Rifleman Arthur Strutt was struck by shrapnel in France and died of what was described as a ‘terrible wound’ to his head. An article from the Co-operative News, dated 10 July 2015, emphasised the blow to everyday life that was struck by the war.
Just twelve months before, Strutt was an employee in the Colchester Co-operative Society in the clothing department. He went from serving on a shop counter to serving on the Western Front. The article explains how a Church of England chaplain wrote to Strutt’s parents to tell them that ‘Your boy died nobly, meeting his death while bravely doing his duty, and, like our Master, he made the supreme sacrifice in giving his life for the sake of others.’
Co-operative News, 10 July 2015, page 940.
WWI co-operative voices
This post is part of ‘WWI co-operative voices’ which shares the stories of co-operative workers and members during the conflict. In order to mark the centenary of the WWI, the Rochdale Pioneers Museum is staging an exhibition entitled ‘From shop floor to front line’ and the accounts of these soldiers, shop workers and conscientious objectors will run alongside it. They are tales of death, duty and of those who chose not to fight.
Through ‘WWI co-operative voices’ we will be releasing new posts about these individuals throughout the duration of the exhibition (due to open mid-May 2015 and run until May 2016). Read about the co-operative movement’s involvement in a war that shook the world by selecting a name from the column on the left. You can also follow us on social media for regular updates.
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We wish to thank the Heritage Lottery Fund for supporting the ‘From shop floor to front line’ exhibition and project.