Tribute to #10980 George Arundel CUTTING

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The following details were forwarded to us by Veteran Joe Collinson.

 

 

 

 

 

George Arundel CUTTING was born to Percy and Ruby CUTTING in the Royal Northwest Mounted Police Detachment at Gull Lake, Sask. on the 12 of August 1914.  His father’s regimental number was #3149 and was a member of the detail that took down Almighty Voice.

After a long and good life, George passed away at the Kipnes Centre for Veterans in Edmonton, Ab. on the 5 of September 2013.

For his first ten years of his life was on NWMP, RNWMP and RCMP detachments in places such as Ten Mile (10 miles south of Fort Walsh,Sk.), Glen Ewen,Sk., Maple Creek, Sk. and Regina.

In 1924 his father retired from the Force (he was one of the rare members of the NWMP, RNWMP and the RCMP). George’’s teen years were spent in Maple Creek, Vancouver, and Medicine Hat.

9-30-2013-11-58-22-AM_webGeorge had a number of interesting occurrences during his lifetime.

I will wander about and try to touch on some of the highlights. He is a survivor of the 1918 Spanish Influenza epidemic. He was enlisted in the Force in 1931 at 17 years of age as a trumpeter (although at the time he could not play the trumpet). He rapidly learned and at his death was the last surviving official trumpeter of the Force. It should be noted that these trumpeters were required to be able to play over 32 military trumpet calls.

 

If you should happen to read Frank Spalding’s book “- “Stop the Musical Ride, I want Off”,”  you will catch one of the events of his time as a trumpeter.

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Photograph of the illustration from the “Stop The Musical Ride I Want To Get Off” book by Frank Spalding.

According to page 62 of the book, it states “My friend Trumpeter George Cutting was an extraordinary lad; physically tough, cocky and afraid of nothing except possibly the Post Sergeant Major.  One bitter winter morning in Regina, George rose as usual minutes before reveille blowing time, whereupon he would normally dress in uniform, go outside of the barrack block to the front of the administration building known as “A” Block, and tootle the call.

This particular morning, the wind as howling, and the thermometer registered twenty below.  He took one look at the dark, cold barrack square and said ‘to hell with it.’ So this enterprising trumpeter threw open the window on the first landing in “C” Block and, clad only in his long winter underwear, placed trumpet to lips, leaned out and blew reveille.

Unfortunately, he did not notice the Division Sergeant Major, who was the Orderly Officer of the Day, ascending the stairway behind him.  The S.M. graciously waited until Cutting had finished then, as the last notes of the call faded, he brought his stout riding crop down across George’s taut posterior.  All the sympathy poor Cutting got from us “old timers” in barrack room five was group hilarity and the offer of horse liniment.”

In 1935, he was transferred to Vancouver on general/mounted duties. While there, he was on duty during the Unemployment Riot and was involved with clearing the Post Office (at which time he and some others got a fairly heavy dose of tear gas).

While in Vancouver, he was in an early Musical Ride that performed in Vancouver and at the Rose Festival in Portland, Oregon.

Subsequent to this, he was transferred to Alberta where he was, for short times, in Edmonton and Vermilion. George was obviously recognized by this time as a good horseman as he was transferred back to Regina where he was on the mounted escort for King George and Queen Elizabeth’s 1939 tour.

Right after this, he was on the Musical Ride at the World’s Fair in San Francisco. After
performing there, the Ride returned to Regina and then it was on to the National Horse Show in Toronto.  While in Toronto World War 2 was declared, the ride was concluded and the members returned to Regina.

On return to Depot, there was a bulletin requesting volunteers for a Reconnaissance Company to represent the Force (this after some discussions turned into the 1 Co. Canadian Provost). George was one of the first or the first to volunteer and at his death was the last of the original members of this company.

Photograph of the #1 Provost Corp (Source of photo - Raoul Carriere)

Photograph of the #1 Provost Corp (Source of photo – Raoul Carriere)

By the 17 of December 1939 they were in Scotland.  George’’s army career was long and interesting. There was considerable time spent training–he had been a motorcycle rider before being in the Provost so he was one of those tasked with escorting convoys, dispatch riding and, in general, doing a number of hazardous jobs.

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On and about the 13 July 1940, George was with a portion of the Canadian Army that landed in Brest, France as France capitulated. They hastily got back to England. The next three years were spent training. It should be noted that training included sitting in slit trenches firing at strafing Nazi aircraft. While doing motor convoy escort he and his motorcycle were hit by a 16 wheeler in the dark at an intersection and after he was found he was treated by a Doctor who said he was okay and to have a cup of tea.

On the 10 July 1943, he was in the initial assault on Sugar Beach at Sicily–in his words
“Lots of excitement and hard riding but we took the Island in I think about 37 days”. While in Sicily, he contracted Malaria and after recovery had some difficulty (looked after in George’’s fashion) in getting back to his Company. From Sicily, it was on to Italy.

By early September 1943, they were marching up Italy. A lot more excitement and hard riding. He was at Ortona where the Force lost 4 men and then on to the battles of the Gustav and Hitler lines.

There was little funny about this fighting but it did not make the big headlines. Around March 1944 he began acting as an outrider for Major General Chris Vokes. This lasted
until July 1 1944 when, while escorting Vokes, he was involved In a motorcycle accident that broke his leg and back. (As an example of how well he was admired Vokes visited him in the Hospital and tried to get him back on his escort when he was fit again). The Canadian Government decided that he had done his share and repatriated him to Canada in February 1945.

On his return to Canada, he was stationed at: Calgary, Three Hills, and Brooks. At the end of 1946, George was posted to the Riding Staff at Depot Division –where he was a “Roughrider” and instructor. He was much loved and admired as a member of the staff by all the recruits that came in touch with him. This is highlighted by the number of Squad/Troop reunions he has been invited to (and attended when possible).  George retired from the Force in 1958.

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George married Ida Isabelle Wright in 1946 and had a good marriage and family life with one son and two daughters (Obituary in Edmonton newspaper).

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George had many varied interests and talent – –he was musical, he liked and could recite poetry, he was well read, he was the founding member of a Poker Club In Penticton,BC, he was a Bisley marksman, he was a motorcycle rider until well into his 80’s, he golfed (well) until the year 2009, he was last on a horse (so far as I know) when he was 95 (when he was slightly put out when the horse would not canter), he had an outstanding memory and recall of names, dates and places (and if you were one of his recruits – if he didn’’t get your name right away he could name the horse you rode), he was always a gentleman.

Photographs below were taken at his Celebration of Life gathering:

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