067934 Private Oliver Bearton or Bierton, Army Service Corps Remounts Service, later 604539 Labour Corps
Born on 12th July 1891 in Wards, Ivinghoe
Died on 9th November 1951 in Brighton, Sussex
Oliver was born in Wards hamlet in Ivinghoe Parish. He was the eldest child of Frederick Bearton or Bierton and Maria née Mayling. His two younger sisters were Florrie, born on 19th March 1895 and Ethel, born on 11th October 1902.
The spelling of Oliver’s surname was inconsistent. It was generally Bearton as a child and Bierton in adult life. However, he signed himself O Bearton when a witness at his sister Ethel’s wedding in 1931.
In the 1901 Census, the family lived at Hog Hall Cottages, between Dagnall and Ward’s Hurst, in Ivinghoe Parish. Oliver’s father Frederick was a farm Horse-keeper.
By 1911, the family had moved to 29 Ringshall. Oliver was a 19 year old Groom and Domestic Gardener. His 16 year old sister Florrie was at home and 13 year old Ethel at school.
Oliver’s Service Record has not survived but his Medal Roll Index Card (spelling Bierton) shows his initial service as a Private in the Army Service Corps. The Little Gaddesden Roll of Honour (spelling Bearton) links him specifically to the Remounts Service.
The ASC Remounts Service supplied horses and mules to all other army units. In 1914, one Remount Squadron ran each of the four Remount Depots in the UK. During the war, four more main depots and a number of local depots were set up at home. There were also six depots in France – three Base Depots and three Advanced Remount Depots. The Base Depots had a capacity of 2600 animals each and the Advance Depots only 300.
Oliver’s Medal Roll Index Card shows that he later served in the Labour Corps. The Autumn 1918 Absent Voters’ List states that he was a member of the 83rd Prisoners of War Company. In PoW Companies, Labour Corps members supervised Prisoners of War engaged in labour tasks. Oliver must have spent some time serving in France because he was awarded the British War Medal and the Allied Victory Medal.
Men who have answered their country’s call in defence of a “Scrap of Paper”
Oliver Bearton is named on the Roll of Honour, which hangs in St Peter & St Paul’s Church, Little Gaddesden and lists 119 men from Little Gaddesden, Ringshall and Hudnall who served in the 1914 – 1918 War. On the original Roll his unit is abbreviated to “Remount Dept” but on the Centenary Revision of the Roll this has been recorded more formally as “Army Service Corps Remounts Service”. Next to him on the Roll is his first cousin Ernest Bearton, 1st Bn. Bedfordshire Regiment, whose father Ezra was the older brother of Oliver’s father Frederick.
Rolls of Honour photos: Jane Dickson, Michael Carver
In 1918 (3rd Quarter) Oliver Bearton (by now spelling his surname Bierton) married Florence Maud Long in Loddon, Norfolk
In Autumn 1919, the Little Gaddesden Electoral Register showed Oliver living at Memorial Lodge (now called Tudor Lodge), with Oliver’s parents. Florence must have been there too, but she was not then eligible to vote. Oliver and Florence then moved away, moving six times between 1920 and 1939. Oliver was a Domestic Gardener and later a Nursery Garden Manager.
Their addresses, as recorded in Electoral Registers and Kelly’s Directory, were:
- 1920 – 1922: Near Church, Claxton, Norfolk
- 1923 – 1925: Gayton Lodge, Park Side, Wimbledon Common S.W.19
- 1927: Hardley Road, Chedgrave, Norfolk
- 1930: Maynard’s Green, Horeham Road, Heathfield, East Sussex. He was Private Gardener to Mr Edgar Alfred Hughes of Beechlands, Maynard’s Green.
- 1932 – 1937: Pidgeon House, Headley, Epsom, Surrey
- 1938: 31 Woodcote Road, Woodcote, Epsom, Surrey
- 29th September 1939: 96 Edward Avenue, Brighton. In the 1939 Register, he is recorded as a Nursery Garden Manager.
60 year old Oliver Bierton, a Landscape Gardener of 15 Tyneham House, Saltdean, Brighton died on 9th November 1951 in the Royal Sussex County Hospital. The causes of death were Broncho-Pneumonia and Fibrinous Pericarditis.
6. 1918-19 Absent Voters’ Lists Parliamentary County of Hertford, Hemel Hempstead Division, Little Gaddesden
Research, text and (unless otherwise credited) photos: Jane Dickson