JAMES WILLIAM BUTTERWORTH
Date of Death:24/10/1918
Cemetery:Ovillers New Communal Cemetery
Grave Reference:A 4
James William Butterworth was born in Ogden on September 8th 1883. His parents were Robert,a farm labourer, and Elizabeth. The Butterworths were a large family with 12 children in all. His sibings were John, Abraham, Robert, Fred, Joe, Mary, Sarah, Martha, Emily, Ellen & Elizabeth. When James was still quite young the family moved up the road to Milnrow and he lived there until his marriage in 1911 to Kitty Walker, a Glaswegian who was working as a servant to a family on Rochdale Road,Royton. Their only child, Arnold, was born later that year. Together they lived on Radcliffe Street and James William found employment as a plate layer for the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway. Although living in Royton he continued his connection with the United Methodist Church in Milnrow.
James William joined the army in May 1917 after enlisting in Royton and was originally with the Lancashire Fusiliers. He was later transferred to the 6th Battalion Leicestershire Regiment
On October 23rd 1918 with less than 4 weeks remaining in the war, the 6th & 7th Leicestershires were involved in an attack near Amerval. The 6th attacked at 07:30 and gained their objectives which included Vendiges-Au-Bois and Dukes Wood.Further British units then continued the advance. 31 men of the 6th Battalion are listed as dying that day. James was wounded and died the following day.
A month after he died his widow Kitty put the following in the Oldham Chronicle:
In loving memory of my dear husband
Private J W Butterworth,killed in action
Oct 24th 1918
None but those who love can tell
How hard it is to say farewell
From his sorrowing Wife and child Arnold
On 25th October 1919, the following appeared in the Rochdale Observer:
"In loving memory of our dear son and brother Pte.J W Butterworth (of the Leicestershire Regt) who was killed in action in France on October 24th 1918 aged 35 years.
My boy, My Soldier boy. Could I have closed your eyes, just for a moment had your head upon my knee. It surely would have eased a little of my pain knowing I had parted on earth from thee. My heart is with the spirit, dear, where'r it be, goodbye, our dearest son and brother, good bye.
For King and Country you did not die in vain, for the women and children you'd fight it o'er again. 'Tis hard to say "Thy will be done" and bow my head; I'll struggle on - longing, hoping to clasp you in my arms again:My soldier son - your mother's pride. Good-bye my hero; good-bye"
Father, Mother, brothers and sisters. Dixon Green Farm, Milnrow
James' name appears on both the Royton and Milnrow memorials.
The men killed on the 23rd were:
THORPE ALBERT 35 Corporal 235450 from Nottingham
HARDING LIONEL 20 MC Second Lt.
BERRIDGE JOHN 20 Private 235457 from Nottingham
BOLAND JOSEPH 21 Private 39809 from Bradford
BOWATER A Lance Corp 42246
COULON MARTIAL Private 52121
DAFFON SYDNEY 18 Private 48371 from West Bromwich
DANIELS GEORGE Private 26367
DAY CHARLES 27 Private 238052 from Poplar
DAY HARRY 21 Private 49680 from Alfreton
DONOHUE P Private 42832
EDSFORTH J Private 47274
EPTON B 35 Private 42785 from Grimsby
FOSTER CLIFFORD 28 Private 52065 from Knottingley
HALL JAMES 31 MM Serjeant 202371 from Leicester
HEELEY T Lance Corp 42818
KENT HARRY 22 Private 52132 from Lincolnshire
LILLEY HAROLD 20 Private 42270 from Sheffield
MALLETT JOHN 19 Private 42273 from Sheffield
MYERS J A Private 5208 from Normanton
PECK W Private 41550
PERKINS W Private 58588
ROBINSON GWC 24 Private 52151 from Retford
ROSS JOHN 20 Private 47205 from Todmorden
STONE FREDERICK 23 MM Corporal 202919 from Leicester
SUNDERLAND E 19 Private 41382 from Bradford
SWIFT J 36 Private 52135
WILKINS REGINALD 19 Private 42975 from Blandford,Dorset
WOOD H Private 42209
YAPP C Private 42778