Book: Ivor Cutler
Chapter: Early Life
This chapter looks at Ivor’s childhood and adolescence, up to the beginning of World War II. Ivor Cutler was born in the Govan area of Glasgow in 1923 into a Jewish family, originally called Kushner, that came to Scotland as refugees from Russia a generation earlier. He spent most of the first two decades of his life in Glasgow and this chapter explores the period from the Kushner family’s arrival in the country to the outbreak of World War II. Young Ivor’s early years were not happy: according to his own account, he experienced anti-Semitism and bullying at Shawlands Academy and received corporal punishment 200 times. He also told of tensions within his family and claimed that, aged three, he attempted to murder his younger brother: the attempt failed only because of the timely arrival of his Aunt Eva. “I was held of little account at home or at school, nor was I popular” he wrote.