|Mary Bedells (nee Ekins), 2008
Arthur William Hooton was born on 14 October 1886 in Wellingborough Road Rushden, the son of William and Lilly Hooton. William came from Great Doddington and like so many others moved to the growing town of Rushden to find work as a shoe rivetter.
Arthur married Alice Florence Espin of Higham Ferrers on 3 August 1912, at which time he worked as a shoe laster. They had two daughters, Irene May and Ella Doreen. Arthur served in the Great War in the Machine Gun Corps, and became a corporal. He was killed in France on 18 September 1916, in the Battle of the Somme, and is commemorated on the memorial at Thiepval in N. France.
Mrs Hooton lived in Portland Road Rushden, and then in Rose Avenue. She never remarried, as she never really believed that her husband had been killed, only that he was missing. She became a leading figure in the Adult School movement in Rushden. Rene married Dennis Bedells and had three sons, Roger, David (who still lives in Rushden) and Peter. Ella married Fred Ward of Raunds and is now living in Kendal Cumbria, close to one of her daughters, Elaine; another daughter, Diana, lives near York.