War hero uncle Tony Cutler, originally from Fairford celebrated by niece in detailed biography
JUST in time for Remembrance Day, a writer has celebrated her war hero uncle in a detailed biography about his time as a Second World War soldier.
Merry Baskin from Eastleach, near Fairford has written an in-depth book, complete with quotes of her Uncle Anthony Cutler’s war stories. He went to war in October 1939 and returned home in February 1946 and was one of the few soldiers to receive a Military Cross for his time serving.
“I put together this book because I felt it was important to record what Uncle Tony did for his country, and for us, during his time in the British Army,” said Merry.
“There were not many Military Crosses awarded, and certainly there are not many living recipients left.”
The book was written for David Holland Cutler, Tony’s late brother who Merry said would have loved to read all about his war experiences.
The hardback book was put together through Merry’s conversations with 94-year-old Tony, who used to live in Fairford, applications to the Ministry of Defence in Whitehall, the National Archives and the Army Records Office in Glasgow and through information found in books and on the internet.
Tony went to war in October 1939 and returned home in February 1946. He sometimes went weeks without knowing what was happening at home and did not see his first daughter Diana until she was four-years-old.
He originally tried to sign up for the RAF. “His suitability to be trained as a pilot was tested by the recruiting officer who sat him an office swivel chair, span him round very fast, before suddenly stopping it and telling him to stand up and walk in a straight line,” said Merry. He then decided he might be better suited for the army as he recalled he "couldn't even get out of the chair."
The book, packed with photos, maps, old war document and Tony's memories is a tribute to his life during the war and everything else which happened to him around it.
Tony is now a resident at Elizabeth Finn Home in Burford. His wife, Pam died in 1994. His son and three grandsons all live at his old house at Horcott Farm in Fairford.
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