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Seaton, N., Pte., 1915

Strand Military Cemetery: Pauline Priano

Strand Military Cemetery: Pauline Priano

In Strand Military Cemetery, Hainaut, Belgium, is the Commonwealth War Grave of 9027 Private Nicholas Seaton serving with the 2nd Battalion Durham Light Infantry who died 03/05/1915.

Pauline Priano has submitted the following:-

Nicholas Seaton, one of 3 children of whom only 2 survived, was the only son of John Seaton born at Hetton Downs near Houghton-le-Spring, County Durham, in 1850 and Dorothy Ilderton born August 11th 1852 at Huntley Colliery, Earsdon near Whitley Bay, Northumberland. They were married at St. Thomas, Eighton Banks, County Durham, August 15th 1873, Alice and Nicholas were born at Haswell, in the district of Easington, County Durham, in 1877 and 1880 respectively.

In 1881 John was employed at Haswell as a coal miner, however they had moved to Walker, a suburb of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumberland, by 1891, occupying 13, Chapel Street, although both of his children were of school age neither are listed as such.

John and Dorothy remained at Walker where he was still employed as a coal miner at the age of 60 years, however Alice had married a William Preston at Tynemouth in 1891 and Nicholas, at Walker, September 2nd 1901 a Miss Margaret Sewell born June 7th 1881 at 19, Croxdale Colliery, Sunderland Bridge, County Durham.

Nicholas and Maggie, as she was known affectionately, had 4 children by 1911, one of whom died, gender unknown. John was born at Walker in 1905, Frederick, August 17th 1906 at South Shields and Nicholas Jnr, July 16th 1910 at Walker. They occupied 2 rooms at 10, Back Caledonia Street, Walker in 1911, Nicholas supported his family as a coal hewer, Alice (6), John (4) and Nicholas (8-months) remained at home with their mother. Their youngest son Samuel Sewell Seaton was born August 26th 1913 at Tynemouth, Northumberland.

When Britain declared war with Germany July 28th 1914 Nicholas Seaton enlisted at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, he was assigned to the 4th Battalion Durham Light Infantry as Private 9027. The 4th Battalion D.L.I. was part of the north east coastal defences but also trained men for service overseas. Private Seaton was mobilised and departed with the British Expeditionary Force November 8th 1914, part of the reinforcements for the 2nd Battalion D.L.I., as by the end of October 1914 the 2nd Battalion had been withdrawn from the front having lost 80% of the original men who had disembarked at St. Nazaire, September 20th 1914. He joined his regiment in the field and once at full strength they participated at the Battle of Neuve Chapelle, Match 10th-15th 1915, in the Artois region of France but moved to the Ypres salient in Belgium when the Germans attacked at The Second Battle of Ypres, April 22nd 1915, where they were joined by the newly arrived Territorial of the 50th (Northumbrian) Division. As part of the 50th Division in the following months they sustained repeated attacks by the Germans, Private 4/9027 Nicholas Seaton died of wounds whilst in action May 3rd 1915 and was initially buried at Le Bizet Convent Military Cemetery, Ploegsteert, at map reference SL 36. c. 14. a. 40. 6. s.

After the Armistice at the request of the French and Belgian Governments smaller concentrations and isolated graves were brought into larger cemeteries. Le Bizet consisted of 88 burials from the United Kingdom and one from Canada who fell between October 1914-October 1915. Their remains were exhumed and brought into Strand Military Cemetery, 12.5 kilometres from Ypres, Belgium, October 20th 1920 and re-buried with military honours. Private 9027 Nicholas Seaton Durham Light infantry is at rest grave X. E. 6. alongside Private 12238 William Kane Durham Light infantry, native of Ponteland, Northumberland, who in 1914 was residing at Byker, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

All monies due to him by the Army went to his widow Maggie as sole beneficiary and his awards of the 1915 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.

Maggie did not re-marry, details as regards the demise of Margaret Seaton nee Sewell, as yet unknown.

As regards Nicholas and Maggie’s sons; John died November 26th 1965 aged 60 years. Frederick married Hannah Walker in 1935 at Chester-le Street, County Durham, he died at Gateshead in 1980. Nicholas Seaton Jnr married at Bambury, Oxfordshire in 1938 to Ethel Bertha Clements, he died at Banbury in 1974. Samuel Sewell Seaton married Martha Arrington in 1966, he died at Gateshead in 1979.

In God’s safe keeping. Rest In Peace.

Nicholas Seaton has not been identified on a local War Memorial.

He is remembered in The DLI Book of Remembrance page 107

The CWGC entry for Private Seaton

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