Maurice Nesbitt, Private 316778, 23rd Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers
Died 9th April 1917 near Mundesley, Norfolk, aged 18
Maurice Nesbitt was born in Bramley near Leeds in 1898, the son of Elizabeth Ann and John Nesbitt, a railway loco foreman. In 1901 two-year-old Maurice was living at 22 Middle Cross St, Armley, Leeds with his parents and brothers John (8), Frank (7), Ralph (3) and Robert (4).
By 1911 Maurice’s father had died and the family had moved to 68 Crossall St, Macclesfield, where his mother ran a grocery and provision business with her sister, Mary Jane Cooper.
Maurice’s mother later moved to 37 Beech Lane, Macclesfield.
Maurice was conscripted at Macclesfield on 1st February 1917, at the age of eighteen, joining ‘A’ Company of the 23rd Battalion (T.F.), Royal Welsh Fusiliers; at the time of conscription he was employed as a silk embroiderer. He was described in his army records as 5 feet 11 inches tall, weighing 115lbs with a chest measurement of 32 inches.
For his course of basic training Maurice was posted to Mundesley, Norfolk. On the 9th April 1917, just over two months after conscription, he was found in his billet in a pool of blood: he had cut his throat with a razor. His army record states “he committed suicide during a fit of temporary insanity”.
His mother received his ‘death plaque’ on 10th November 1920. Maurice was not awarded medals since he did not serve overseas.
Private Maurice Nesbitt is buried in the North-West corner of Mundesley (All Saints) Churchyard, Norfolk, England. His mother asked for a cross and the words NOW THE LABOURER’S TASK IS O’ER to be added to his headstone.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Private Maurice Nesbitt.
In Macclesfield, Private Maurice Nesbitt is commemorated on the Christ Church School war memorial.
Brother of Frank and Ralph Cooper Nesbitt, who both served with the Royal Navy and survived the war; Robert William Nesbitt, who served as Private 30992, 1/5 Lancashire Fusiliers and was killed in action in Belgium in September 1917; and John Moxon Nesbitt, who was a conscientious objector and undertook farm work during the war.