Friday, 29 May 2015

Nuttall, John Ormerod - Private (25586)

Pte John Ormerod Nuttall
King's Company Grenadier Guards,
Killed in Action,
2nd June 1918,
Age 21
Buried at Bienvillers Military Cemetery

Newspaper Report


Mr. Joshua Nuttall, of 413 Holcombe Road, Helmshore, spinner, has received information that his only son, Pte. John Ormerod Nuttall (21) of the King's Company, Grenadier Guards was killed by a shell on the night of Sunday, June 1st.  Pte. Nuttall from early years showed brilliance as a scholar, and all along he more than maintained the high expectations of his many frie nds.  As a boy he attended Helmshore Council School, where he won the Smethurst and also the Florence Porritt scholarships, tenable at Haslingden Secondary School.  He could only use one of these scholarships, and he elected to take the Smethurst.  At the Secondary School he won a County Council scholarship, tenable at the Secondary School for three years and of the annual value of £20.  In 1915 he won a County Council Scholarship, tenable at Victoria University, Manchester for three years and of the annual value of £60. He had been at the University only about five months when he answered his group call and joined up.
The reports furnished of him by Mr. T. Smirk, headmaster, whilst he was at the Secondary School show that throughout the period he was there Pte. Nuttall was never absent or late, and this period covers the years from 1907 to 1915.  He was highly popular at the Secondary School, and this popularity was maintained at the University and later in the Army.  Pte. Nuttall attended Musbury Church and Sunday School.  The time he gave to study precluded him from taking active part as a worker there.  His mother died suddenly about three years ago.  He was 6ft 1inch in height.  Deceased's pal Private F. Laws, writing to his father, says, "Some months ago your son and I agreed to inform our respective parents should anything befall the other; and I am sorry to say it has fallen to me to send such terrible news.  Your son died peacefully, I believe, last night (Sunday), about 20 minutes to ten.  A shell struck the trench where he was, killing him and a comrade of his and wounding three others.  He died without recovering consciousness, after a few minutes.  We were all with him immediately but could do nothing.  He has left a very many friends here who wish me to express their sympathy, as well as my own.  He was always a cheery companion; we were, in fact, just laughing and talking together a few moments before, and he always looked on the bright side of things here. 
The Church of England chaplain writes that Private Nuttall (who appears to have been acting corporal) was buried in the military cemetery in a little French village near the place where he fell.  "Allow me to offer you my deepest sympathy with you in your great sorrow.  It will be some satisfaction to you to feel that your son has nobly done his duty and has given his life for his country.  May the sacrifice of his life, together with those of so many other splendid fellows bring blessing to England and to the world.  Your son died without a moments suffering."
Captain P. Malcolm, in a letter to the father says, "It is difficult to offer sympathy to one mourning such a loss as yours.  I think though, that in these times everybody must realise what a fine death it is for a son to die whilst defending his country at such a time as this.  He was one of the best men in this company - the first company of the British Army, and I think that that alone is a great thing to have been.  He will be a great loss to us."
Mr. F.W. Malpass, headmaster of Helmshore Council School, writes to the father: "Not only you, but the district, nay, the country is much the poorer by John's removal.
Out of many who have passed through my hands I could not pick out one who showed greater promise of a brilliant career than he did.  We shall always hold him in proud and grateful memory."
Mrs. Adams (nee Brandwood), who was one of the deceased's teachers at Helmshore Council School, writes, "One cannot realise why a boy so promising, loved, and honoured by all should be cut off at this stage of life.  As one of his former teachers I feel his loss most keenly.  He was always one of the best.  His name has been mentioned almost in every home in Helmshore this week-end.  All speak of him in the highest terms."
Mr. Sylvester Whittam, a close friend of Private Nuttall's writes, "He wrote me a field card, the same day he was killed, and I wrote to him the same day also.  He told me that he expected to come through this time allright; and that if he did not he was sure God was caloling him to the more perfect life."

Pte John O Nuttall
Newspaper Memorial:

In ever loving memory of Private John Ormerod Nuttall, Grenadier Guards, who gave his life June 2nd 1918.

"Only a memory of bygone days,
And a sigh for a face unseen;
But a constant feeling that God alone
Knoweth best what might have been."

From Father and Family, 413 Holcombe Road, Helmshore. 

          Lynda Batty says: 
John Ormerod Nuttall was brother to my grandmother Lilian Nuttall - later married to Fred Hargreaves- and therefore my great uncle. I obviously never met him but my grandmother had fond memories of him. My mother Freda Hargreaves and later Freda Foster now deceased - was gratified that with the help of Jackie Ramsbottom - I discovered all this information. Long may he be remembered for my children and grandchildren's sake.
Love you great uncle John. Lynda Batty formerly Lynda Foster of 8 Every St and 173 Grane Road. Haslingden. Now living near Milton Keynes.