The son of the Reverend John William Nesbit and his wife Hannah, Cuthbert was born into a large family in October 1895. The 1901 census confirms at least 7 sisters and 1 brother living at the Rectory in Aldborough, Norfolk, and the 1911 census indicates a further brother, James Widdowson Nesbit who had been born around 1890. By 1911 both Cuthbert and his younger brother Charles were boarding in Louth, Lincolnshire, whilst attending the King Edward VI Grammar School there.
In 1915, he matriculated in Arts and Theology at Hatfield Hall, Durham where 35 years previously his father had been an Exhibitioner (B.A. , 1881; M.A., 1885). Hatfield registers confirm Nesbit’s good attendance in both the Michaelmas term of 1915 and the Epiphany term of 1916, reading Arts (in litteris antiquis), with Hebrew as an optional subject. He was a member of the Officers’ Training Corps.
In January 1916, Nesbit enlisted at Durham. In April of that year he joined the 11th Bn Lincolnshire Regiment and on 25 July he arrived in France; joined 2nd Bn. on 4 August. Here his military service seems to have been jinxed by regular periods of ill-health: suspected dysentery necessitated hospitalisation in November 1916 when he was repatriated aboard H.M. Hospital Ship Formosa to the University War Hospital in Southampton. This was followed by a short posting to 3rd Bn Lincolnshire Rifles at Grimsby, a training unit. In January 1917, he was transferred to the dysentery convalescent hospital at New Milton, Hampshire until in November, he was again posted to France, again with the 2nd Bn Lincolnshire Regiment. Again, his condition required numerous spells in hospital until 29 March 1918 when he joined the 8th Bn.
On 10 April 1918 he is reported “wounded in action” and was admitted to the 3rd Canadian Stationary Hospital in the Citadel at Doullens, one among 1238 admitted that day. Here he died of “multiple gunshot wounds” on the following day, 11 April 1918. Among his effects were two pieces of shrapnel, perhaps from an earlier close shave.
Cuthbert Nesbit is buried, and his service commemorated, at the Doullens Communal Cemetery, Extension No. 1, Somme, in France. He is also remembered on the war memorial of King Edward VI Grammar School, Louth; the Lincolnshire Regiment Roll of Honour in St George’s Chapel, Lincoln Cathedral; the memorial cross in St Mary’s churchyard, Ludborough, Lincolnshire; and on a plaque in Hatfield College’s chapel.