Correspondence between Mary Lloyd and Mr Garbutt - at the time Griffith was still in France
https://transcripts.sl.nsw.gov.au/page/volume-1-letters-written-active-service-l-1914-1919-page-306 - 312
20th June, 1918
Dear Mr Garbutt.
I have not yet had time to learn from my son, but the 110th Comforts Fund got in touch with Lieut Lillyman & he writes –
" Re Fitter J. Garbutt, sorry I cannot give you fuller particulars other than I heard from some of my boys while in London that he either was killed accidentally during construction of a gun pit or by shell fire. At this time the battery was in the vicinity of Menin Road. If possible you can rest assured that his resting place is bearing his name & up to time of our retirement would have been well cared for. His position would be hard to fill. He took a great interest in his work, the result being that he was trusted with mechanism & working of the six guns.
I have known him in many instances during bombardment to be seen standing by the guns so as to attend to any defects, thereby saving the least delay in firing, when really his proper place should have been endeavouring to rest until he should be sent for. He was in my section".
[Lieutenant Norman Joseph Lillyman, 10th Field Artillery Brigade.]
I am glad to have been able to find out even this much for you, you must be filled with pride at his bravery. Yours sincerely,
July 18th 1918.
Dear Mr Garbutt
I have been able to get farther particulars from the 110th Comforts Fund about your son.
Mrs Tower writes:– " From Fitter Shaw who left the 110th Battery on Oct 15th 1917 tells me the following particulars of "Joe Garbutt" – He was killed one afternoon in Sept – after lunch – say between 2 & 3. p.m. A shell came & blew up the dug-out he was resting in – They were not in action then – He was alone at the time resting – Some one called out "Joe Garbutt is wounded" – The boys went & dug him out – it took 3 or 4 minutes – & carried him over to a dressing station about 500 yards away – He was very jolly – only said both legs were broken & we could see they were very much mutilated. All the boys got round to say Good Bye as he was carried away by 4 battery boys on a stretcher & he said he would soon be back with us again (we knew he would'nt be ) & in two or three days we heard he was dead – His face was untouched or unwounded – Fitter Shaw was much affected when he told me & seems a reliable straight lad. His address is Fitter J. H. Shaw Grendon. Waterview Street. Ryde."I think by next mail I ought to hear from my son whether he knew your Joe & every little piece of news one gets is a comfort
Dear Mr. Garbutt
I received your letter dated 30..7..18 re – your son Joe who was in 110th Howitzer Battery Well Mr Garbutt you ask me did I know whether he died in the operation
Well Mr Garbutt after he was wounded he was carried straight away to the dressing station and that was the last we saw of him till two or three days time and word came through that he had died. So I cannot say wither he died through the Amputation or not wether it was before.
Yes Mr Garbutt he was quite Concious when he was carried away We could all see he was wounded badly but did not think it was as serious as it turned out to be
And as you ask me did he have any message. Well that I could not say there were so many around him and it is that long time ago I really do not know.
I might mention Joe was a great favourite amongst the Battery boys he was always doing something for some of the boys and his death was sad news to all the boys
I have worked with Joe in four or five different Ordenances repairing guns and found him one of the best
Well Mr Garbutt I cannot think of any more news about him you have heard from Mrs Lloyd about all I know.
I was wounded on Oct 15th 1917 and am not to well yet I received my discharge last Friday and am a free man again trusting you are well
from Yours Sincerely
J H Shaw.
[Driver Joseph Harold Toon Shaw, No 25670, 10th Field Artillery Brigade.]
August 22nd 1918
Dear Mr. Garbutt
I have a letter from my boy in answer to mine asking about your son: he says –
"I am glad you asked me about Joe Garbutt. I was not at the Pitt at the time he was hit, but knew him slightly. He was a fitter and was wounded a couple of days after me at Bullecourt & was in Blighty for some months. He rejoined the battery during the Ypres stunt & a few days after he went up to the guns his dug out was knocked in breaking both his legs badly. He died the next day at the clearing station from his injuries and shock. I have asked one of his friends to write to his father & I expect he will do so, but just in case he should not you might let him know what I have told you. The place which you mention where you say he was buried is in Belgium, somewhere near Poperinge, as the clearing station at which he died was near there. Garbutt was a fine chap much liked by all the boys & the best fitter we have yet had in the battery"
I am very glad I have been able to find out something for you. Your son must have been a very fine and clever man and you must be very proud that he was held in such high esteem.
P.S. I wonder if your son has any more honey if so I should like a 30 lb. tin