Cecil William Robin Cutlack

Cecil William Robin Cutlack

Regiment:Cambridgeshire Regiment, 2nd Battalion, Wellington College Contingent
Service Number:78249
Cemetary/Memorial: Kranji War Cemetary, Singapore (29.A.14.)
Awards:War Medal 1939 – 1945
1939 - 1945 Star

Born in April 1915 in Chesterton, Cambridgeshire, Captain Cutlack died in military action on 24th January 1942, aged 26, in Singapore.

The son of Colonel William Philip Cutlack (Chairman, Territorial Army) of The Manor, Barton Mills, Suffolk. He was younger brother to Kathleen (b. 1912). His mother, Dora Dormer, died in 1925 when he was 10 years.

Cecil was a pupil at St Ronan’s from 1924 to 1928 where he was a Prefect and a key member of both cricket and football teams:

In cricket, he was described thus: “A slow careful bat, plays the ball straight and takes a lot of getting out. He has been of great value as a No. 2, and with Brooke was the hero of the greatest stand in the history of Saint Ronan’s. A fine field and a safe catch.” And with respect to football: “From the first match he has played really well in goal and at times brilliantly, his ability to anticipate being quite first class; he certainly must rank as one of the best goalkeepers we have ever had.”

On 20th March 1928 Cecil was confirmed by Bishop Southwell in the school chapel.

Upon his departure, The Ronian reported: “Cutlack who was Third Prefect has done splendidly; he is a Triple Colour and will be much missed.”

He returned to visit Saint Ronan’s in 1929, 1930, 1935, 1937 and 1939. He also attended the Old Ronians’ Dinner in 1929.

He went on to Wellington in 1929 and was Head of Hardinge when he left in 1933. He got into the swimming finals and achieved his dormitory Colours for cricket as well as being Captain of his dormitory rugby side. He went up to Pembroke College, Cambridge and earned his BA.

Cecil then went on to work in the brewery industry, firstly in Reigate and then in Ely.

He was called up as a Territorial when the war began. He was in the 18th Division and was diverted to Malaya from the Cape, despite having been trained for desert and not jungle warfare. The Division went straight up country in January 1942 and in the confused fighting in Malaya that ended with the fall of Singapore, Robin Cutlack vanished and was for a time thought to be a prisoner in Japanese hands. It is thought that he was mortally wounded at Sengarrang on Hill 127, Batu Pahat, Malaya. He was finally reported killed in action on 24th January 1942.

His death is also listed on the Pembroke College, Ely and Barton Mills War Memorials (which was unveiled by Captain Cutlack’s father on 6th June 1948).

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