Not a popular commander of the 63rd Naval Division. He did not like the Naval tradition that they had, and was described as "talkative, and rather a gasbag"
Just prior to the fighting on the Ancre, the division received a new commanding officer after Major General Archibald Paris was wounded, Major General Shute, appointed on 17 October 1916. General Shute had an intense dislike for the unconventional "nautical" traditions of the division and made numerous unpopular attempts to stamp them out. Following a particularly critical inspection of the trenches by General Shute, one officer of the division, A P Herbert, penned a popular poem that summed up the feelings of the men of the RND:
The General inspecting the trenches
Exclaimed with a horrified shout
'I refuse to command a division
Which leaves its excreta about.'
But nobody took any notice
No one was prepared to refute,
That the presence of shit was congenial
Compared to the presence of Shute.
And certain responsible critics
Made haste to reply to his words
Observing that his staff advisors
Consisted entirely of turds.
For shit may be shot at odd corners
And paper supplied there to suit,
But a shit would be shot without mourners
If someone shot that shit Shute.