b. 12/02/1889 Earlsdon, Coventry, Warwickshire. d. 14/04/1954 Coventry, Warwickshire.
Arthur Hutt (1889-1954) was born at 1 Court, 4 New Buildings, Earlsdon, Coventry, Warwickshire on 12th February 1889. His father, Samuel, a timber labourer, married Jane Knibb, a silk winder, on 8th July 1876 at St Michael’s, the Old Cathedral, Coventry. They had ten children in all including Arthur.
Arthur was educated at Holy Trinity School, Coventry. He was employed by Courtaulds artificial silk works, Foleshill, Coventry from 1910-1915. He enlisted in 7th Royal Warwickshire (TF) when Courtaulds raised B Company. Arthur married Alice Lenton in 1913 in Coventry. They had a daughter, Victoria Constance in 1920.
Arthur was at annual camp at Rhyl, North Wales when war broke out and the Battalion was embodied on 4th August. He sailed from Southampton to Le Havre on 22nd March 1915. In the spring of 1916 he returned to Britain to his old job. His service record no longer exists, so it is unknown the reasons for his discharge. He may have been recalled due to the shortage of skilled labour in Britain or may have reached the end of his term of service in the Territorial Force. Arthur was recalled in September 1916.
On 4th October, 1917, during the attack by the 48th Division before St.Julien, the 7th Battalion had as their objective Tweed House. "A" Company captured their first objective but when they continued their advance, all the officers and non-commissioned officers in private Hutt's platoon were hit. Private Hutt thereupon took command and led forward the platoon. He was held up by a strong point on his right, but immediately ran forward alone, shot the officer and three men in the post, and caused forty or fifty others to surrender. Presently realising that he had pushed too far ahead, Hutt withdrew his party. He personally covered the withdrawal, sniping the enemy and killing a number of them. Then he carried back a comrade, who had been badly wounded, and put him under shelter. After he had organised and consolidated his position, he learnt that some wounded men still lay out in the open, where they were likely to be taken prisoners. As no stretcher bearers were available, Hutt went out himself and carried in four men under heavy fire. He held his post until relieved on 7th/8th October.
His Division served in Italy from November 1917. He had been promoted Corporal by 12th January 1918 when he returned to Coventry. He was met at the station by the Mayor and driven through the streets to the Council House for a civic reception, during which he received an illuminated address and learned a fund set up for him had raised £500. The VC was presented to him by King George V at Buckingham Palace on 16th January 1918. He was discharged in early 1919 and was given the Freedom of Coventry.
Arthur returned to work for Courtaulds. Between the wars he had a number of jobs and suffered unemployment just before the Second World War. He attended the VC Garden Party at Buckingham Palace in 1920 and the VC Dinner at the House of Lords in 1929. In November 1938, he volunteered for the Auxiliary Fire Service and was serving with it when the war broke out, but later joined the Home Guard. In 1941 he was a Lieutenant in 13th Warwickshire (Coventry) Battalion. His last job before retirement was in the packing department of the Standard Motor Company.
After the Second World War Arthur drifted away from his immediate family, but did not divorce Alice. He lived at 35 Weston Street, Coventry, and may have had more children; a daughter, Jeanie, attended his funeral. He attended the Victory Day Celebration Dinner in 1946. He was a keen supporter of ex-service organisations and was a member of the 7th Royal Warwickshire Old Comrades’ Association. He was one of ten Vice-Presidents of the Royal Warwickshire Association appointed in 1935. Arthur died at his nephew’s home at 277 Sewall Highway, Coventry on 14th April 1954. More than 350 people attended the funeral including VCs, William Beesley, Arthur Procter and Henry Tandey.
In addition to the VC he was awarded the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal 1914-20, Victory Medal 1914-19, Defence Medal 1939-45, George VI Coronation Medal 1937, Elizabeth II Coronation Medal 1953 and Territorial Efficiency Medal. The medals are held privately.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: HERBERT ART GALLERY, COVENTRY (LOAN).
BURIAL PLACE: CANLEY CREMATORIUM, COVENTRY. ASHES SCATTERED.
Royal Regiment of Fusiliers Museum, Warwick (July 2015)
War Memorial Park, Earlsdon, Coventry
War Illustrated, 5th January 1918
Courtesy of Nath Houghton
War Memorial Park, Coventry
Lawn 2 at Canley Crematorium, Coventry (no memorial) where Arthur Hutt's ashes were scattered (October 2016)
War Memorial Park, Coventry (Nathan Houghton)
His medals with kind permission of Nath Houghton