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Lieutenant Edmund Spencer Turton

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Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery Grave I.A.16

‘B’ Company, Alexandra (Princess of Wales Own), Yorkshire Hussars Yeomanry attached 8th Battalion Sherwood Foresters, 139th Infantry Brigade, 46th Division

Age 26

KIA 30.8.15

The only son of Sir Edmund Russborough Turton Conservative MP for Thirsk & Malton 1915 to 1929. He married Clementina (nee Ponsonby-Fane) in 1888 and they had one son. He was a Member of the Speaker’s Conference on electoral Reform 1916 to 1917, the Royal Commission on London government 1921 to 1923, and the Royal Commission on Local Government 1923 to 1925. He was created Baronet of Upsall in 1926 and the title became extinct on his death as he had no heir.


Early Life

Edmund was born on 14 May 1889 and was educated at Eton, where he was described as ‘Frank, cheerful, good-humoured, he had marked social gifts, while there was deep seriousness in his character which was appreciated by those who knew him best.’ He then went onto Balliol College, Oxford from 1908 to 1913 where he graduated with honours in Classical Moderations and in the Law being called to the bar in 1913. While at Oxford he was commissioned in the Yorkshire Hussars. In February 1915 he went to France with his squadron. In August 1915 he was to be recalled to the UK with the temporary rank of Captain to assist Lord Faversham in the formation of an infantry battalion in Yorkshire.


His Death

As Edmund had not been in the front line, his squadron mainly assisting with working parties, and not having any experience of the fighting, he requested that this transfer be delayed for one week to allow him to  obtain experience of front-line trench warfare. He was temporarily attached to the 8th Battalion Sherwood Foresters which were in the line at Kruisstraat.

Linesman Map

On the 30 August they were carrying out repairs and improving the trenches and the sap in front of their line, ironic as this was the kind of work that Edmund had wanted to escape from. The War Diary records that snipers were active all day on both sides. At some point Edmund was killed by a sniper.

War Diary entry recording Edmund's death

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