M2/045802 Private Frederick James Cutler, Army Service Corps Mechanical Transport
Born on 5th May 1886 in Little Gaddesden
Died on 7th January 1971 in Sutton, Surrey
Frederick James Cutler was born in Little Gaddesden, the second of the 4 children of Frederick Thomas Cutler and Elizabeth née Mayling. He was baptised in St Peter & St Paul’s Church, Little Gaddesden on 27th June 1886.
His family lived in Lamsey Lane and his father was an Agricultural Labourer who, their address indicates, worked on Church Farm for Mr Underwood.
Frederick Cutler started at Little Gaddesden School on 2nd June 1890 when he was 4 years 1 month old. His next door neighbour, 4 year old George Impey, son of the Church Farm Shepherd, started the same day.
On 15th July 1895, the Headmaster received:
A note from Mrs Cutler to inform us that her children have Chickenpox & that Dr Bontor has recommended her to keep them at home for some little time.
In January 1896, Frederick distinguished himself in the Religious Knowledge Examination during the annual Diocesan Inspection.
On 12th March 1899 Frederick Cutler, Standard 4, was presented with his Certificate of Proficiency and on 24th March 1899 he left school aged 12 years 11 months. Among the other children to gain their Certificate of Proficiency was Ernest Ruffett; Lewis Hing passed all sections except the Writing.
By 1901 the Cutler family had moved to Cold Harbour, Ashridge. In the 1901 Census, 14 year old Frederick is recorded as a Farm Cowboy and his father as a Farm Stockman. John Cutler, 12 and Harry Cutler, 8, were still at school. Alice, however, was a Parlour Maid at the Manor House, Little Gaddesden in the household of Colonel Wheatley, father of Philip Wheatley.
The Little Gaddesden Brass Band 6
The Little Gaddesden Brass Band was formed in 1902 and a report and statement of accounts for 1902 – 1903 has survived. To obtain funds, entertainments were performed and donations sought. Each band member paid 3d per week (1¼p today) toward the cost of tuition. The report noted:
Our balance in hand is very low, but we again rely on our many kind friends to give us their support and stick to our motto: Nil Desperandum.
The report included a photograph on which Frederick, aged about 17, is the tall boy with the cornet in the middle of the back row.
Others in the Band with links to the Roll of Honour are:
- Back Row, L to R: 1. Archibald Johnson; 2. Thomas Johnson; 5. John Wibden; 6. Edward Hing; 7. Edward Pinnock (father of George Pinnock and Arthur Pinnock).
- Middle Row, L to R: 3. Arthur Johnson; 4. Sam Oakins; 6. Harry Wells (father of William Wells); 7. Walter Holland; 8. Herbert Fenn.
- Front Row, L to R: 1. Steve Oakins; 4. William Johnson; 5. Sidney Rogers.
- Under the drum: Hubert Halsey
- Band members absent from the photo included William Fenn and Matthew Munden; the Band’s Secretary was Geoffrey Talbot.
On 9th October 1909, at St Lawrence’s Church, Morden, Surrey, Frederick James Cutler, 23, Batchelor, a Gardener of Thorpe, Surrey and son of Frederick Cutler, Herdsman, married Elizabeth Eleanor Crockford, 27, a Spinster of 5 Stanley Road, Morden and daughter of John Crockford, Gardener.
Frederick and Elizabeth’s son, Frederick John Cutler was born in Hersham near Walton on Thames, Surrey on 27th July 1910. In the 1911 Census, they lived at 3 Homefield Cottages, Hersham. Frederick was a Domestic Gardener. However, his parents and his brother Harry Cutler still lived locally; they had moved to 16 Ringshall by 1911.
Frederick and Elizabeth’s daughter Iris Eleanor Cutler was born on 29th July 1913. Her birth was registered in Fulham, London.
Frederick must have volunteered early in the War, serving as a Private, Service Number M2/045802, in the Mechanical Transport section of the Army Service Corps. He then served overseas, initially in France, from 30th July 1915. He was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Reserve on 16th June 1919. For his War Service, Frederick was awarded the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and the Allied Victory Medal.
Men who have answered their country’s call in defence of a “Scrap of Paper” 10
Frederick Cutler is named on the Roll of Honour, which hangs in St Peter & St Paul’s Church, Little Gaddesden and lists 119 men from Little Gaddesden, Ringshall and Hudnall who served in the 1914 – 1918 War. On the original Roll his unit is abbreviated to “Mechanical Transport”; on the Centenary Revision of the Roll this has been recorded more formally as “Army Service Corps Mechanical Transport.” Frederick’s brothers John Cutler, Veterinary Corps and Harry Cutler 1st Battalion Hertfordshire Regt., are also listed on both Rolls, as are his cousins John Mayling, 10th Bn. Bedfordshire Regt. and William Mayling, 3rd Bn. Hertfordshire Regt.
Rolls of Honour photos: Jane Dickson, Michael Carver
Although Frederick and his brothers moved away from Little Gaddesden, his parents stayed at 16 Ringshall. His father died there in 1928 and his mother stayed until at least 1930.
Electoral Registers show Frederick and Elizabeth at 48 Swinburne Road, Putney between 1923 and 1925. Their third child Betty E Cutler was born in 1923 (2nd Quarter).
However, by 1930, Frederick and his family lived at 127 Ridge Road, Sutton, Surrey. In the 1939 Register he is shown as a London Passenger Transport Board Bus Driver. By that date his son was a Lorry Driver and his daughter Iris a Cashier/ Book-keeper.
On 7th January 1971, 84 year old Frederick James Cutler died in Surrey. His address was still 127 Ridge Road, Sutton.
2. Little Gaddesden Baptism Register 1813 – 1947
5. Little Gaddesden School Log Books 1887 – 1906
6. Report and Statement of Accounts of the Little Gaddesden Brass Band 1902 – 1903
Do you have any questions about the information recorded here? Or do you have any further information that you can share with us about those from Little Gaddesden who died or fought for their country? In either case, please contact Jane Dickson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Research, text and (unless otherwise credited) photos: Jane Dickson