|Sir Cameron Shute|
General Sir Cameron Shute
|Died||1936 (aged 69 or 70)|
|Years of service||1885 - 1931|
|Unit||World War I|
|Commands held||2nd Battalion, Rifle Brigade (Prince Consort's Own)
63rd (Royal Naval) Division
19th (Western) Division
|Awards||Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath
Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George
Shute was commissioned into the Welsh Regiment in 1885. He transferred to the Rifle Brigade in 1895 and participated in the Nile Expedition and the Siege of Khartoum in 1898. He was Deputy Assistant Adjutant General in Malta from 1899 and a General Staff Officer at Scottish Coast Defences from 1905. In 1910 he was appointed Commander of the 2nd Bn the Rifle Brigade and then became a General Staff Officer at Aldershot Training Centre from 1914.
He served in World War I in France and Belgium becoming Commander of 59th Brigade in France during the Guillemont actions in 1915. He went on to be General Officer Commanding of the Royal Naval Division in 1916, of the 32nd Division in 1917 and of the 19th Division at the Battle of Messines in France in 1917. In April 1918 he took command of V Corps in France.
A.P. Herbert poem
General Shute had an intense dislike for the unconventional "nautical" traditions of the Royal Naval Division and made numerous unpopular attempts to stamp them out. He was particularly critical of the poor management of the latrines which could have led to an outbreak of dysentery. Following a particularly critical inspection of the trenches by General Shute, an officer of the division, Sub-Lieutenant A. P. Herbert, who later became a famous humorous writer, legal satirist and Member of Parliament, wrote a popular poem that summed up the feelings of the men of the RND:
The General inspecting the trenches
Exclaimed with a horrified shout
'I refuse to command a division
Which leaves its excreta about.'
But nobody took any notice
No one was prepared to refute,
That the presence of shit was congenial
Compared to the presence of Shute.
And certain responsible critics
Made haste to reply to his words
Observing that his staff advisors
Consisted entirely of turds.
For shit may be shot at odd corners
And paper supplied there to suit,
But a shit would be shot without mourners
If somebody shot that shit Shute.
Although soldier songs hostile to superior officers were not rare, it is unusual to have a song aimed at a named officer.
|GOC V Corps
|General Officer Commanding the 4th Division
Sir Charles Harington
|GOC-in-C Northern Command
Sir John Gathorne-Hardy
Sir Victor Couper
|Colonel-Commandant of the 1st Battalion,
Rifle Brigade (Prince Consort's Own)
Sir John Burnett-Stuart