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Colton, T., Pte., 1917
In Poelcapelle British Cemetery, West Vlaanderen, Belgium, is the Commonwealth War Grave of 204474 Private Terence Colton serving with the 1st/4th Northumberland Fusiliers who died 26/10/1917.

Pauline Priano has submitted the following:-

Terence Colton, one of 5 known children was the eldest of 4 sons and a daughter. Their parents originated from Ireland, father James born September 23h 1855 and mother Mary Liddle, May 12th 1870.

James Colton came to settle in the north east of England pre-1881. In 1881 he was living as a boarder in the home of Henry and Sarah McGlade and son Hugh at Iveston, Bishop Auckland, all the males were employed as iron works labourers. Although he was married in the district Sunderland in 1890 to Mary they had migrated to Cumberland, also an iron mining area, where Terence was born in 1894, returning to Consett by 1899 for the birth of James Colton Jnr, April 16th 1898. They had moved to 7, William Street, Benfieldside by 1901, James Snr was a puddler/furnace labourer, although of school age Terence (6) is not listed as such, James was only 2 years of age. Mary gave birth to a further 3 children, Francis September 5th 1901, Joseph, July 23rd 1905 and Ellen, December 22nd 1908. In 1911 They were living at 10, Bottle Bank, Blackhill, Benfieldside. Terence (17) had joined his father at the ironworks as a labourer.

After the declaration of war Terence enlisted at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumberland, in 1915, he was assigned to the 1/4th Battalion (Territorials) Northumberland Fusiliers as Private 204474. The battalion had initially taken on a defensive role, however, after further training they departed to France in April 1915 as part of the 149th Brigade, 50th Northumbrian Division. Private Colton was not drafted to the front until 1916 as preparations were underway for the Battles of the Somme, due to commence June 29th but delayed by bad weather until July 1st 1916. The 50th Division did not take part in any major offensive until the Battle of Flers-Coucelette, September 15th-22nd followed by the Battle of Morval September 25th-28th 1916. They then moved to the Arras sector and during the offensive April 9th-May 16th 1917 they captured Wancourt Ridge before transferring to Belgium where they participated during the 2nd Battle of Passchendaele, October 26-November 10th 1917.

Private 204474 Terence Colton was killed in action on the first day, October 26th 1917. Originally buried by his comrades either on the battlefield or in a small cemetery, after the Armistice he was exhumed and brought into Poelcapelle British Cemetery, West Vlaanderen, 10 kilometres N E of Ypres in Belgium for reburial with all reverence and honour by an Army chaplain. The entire cemetery was made up in this way. He is at rest grave XIV. D. 2. at the time of his demise in 1917 he was 22 years of age and single.

His father James received all monies due to him and his awards of the British War Medal and Victory Medal.

Although his parents are listed by the CWGC as James and Mary Colton of Minneveigh, Dungannon, County Tyrone, in 1939 they were still living in the north east. In 1939 James a retired iron foundry labourer, his wife Mary, son Joseph, a certified school teacher and daughter Ellen, an uncertified school teacher, were living at 3, Hall Road, Esh, County Durham.

James Colton died aged 88 years in 1943, Mary Colton nee Liddle aged 82 in 1953, both registered in the district of Durham Central.

In Godís safe keeping. Rest In Peace.

Terence Colton is remembered at Esh Laude on E73.01

The CWGC entry for Private Colton

If you know more about this person, please send the details to janet@newmp.org.uk