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Source: Leicestershire War Memorials Project. Coalville Times article - Friday December 27th, 1918
ODSTONE SOLDIER’S DEATH IN MESOPOTAMIA
A FORMER IBSTOCK BUTCHER
OFFICER’S SPLENDID TRIBUTES
Mr E. Cuthbert, of Odstone, has received a communication from the War Office, stating that his youngest son, Private Joseph William Cuthbert, of the A.S.C., died on October 20th, of pneumonia, in 133, G.B. Hospital, Kut, Mesopotamia. The sympathy of the King and Queen and the Army Council with the relatives is expressed. Before joining up, Private Cuthbert carried on business as a butcher at 81, High Street, Ibstock, in partnership with his brother. He was 28 years of age, was always bright and cheerful, and very much liked by all who knew him.
In a letter from Kut to Mr Cuthbert, dated October 21st, an officer writes, “It is with great sorrow I have to tell you of the death of your son at 11.30 last night in the British Hospital here. Ever since I have been here I have looked upon him as one of the best workers of the depot. He was cheerful and happy and deeply interested in his work, and in losing him I have lost one of my chief supports. Though he has died far away from you and his old friends, yet he made many friends in this depot and was genuinely liked by everyone. He has always done his duty in a straight, upright and manly way."
Another officer, writing on October 26th states, “Your son, Joe was in my section for some months and I had constant opportunities of forming an estimate of his worth. He was always ready to carry out cheerfully any orders I issued and was so reliable that I could leave him in charge of any work. In fact, he was almost too keen, and I had now and again to tell him not to overtax his strength. I had mentioned his name to the Commanding Officer for promotion, but he had been summoned to a much higher service. Private Heyworth tells me that Joe was confirmed last May and if ever a man carried out the principles of his religion in his daily duties, it was your son. He went into hospital on Tuesday week and when I visited him last Sunday morning, I thought he was much worse than when I saw him on the Thursday, but never imagined the end was so near. He died on the night of the 20th and we laid his body to rest in the British Cemetery on the edge of the desert, within sight of the Persian hills over which the sun rises with Eastern splendour; a daily symbol of the great Resurrection. Your son has died in the service of his country, and I would sooner have anyone I loved die thus than in sheltered England. Lieutenant Mitchell, who brought your lad out, walked with me and others to pay our last respects to Pte. Cuthbert. I shall always think of him with pride and await the time when we shall salute one another above. With sincere sympathy.”
Research undertaken and submitted (including photograph from Coalville Times) by Andy Murby 12/7/2018
- Conflict - World War I
- Burial Place - D 19, Kut War Cemetery
- Unit - Royal Army Service Corps
- Cause of death - DIED
- Burial Commemoration - Kut War Cem., Iraq
- Born - Nuneaton, Warwickshire
- Enlisted - Coalville, Leicestershire
- Place of Residence - Nuneaton, Warwickshire, England
- Memorial - ST. DENY'S CHURCH, IBSTOCK, LEICS
- Memorial - IBSTOCK MEMORIAL, LEICESTERSHIRE