CUTTS, Alfred

No.17572, Private, Alfred CUTTS
Aged 26

2nd Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
Died of his Wounds on Tuesday, 1st August 1916

Alfred Cutts was born in 1890 (Risbridge Q1-1890 4A:690), baptised in Stradishall St Margaret's on 2nd March 1890, son of Noah and Phoebe CUTTS (née DAINES).

1891 census...Aged 1, he was at How's Farm, Thurlow Road, Stradishall with his father Noah CUTTS [46] farm labourer; his mother Phoebe [42] born Denston; brothers Arthur [23] farm labourer, born Denston, Harry [14] farm labourer, and Charles W [4]; sisters Matilda [19], Maud M [10] and Ada [6]. All except his mother and Arthur were born in Stradishall.

1901 census... Aged 11, he was at Howe's Farm, Stradishall; with his parents and brother Charles.

1911 census... Aged 21 a stockman, he was still at Howe's Farm with his parents and brother Charles. The two sons now recorded as born Stradishall. One of the 8 siblings had died.

His brother Charles was killed in 1915 in France serving in the Suffolk Regiment. see here
From their Suffolk Regiment numbers the brothers appear to have enlisted the same day as the three Chapman brothers.

He enlisted in Newmarket.
With no service record available and dying of his wounds it is impossible to be accurate with when and where he was wounded. He died at no 36 Casualty Clearing Station at Heilly. The battalion were just north of Bethune in trenches at HINGES at the end of July, taking light casualties, mainly wounding, from HE or gas.

The Bury Free Press of 26th August 1916 recorded

The war's toll of men has been keenly felt by Mr.and Mrs.Cutts of the House Farm, Stradishall, who have recently lost two sons in the war. Prvt C.W.Cutts, of the 9th Suffolk Regiment, fell gallantly fighting in the battle of Loos on September 26th 1915, and OPrvt Alfred Cutts died of wounds received in action on July 29th last. Both young men responded to the call to arms, enlisting in one of the numerous Suffolk battalions of Kitchener's Army. In due course they were each sent to France, where they both died bravely, having done their duty nobly and well.
Writing with reference to the death of Prvt C.W.Cutts,Lieut. Seymour Church, of the deceased's unit, said :-
"Dear Mrs Cutts - I regret that I have to write to tell you your brave son was killed in action on Sunday. He died bravely,while charging at the German trenches.It may console you to know that his death was instantaneous, as I was near him when he was shot. I offer you my sincerest sympathy in your loss,and ask you to take heart, as he was a hero, dying in defence of his country".
On another occasion the officer again wrote :-
"Dear Mrs Cutts - I was please to receive your letter and feel deeply for you. There are few particulars I can give you. We were ordered to advance against the enemy at Hill 70 near La Bassee at 11:30 a.m. There were many shells falling, but the men advanced bravely up to the rifle fire. When we were about 400 yards from the enemy the rifle fire was rather bad, and we were just taking up a position behind a ridge when your brave son received a bullet in his heart. His death was instantaneous, without any pain. He was amongst the bravest of my men, and there was no one I liked better. He was always cheery, and my regret at losing him is very great. I trust his brave death will solace you in some little way.
The late Prvt Alfred Cutts had a terrible experience while in the hands of the German, from whom he escaped, "being treated in the most disgusting way" to use the words of a chaplain, who wrote to his parents before he died. We give his letter below:-
"Dear Madam, your son Alfred passed through our field collecting station to-day, having had a wonderful escape. He was wounded in the back and feet, and taken prisoner. However he managed to escape. He was treated by the enemy in the most disgusting way. However, the great thing is that he managed to get away, and is now with us receiving proper attention. He sends his love,and tells you not to worry, as he hopes soon to be home."

Showing it's 100 + years, this stone has three names, centre is
1st AUGUST 1916 AGE 26

photo: Rodney Gibson

Alfred Cutts is buried in Heilly Station Cemetery, Mericourt-L'Abbe, grave 2:E:49

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details

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