Whilst we were researching in the Records Office, we discovered various letters from Reverend Cutlack of St Johns Parish Church, Newbold regarding the war.
He has very strong opinions, and you can feel his passion as you read through the letters .
Newbold Parish Magazine.
THE REVEREND CUTLACK
June 1915 The Rectory
My Dear Friends
The heroism of our soldiers from all points of the Empire has thrilled us, and more than ever we feel how much we owe to their generous devotion and sacrifice.
They have put us under such obligation as we shall never be able to repay. They have given all they had for us, even their very lives and they have done this to save us from the dreaded domination of the Kaiser.
We owe it in return that we should do all we can for them. Love for love, life for life is the only thing that we could dare to offer.
Every week day morning at 7 o clock the perfect sacrifice is pleaded at the Altar for our soldier and sailors. It seems perhaps to some small account . But it’s smallness is only it’s outward features, the sacrifice at the Altar is an act of endless range. It reaches out arms of power all over the world , it extends it’s influences to the abode of the departed and penetrates right up to the theme of God.
It is the widest and richest act of love. It is an act in which the freest generosity can be spent of which the best men are capable.
Come friends and let us return love for love. If we have not been able to ‘put ourselves about’ before , we shall find no difficulty now. We shall plead this perfect sacrifice for the soldiers and sailors and allied armies in no niggardly fashion.
We shall love to do it as often as ever we can. This will do great things for them and it will work wonders for us.
Let us all give love for love.
Our hearts are full of pride and deepest sympathy . We are proud indeed of the splendid deeds of our fellow countrymen and we are full of sympathy for those who on this side will never see their friends again.
Many brave deeds have been done, but there are many broken hearts. Before the Altar of God we shall remember all these whether known or unknown to us. Toll the bell for Percy Birchall ! If it is to ring at all it shall peal ! But the proud heart of a brave mother is broken for all that. Percy cannot speak to her anymore.
All this is gradually coming nearer to home to us. My friends I am sure we all feel as one. Why should we not go one better and act as one.
Love for love and life for life. Let us all act that out.
Newbold Parish Magazine.
Reverend Cutlack – The Rectory December 1915
My Dear Friends
It seems another Christmas Day will dawn and still the Great War will be raging.
During Advent let everyone learn how to repent better and pray better. We want everyone at this work and no one missing. The country is being called upon to give every man who can be spared to fight with our allies against our common foe.
The church calls every member out from the world of carelessness or indifference to fight on the side of God in the great battle against our spiritual foes.
Do we really desire that our armies shall be victorious and our brave soldiers and sailors rewarded for their sacrifice? Then we must each repent truly, put ourselves right in the sight of God and pray !
There are alas ! numbers who are neglecting their communions, who are slack, numbers who are neglecting their confessions and communions. Our soldiers need to be brave and they are wonderfully so. Our intents need to be brave also but alas how often they fail.
The Christian army can spare non of her soldiers , she needs them all to battle against the forces of evil.
We cannot do with slackers and cowards. We don’t want ‘lookers on’. We are ashamed of shirkers. We want workers, fighters and praying people.
Many forget their vows and many forget their confirmation renewal and go on as if it did not matter. If our kings soldiers did this they would be shot for such men are a danger to their fellow soldier and their country! They are traitors. Let everyone see it lest they be found traitors to the Great King the Captain of our salvation, Jesus Christ.
If we are not actively on his side we are not loyal, if we are slack and careless and only obey him when it suits us we are not true in heart.
Our prayers and confessions , our bible readings and our communions, our worship and our activities. These are our weapons of war, our arms, our munitions.
The bugle is sounding ‘Fall in ! Fall in! , The church is church is calling Awake! Awake!
Every man , woman must come . Everyone is needed. Let us have no refusals, no excuses.
Let everyone enlist and help the Christian Army to victory.
REV CUTLACK NEWBOLD PARISH MAGAZINE 1918
The collections during the last few months have been poor as have the congregations , it is high time we pulled ourselves together and did much better.
The Fund for the Soldiers Memorial has grown a little and now stands at £90.
The secretaries tell us that the memorial Fund now stands at £120. The Birmingham Guild is to design a bronze tablet, it just needs a meeting of the committee to approve it.
The dedication festival will be held on Sunday Oct 26th.
The dedication festival is a time for special prayer and thanksgiving for the church in which we worship for the means of grace and all spiritual gifts. For these things thousands of people through the ages have sacrificed all things and given their very lives. Clearly they did not die for that which they did not love. We would hold and love the faith as they did and each Festival help us onward towards that end.
As a result of a visit to the Birmingham Guild a new design and specification has been sent this week. The first design was a bronze tablet mounted on oak, the new design is without the oak mount but with raised broze bordering . The estimate gives the choice of raised lettering or engraved. The size of the bronze is 6ft by 3 and ½ ft . The estimate was for 100 names the second for 142. The lettering is the main cost and the second estimate exceeds the first by £55 with fixing expenses and carriage, we may say that we require a further £60.
The Committee has not been able to meet to discuss the matter but it seems to be no other course for us than to ask for further donations. After all the sum required doesn’t amount to 30s for the name of each soldier to be recorded on the tablet.
We set out with a desire to have the names of all soldiers who gave their lives recorded and we all desire that the workmanship of the memorial should be of the best quality so we are quite confident we will receive further subscriptions to supply all the money we should need.
REVEREND CUTLACK APRIL 1920
The second public meeting to consider the War memorial was held this month but the attendance was very scanty. With such an object in view the room ought to have been packed. People are very apt to say ‘ Oh yes I am in sympathy but I did not take the trouble to go to the meeting’ forgetting how their absence chills.
Each one accounts for one and the enthusiasm which each individual brings makes the impulsive enthusiasm of a large assembly.
The proposal of the meeting is the erection of two rough hewn crosses, one on Newbold Green and one on the Moor.
The cross stands for the generous, self sacrifice and is the most fitting memorial of the men who so heroically gave themselves to secure their countries freedom. Wether they knew it or not , the ideals which moved them were the ideals in the mind of the Saviour of the World.
And these hard rough hewn crosses standing in our parish will be an inspiration to succeeding generations. They will tell all who look at them that the greatness of men consists not in what they can get , but in what they can render.
REVEREND CUTLACK 1920
The Memorial Cross on Newbold Green is to be dedicated and unveiled on Sunday October 24th . It is a fine a thing of it’s kind as it can be and those who live on the Moor will be glad to know that they soon will have one like it. Rugged, strong, enduring , it is the most fitting memorial possible of the valiant lives laid down.
Newbold is proud of its men and it will now be proud of the memorial to their memory.
The cross will also be an inspiration to everyone who looks at it to choose always the highest cause and not the easiest.
‘heroism is the brilliant triumph of the soul over the flesh’
Whenever you pass the cross raise you hat and lift up your heart.
( Reprinted with kind permission )