PRIVATE FRANK CARBUTT
2ND JUNE 1917 AGE 20
BURIED: CABARET-ROUGE BRITISH CEMETERY, SOUCHEZ, FRANCE
Frank Carbutt was his parents only child. Born and brought up in Lincolnshire where his father was the head teacher in a council school, his inscription comes from 'Little England', a novel by Sheila Kaye-Smith published in 1918 about the impact of the Great War on an English rural community.
In the novel, Tom Beatup has been unwillingly conscripted, unwillingly because he doesn't think his father and younger brother can manage the farm without him. He is in love with Thyrza and contemplates the time when he will have to say good-bye:
"The parting when it came would be terrible. He might break down over it as he had broken down before. But he had all the soldier's solid fatalism and scorn of the future, and was, perhaps, strengthened by the inarticulate knowledge that if he were to die tomorrow he died a man complete. From the lumbering, unawakened lad of two years ago he had come to a perfect manhood, to be husband and father, fulfilling himself in a simple, natural way, with a quickness and richness which could never have been if the war had not seized him and forced him out of his old groove into its adventurous paths. If he died, the war would but have taken away what it had given, a man; for through it he had in a short time fulfilled a long time, and at twenty-two could die in the old age of a complete unspotted life."
The final sentence echoes the Old Testament Wisdom of Solomon 4:13 - He being made perfect in a short time, fulfilled a long time.