CFHS code : MG110

Parish : St Mary the Great

Inscription : kerbs In Loving Memory of SUSAN LYDIA SUMMERTON d Aug 29th 1933 aged 63 small slab: also / THOMAS WILLIAM / SUMMERTON / d March 12th 1946 / aged 71

Monument : Kerb stones/Ground slab/Flowerholder

Above information from Cambridge Family History Society Survey

Lat Lon : 52.20222, 0.13803803 – click here for location

Summerton grave
Summerton kerb stones
Summerton inscription
Summerton inscription



Susan Lydia Summerton (née Smith) (October 1870 – 29 August  1933)

Susan was born in Aldershot and was the daughter  of Edward and Sarah.  She grew up on the High Street in Aldershot where her father was a furniture dealer. She married soldier Thomas Summerton in 1898 and they had three children: William Edward (1901-1965), Ethel Catherine Sarah (1906-1978) and one more child who died as an infant.  William Summerton was born in Lucknow, India and Ethel in Jaipur, Rajasthan, but by 1908 the family returned to England to live in Cambridge. In 1911 Thomas Summerton was a Sergeant-Major in the 2rd King’s Own Hussars Cavalry and the family were living at 50 Norwich Street.  He appears to have been seconded to the Cambridgeshire Squadron of the Duke of York’s Own Loyal Suffolk Hussars and in May 1908 was asked to inspect the new rifle range in Cambridge which he  declared to be  ‘one of the best of its kind in England’.

The family later moved to 45 Devonshire Road (1930) and Susan died at the Evelyn Nursing Home aged 63 years old.

Captain Thomas William Summerton (18 October 1874 – 12 March 1946)

Captain Thomas and Susan Summerton, photo taken in Lucknow

Thomas was the son of William and Catherine and was born in Thame, Oxfordshire.  His father was a publican and he enlisted in the  3rd King’s Own Hassars regiment on 9 February 1891.  Immediately prior to joining up he had been working as a groom and from his papers it is known he was 5ft 6 inches tall, with hazel eyes, brown hair and sallow skin. He was awarded a distinguished conduct medal (DCM) for service in the Boer War.

He threw himself into Cambridge life and was a member of the Lensfield Rifle Club and helped to usher at the Town Council Popular Concert at the Guildhall (1909). In September 1910 he was asked to join the Town Representatives’ Committee.  In January 1913 he organised a ball for the Cambridge squadron of the Suffolk Hussars at the Masonic Lodge which the Cambridge Independent Press reported ‘passed off without the slightest hitch and Staff Sergt-Major T.W. Summerton…with his many helpers are to be congratulated upon the carrying out of a most successful evening’s entertainment’.  He was a prominent member of the Hills Road Wesleyan Church and was also involved in the running of the Boys’ Brigade.

Thomas served in the 1st World war with the  Suffolk Yeomanry (Regimental Sergeant Major), ,Fife and Forfar Yeomanry (2nd Lieutenant, August 1915), 2/1st Lovat Scouts (Lieutenant, November 1915) and  was  then made a Captain with the 2nd King’s Own Scottish Borderers.

After the war he changed career and  worked in the publishing department of the Cambridge Daily News.  In October 1919 he was voted assistant secretary for the Guildhall Concert Committee and helped organise the concerts.  In November 1920 he was elected as a co-opted member of the Cambridge and Isle of Ely Territorial Force Assocation representing ‘comrades of the Great War’.  By 1920 Cambridgeshire had 300 unemployed ex-soldiers and the situation in Wisbech was said to be particularly bad, so the Assocation looked at ways in resolving this. He also organised military reunions for the Suffolk Yeomanry.

Thomas married for a second time in 1934 to Julia Palmer (1871-1946) and they lived at 7 Norwich Street (at least 1935 onwards).  He died at Addenbrookes Hospital aged 71 years old.

Julia Summerton died  in December 1946 at the County Hospital, Mill Road.



Newspaper archives

by Claire Martinsen


Thank you to J.S. great granddaughter of Susan and Thomas Summerton for permission to publish family photos on this site.

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Susan Lydia Summerton; Thomas William Summerton