In 1914 the Appleton family of Middlesbrough was a large one. Emma was the matriarch who with her late husband Henry Appleton, had raised a family of seven: George Henry, John Ernest, Samuel Bagnall, Thomas Alfred, William, Robert and daughter Emma. A year after little Emma’s birth Henry Appleton died, leaving his young wife and children to fend for themselves.
Two years after his death in 1900 Emma had married William Buckton and their daughter Sarah Ann was born in 1901. For five years the Appletons and Bucktons lived happily together until tragedy struck them again. William died in 1905.
By 1914 Emma was married for a third time to Robert Myers. Her eldest children had already married and moved away and her youngest were all of working age. Thomas was 25, William 22, Robert 19, Emma 17, and Sarah Ann 13.
Emma’s eldest son, George, was 32. He had married Charlotte Winskill and they were parents of George 12, Herbert 6, Gertrude 5 and their newborn Charles.
John was 29 and had married Caroline Layburn. Together they had Mary 8, Annie 7, Lillian 4, and Caroline 1.
Samuel was 27 and had married Elizabeth Walsh. Their daughter Irene was two years old and their son Henry was four months old the day Britain declared war.