kathleen Emily (b. 1908), Miriam (b. 1910). Rose (b. 1911), Ernest Edward (b. 1913) & Kathleen Mary (b. 1915). Those in italics died as infants. 3William Morton died in Nottingham in Q2 1869 (Ref 7b 163), aged 46, just weeks after his son's birth on 14 June 1869 (Date recorded in September 1939 Registration). 4
5Richard Archer Wakefield, William Henry's eldest step-brother, traded as a painter and decorator during all his working life and it is likely that they worked together in the trade.
6Sarah Fletcher was born on 8 December 1873 (Date recorded in September 1939 Registration).
7They were married there on 8 June 1862. George Fletcher had been married previously to Jane Goode, who had died in 1859 leaving three children. Sarah Ann had been previously married to Thomas Hodgkinson who had died, possibly in 1861, leaving two children.
8By March 1901 they were living at 18 Stoney Street, Beeston with six children (1901 Census - Piece 3153 Folio 12)
9By April 1911 they were living at 6 The City, Beeston with thirteen children (1911 Census - Piece 20432 SD3 ED7 Schedule 104)
10By September 1939 they were living alone at 32 Regent Street, Beeston (1939 Registration).
11His Army Service Record survives in the World War 1 Army Pension Records, available on ancestry.com.
12Silver War Badge 17641 was issued to him for sickness, by the Cavalry Record Office at York, on 8 November 1916 (Silver War Badge records, available on ancestry.com)
13This second Army Service Record (which includes details of his examination for the Medical Board) survives alongside the first in the World War 1 Army Pension Records, available on ancestry.com.
14The date of his death is recorded on his WW1 Pension Ledger Index Card, available on ancestry.com. His death was recorded in Basford Registration District (of which Beeston was part) in Q3/1818 (Ref 7b 215). An apparently inflated age of 23 continued to be declared.
15All family details have been gathered from standard genealogical sources.

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