John Cuthbert, who died aged 80 on 20 September 2010, joined the 8th King’s Royal Irish Hussars as a National Service subaltern in 1949 in Leicester.

Capt J Cuthbert
Capt J Cuthbert

He trained at Catterick and then at Mons prior to his commission. As was the case with National Service subalterns he only served in the Regiment for a few months before his commitment was complete, and this was prior to the Regiment’s deployment to Korea.

On leaving the Regular Army in 1950 he transferred to the 3rd/4th County of London Yeomanry (Sharpshooters), with which he served for a further 6 years (as a subaltern and A/Captain) as he developed a career in the Lloyds Insurance Market in the City of London.

Despite his very short service in the 8th Hussars, John Cuthbert was always very proud of his association with the Regiment. His Commanding Officer was the famous Lt Col Cuthie Goulbourn, much respected for his adroit command of the Regiment in Normandy during the vicious fighting in the Bocage country.

After leaving the 8th Hussars John Cuthbert developed a successful career in Lloyds as an insurance broker, spending some 40 years in the Square Mile. Having worked for the Royal and Polands in his younger days, he spent many years with Fenchurch Group developing the specialist reinsurance business.

Towards the end of his City career John Cuthbert became the Managing Director of Fenchurch-Scott, which he sold to CT Bowrings in 1980, which had become part of the very large Marsh McLennan Group. He was much respected for his wise counsel, professionalism and great integrity.

John was born on 26 Apr 1930 in London, but spent much of his early childhood in Malaya owing to his Father’s business interests. On return from Malaya in the late 1930s he was educated in London but was evacuated to Bryanston School during the London Blitz; he recalled watching the dog-fights of the Battle of Britain during the summer of 1940.

A Scot by blood, he would spend the holidays fishing the hill lochs of Caithness and Sutherland and developed a great love for the Highlands; he passed on this passion to his own sons. Although accomplished with rod and gun, he was always useless with horses, which, sensing his unease, invariably bit him or kicked him!

After many years absence John Cuthbert re-engaged with the Regimental Association when his second son Andrew joined the QRIH in 1980; his eldest son, Mike, joined the 16/5th Lancers as a short service officer. His daughter Lucy also joined the Regiment by marrying Marcus Simson, a QRH Squadron Leader in 2002-2003; Marcus was later selected to command 2RTR.

John was a regular attendee at the Cavalry Memorial weekend and the Officers’ Dinner during the 1980s and 1990s, and would often dine with friends in the Cavalry and Guards Club. An acknowledged gastronome he like nothing better than sharing good food and fine wines with his friends and family, whilst enjoying amusing tales and repartee; he would often travel to France with his wife Barbara to visit beautiful gardens and elegant Chateaux.

John enjoyed 18 years of very happy retirement with Barbara in their home at Buckland in Oxfordshire, where they developed a beautiful garden that is opened to the public for a day each summer.

Related topics

  1. A short history of The 8th Hussars