An emotional but enjoyable weekend as the Hampstead Pals took the ashes of our dear Pal, Kevin Cutts home, to the Devonshire Cemetery on the Somme. This was Kev’s favourite place on the Western Front and the sun shone brilliantly for us as his last wish was carried out bravely, by widow Claire, placing his ashes in the grave of an unknown soldier. His Mum & Dad, Ernie & Sue were with us, together with his daughter Hannah, sister Sharon and brother Martin. Kevin Cutts was a great hearted man and taken before his time. He served in the Metropolitan Police Special Branch on anti-terrorist duties. He had been coming to the battlefields of the Western Front with the Hampstead Pals since 1987. Fifty of us, including Jean-Marie & Valerie our French friends from the Moderne Hotel in Arras were present. We sang Jerusalem and said our Lord’s Prayer. The Francis Ledwidge poem, ‘Soliliquoy’ was recited by Professor John Grieve CBE, and the words ‘and now I’m drinking wine in France’ soon became a reality as we left Kevin Cutts to the singing larks, the spring flowers and the trees. The beauty and tranquility of the Devonshire Trench was apparent to us all and we knew Kev would not be lonely. He was in good company. ‘The Devon’s held this trench. The Devon’s hold it still’ Sleep on Kev.
Jon, thought I would email you my thanks for all your efforts to celebrate Kevin’s life. I thought it was an outstanding contribution to your great creation – the Hampstead Pals. Without you, most of us would have never met each other, added to our knowledge and remembrance, had so much fun and done so much together.
Thank you again, as ever,
Dear All, I only wish I could have attended with all the family and freinds. I have the comfort in knowing that you would have celebrated his life in the best way possible and where better than the place he adored. I will make a point to visit the cemetary, either with the pals or on my next trip to the Somme to pay my respects. Thank you Jon for the happy times I had with Kevin on the pals trips. A fitting place for a wonderful guy.
Dear Jon and everyone who went on my brothers final tour. I just wanted to say thank you to all for giving him a send off that he would have loved and wanted. Seeing everyone there reminded my family how much Kev was loved and what a special person he was. A one off.
You all helped make a very emotional weekend a happy celebration.
+A special thanks to Coren too+
Sharon and all the Cutts family xx
I only met Kev on a few occasions and I liked him straight away.Thanks guys for a most enjoyable weekend.It was sad and very moving. I didnt know when to laugh or cry on many occasions.You all made me so welcome and I felt part of the gang as soon as I stept on to the coach with my carerer, Mr Croker.For an old Essex dog Handler some great tales were to be had.I cannot wait for the trip.Sleep well Kev, I hope to come and visit you soon.
I would like to add although very sad at times there was lots of laughter it was nice to meet up again with Kevins family and friends.
Although I served with Kevin on the SPG and knew him for years it was rather ironic that this was my first trip to a First World War battlefield.
I was moved by every site that we visited and I can understand why Kevin felt that the Devonshire Trench was a special place for him.
We all know now that anyone who visits this particular spot will have a quiet word with Kev and his new Pals.
” Do carry on with your Mud Pies “
Not much to say, but missed, a good bloke, went with him to France a few times and a friend worked with him on the SPG and at Staines and LHR. Will visit in May 2014 and reflect, have a drink at the The Ould Shebeen.
Today I stumbled across the Devon’s trench.
From Devon myself and an ex-military man, I was deeply moved.
I noticed a plaque fixed to the tree, nearby, and was driven to contact you and pass my condolences for this man with a common connection.
I note also, that the obituary was posted on my birthday in 2013.
Perhaps I will meet your group someday in the Somme.