In Memoriam: Joseph Herbert Garbutt

Photograph of Joseph Herbert Garbutt in uniform.
Joseph Herbert Garbutt

Joseph Herbert Garbutt, of York, was killed in action in France on 10th November 1918, aged 22 years.

He was born in York in 1896 and attended Bootham School from 1909 to 1912 as a day boy.  

Jospeh’s hobby whilst at school was the Workshop. The school magazine, “Bootham” of March 1911 contains the report of the school Christmas Exhibition of 1910. This shows that in the Worskshop section, book-shelves class:

“Garbutt’s double book-stand in oak came, however, a good second.”

“Bootham” of May 1911 reports on the Fives Class Tournament:

“FIVES REPORT—1910-1911.

The Class Championship tournament was played as usual -during the Autumn Term, resulting in the following medal winners :—

Middle Schoolroom : J. H. Garbutt.”

In Athletics that summer, Joseph was third in the Junior Cup High Jump.

In the Christmas Exhibition of 1911, Joseph won first prize for his book-shelves.

The March 1913 issue of “Bootham” contains his “Bene Decessit” entry, as follows:

“J. H. GARBUTT was a member of the Upper Schoolroom when he left. During his eleven terms at School he did a good deal of work in the Workshop, and was President of the Junior Essay Society for some time. He played football for the 2nd XI.”

The next we hear of Joseph is in the March 1917 issue of “Bootham”, in the “Across the Months” section:

”J. H. GARBUTT wrote from an Essex camp in December. He is with the **** * Rifles.”

The May 1918 issue of “Bootham” contains Old York Scholars War-time Service Lists:

“Old York Scholars serving in the Navy and Army

Garbutt, J. H., London Regt.”

However the August 1919 issue of “Bootham” reports, under “Deaths”:

“ GARBUTT.—On the 10th November, 1918, killed in action, Joseph Herbert Garbutt (1909-12), of York, aged 23 years.”

and the same issue has Joseph’s “In Memoriam” entry as follows:

“JOSEPH HERBERT GARBUTT (1908-12). Garbutt tried to enlist several times but was rejected as medically unfit, and so joined the St. John Ambulance Association as a motor-driver. He gave practically the whole of his time to this work, and his services both on the road and in the garage were much appreciated by the York branch of the S.J.A.A.

In November, 1916, he was passed fit for General Service and joined the Artists Rifles, proceeding to France in September, 1917. He was wounded in the heavy fighting at Passchendaele in October, and rejoined his unit after several weeks in hospital.

He was killed by shell-fire on November 10th, 1918 (the day before the signing of the Armistice), near Haveng, a few miles south of Mons, during the rapid advance which was taking place at that time. He was buried, with full military honours, at Haveng on November 11th , 1918.

At the time of his death he held the rank of sergeant and was very highly spoken of by his officers, who more than once asked him to take a commission.

He showed the true spirit of fellowship inculcated by Bootham, and by many acts of kindness and sympathy endeared himself to his brother N.C.O.’s and the men under him.                   W. E. W.”

Sergeant Joseph Herbert Garbutt is buried Harveng Churchyard, Hainaut, Belgium.

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