Stratton, David John (No. 57842)

Stratton, David John (David)

Company Quartermaster Sergeant

No. 57842, 36th Signal Company, Royal Engineers

Died of disease on Sunday 27 February 1916 (aged 39)

Buried:

Newtownards (Movilla) Cemetery, Co. Down (Grave 2. 117)

Commemorated:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Newtownards and District War Memorial

Presbyterian Church in Ireland (PCI) Roll of Honour 1914 – 1919 for

Regent Street Presbyterian Church Newtownards

Family grave headstone in Movilla Cemetery

BIOGRAPHY

David John Stratton was born on 19 July 1876 in Newtownards and he was a son of Joseph and Elizabeth (Eliza) Stratton (nee McGougan) who were married on 13 May 1875 in First Newtownards Presbyterian Church.  David was baptised in that church.

A keen sportsman, David John Stratton played football and he was a member of the Ards Air Gun Club.  He was the Scoutmaster of 2nd Newtownards Troop of Boy Scouts.  David Stratton worked as a despatch clerk and examiner in the block printing department of the Glen Printing and Finishing Works Ltd in Newtownards.  For many years he took an interest in municipal affairs and at the election for Urban Councillors held in January 1914 he was returned as a member for Glen Ward.

David John Stratton and Edith Jane Carter (born in England) were married on 25 July 1900 in St Anne’s Church of Ireland Church Belfast.  David John Stratton (aged 24), a warehouseman from 78 Excise Street, Belfast was a son of Joseph Stratton, a soldier.  Edith Jane Carter (aged 24) from Clandeboye House was a daughter of Jonathan Carter, a gardener.

David John Stratton and Edith Jane Stratton (nee Carter) had at least one child:

Eliza Jane (born 26 June 1901 in Church Street, Newtownards)

The Stratton family lived in Church Street and at 68 Balfour Street, Newtownards.

David John Stratton enlisted in September 1914 in Belfast and he joined the Ulster Division Engineers.  For a time, he was stationed for training with the signalling section at Downpatrick.  He was promoted to the rank of Sergeant and on 3 October 1915 he went out from Borden Camp in England with the Ulster Division to the Front.  He was promoted to the rank of Company Quartermaster Sergeant and within a few weeks he contracted influenza.  After treatment in hospital he resumed duty at the Front.  He suffered a relapse and was taken to St Luke’s Hospital in Bradford, Yorkshire.  Edith Stratton received a telegram on 7 February 1916 informing her that David’s illness was serious and she crossed over that evening to be by his side.  Three weeks later David Stratton died of pneumonia and his remains were brought home to Newtownards for burial.

Military and Boy Scout honours were accorded for the funeral which took place on Wednesday 1 March 1916.  The Rev James Saulters conducted the service in the house and at the graveside.  Representatives from the Army, the Boy Scout Movement and the Urban Council attended.  The cortege moved from Balfour Street to Movilla Old Cemetery accompanied by the brass band of the Royal Irish Fusiliers.  The firing party was provided by the 20th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles and Boy Scout buglers sounded The Last Post.

There were three For King and Country notices in the 4 March 1916 edition of the Newtownards Chronicle, one from his wife Edith, one from 2nd Newtownards Baden Powell Boy Scouts and one from members of Ards Air Gun Club.  The one from the Boy Scouts contained the verse:

His loving face and kindly smile

Are pleasant to recall;

He had a kindly word for each,

And died beloved by all.

On 28 March 1916 Company Quartermaster Sergeant David John Stratton’s remains were reinterred in Movilla New Cemetery and he is commemorated on Newtownards and District War Memorial and in the PCI Roll of Honour for Regent Street Presbyterian Church Newtownards.

On the family grave headstone his age is inscribed as 41.

Edith Jane Stratton (nee Carter) died on 25 January 1956 (aged 81) and was buried in Movilla Cemetery beside her husband.