Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry (The 2/4th Battalion)

Research and Resources around the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry during WWI

Captain Robert Frederick Cuthbert

From G. K. Rose, The Story of the 2/4th Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry

“I should like to recall memories of such comrades as Bellamy and Wetherall, Cuthbert, Bennett, Davenport, ‘ Slugs ‘ Brown, Rose, ‘ Bob ‘ Abraham, Regimental Sergeant-Major Douglas, Company Sergeant-Major Brooks, V.C., and a host of other
friends of all ranks.”

“This was the first change which the Battalion had in its Commanding Officer, and it was much regretted. A change in Adjutant had occurred likewise, Major D. M. Rose having been invalided to England early in July and his place taken by R. F. Cuthbert, formerly commander of D Company.”

While speaking of the life furthest forward I do not forget the very similar conditions, allowing for the absence of enemy machine-guns and snipers, which prevailed at Battalion Headquarters. Con- fined to a dug-out (a smaller replica of Regina) in Hessian Trench, with a continual stream of reports
to receive and instructions to send out, and being continually rung up on the telephone, Colonel Bellamy “and Cuthbert had their hands full, and opportunities for rest, if not for refreshment, were very limited. Nor do I omit our runners from the fullest share in the dangers and activities of this time.”

“At dusk, therefore, there was nothing save the heavy shelling to report to Cuthbert over my telephone, which by luck held until cut by German wire-cutters. Within a few minutes, shouts and a few rifle shots were heard, and the next moment bombs were being thrown into my dug-out.”

“In the front line trench-mortaring became frequent. On No-
vember 14 Cuthbert was wounded by a bomb which fell inside the trench, and other casualties occurred, including the General’s runner. Many- new officers and men had joined since Ypres. Wiltshire took up the adjutantcy when Cuthbert left.”

“already at Arras plans for a novel raid were under contem-
plation. Cuthbert had devised a scheme, which Colonel Wetherall adopted and chose B Company, under Moberly, to carry out. The details of this raid, inasmuch as their novelty is of some historical interest, demand an explanation.”

The word ‘ return ‘ should set some readers agog. I am sure no battalion had a better Orderly Room than the 2 /4th Oxfords. Though only a Company Commander, I was struck by its efficiency when I joined the Battalion. Units were apt to be judged by the promptness and accuracy of their returns, and Cuthbert, who for longer than anyone was Adjutant of the Battalion, won a deserved reputation in this respect. But inside the Battalion as well as out of it his efficiency was understood and valued. Cuthbert was a good instance of an officer without pre-war training whose common-sense and agreeability made him the equal in his work of any Regular.”


Single Post Navigation

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: