b. 05/03/1891 Bath, Somerset. d. 05/07/1967 Wakefield, Yorkshire.
DATE OF GC ACTION: 15/11/1926 Parkhurst Prison, Isle of Wight.
Cyril James Tutton (1891-1967) was born on the 5th March 1891 in Bath, Somerset, the son of Henry and Alice Louisa (nee Greenland). The couple had married in 1878 in Frome, and had three other boys, Henry, Herbert and Frederick. Henry Tutton senior was a Licensed Victualler and Brewer. Little is known about Cyril’s schooling, and on the 5th March 1909 (his 18th birthday), he joined the Royal Navy at HMS Ganges as No J738. When he enlisted he stated his trade as an Ironmonger. By 1910, he was a Signalman aboard HMS Prince of Wales, and by 1913 had been promoted to Leading Signalman on HMS Venus. Cyril married Catherine Dixon in Tendring, Essex in 1914, and they had two children, Joan A Tutton in 1918, and Cyril L Tutton in 1921.
Cyril was invalided out of the Royal Navy on 15th May 1919, and decided to join the Prison Service, spending his career working at Parkhust on the Isle of Wight, Dartmoor and finally Wakefield in Yorkshire. It was at Parkhurst that Cyril would show the utmost gallantry on 15th November 1926.
On that day, a convict had managed to escape onto the prison roof. Cyril gave chase and at great personal risk to himself managed to apprehend the convict single-handed, and bring him down. On 18th March 1927, a few weeks after his 36th birthday, it was announced that Cyril was to be awarded the Empire Gallantry Medal of the Civil Division. In 1940, following the creation of the George Cross, Cyril’s EGM was exchanged for the new decoration. He received his GC at an investiture at Buckingham Palace in October 1941.
The incident in November 1926 was not the only incident of gallantry during his time in prisons. Whilst working at Dartmoor Prison, an escaped convict tried to steal a boat to make a getaway. Unlucky for him he was apprehended by Tutton who hit him on the head with an oar and knocked him clean out. On this occasion, Cyril didn’t get a medal but just a pat on the back. On the 8th February 1951, Cyril retired from the Prison Service as a Chief Officer Class I, and left Wakefield Prison for the last time.
Cyril lived in retirement in Wakefield with his wife until his death on 5th July 1967, aged 76. He was cremated at Wakefield Crematorium. His medal group including his GC, 1914-15 Star, Victory Medal 1914-19, War Medal 1939-45, Defence Medal 1939-45, Imperial Service Medal and 1953 Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal are in private ownership.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: PRIVATELY HELD.
BURIAL PLACE: WAKEFIELD CREMATORIUM, WAKEFIELD, YORKSHIRE.
All information and pictures for this tribute to Cyril John Tutton EGM are kindly supplied by Steve, the current owner of Cyril Tutton's George Cross. The information and pictures are received with thanks.