‚ÄčRoyton Roll of Honour

John Wilfrid Butterworth was born in the first quarter of 1892 in Royton. His parents were George and Elizabeth and John Wilfrid was the fifth of their six sons. The others were Harry,George,Frank,Harold and Edgar. Harry,Frank & Edgar also served during WW1. John Wilfrid was known by his middle name as this is what he's named as on the 1911 census & also how he is referred to in his family's death notices. Wilfrid is the correct spelling but Wilfred seems to have been just as acceptable.At some point after 1911 his parents moved to Blackpool but Wilfrid stayed in Royton, lodging with a Mrs Cooper at 80 Middleton Road and working as a packer at the nearby Vine Mill, he had a sweetheart by the time he joined up in 1916 called May.
Wilfrid went on active service in Spring 1917 and later had the misfortune to be at the front line at the time of the great German Spring Offensive of March 1918. His unit had been attacked on March 24th, first with a heavy artillery bombardment and then by a mass infantry assault. They were forced to retreat and their new positions continued to be shelled by the Germans causing heavy casualties.
Then at 06:00 March 28th, the Germans began to heavily bombard the forward line and brought trench mortars and machine guns into action. At noon reports came through that the enemy had broken through and captured villages to the left and right of the sector that the 18th King's were defending. The order came to withdraw and even though it was achieved in good order the men were under shell and machine gun fire the whole while. Wilfrid and 40 of his comrades were killed. The others being:

ASHCROFT WILLIAM Lance Corporal 37887 from Wigan                
BARRETT  GEORGE Private 57772 from Sunderland                    
BETHELL CHARLES  Private 22615 from Liverpool                    
BRETHERTON JOHN  Private 29558 from Liverpool                    
CALDWELL ALPHONAUS Private 22948 from Liverpool                    
CAMPION THOMAS Private 37054 from Liverpool                        
CHEETHAM JAMES 20 Private 64769 from Ormskirk                   
DAVENPORT HORACE Private 300539 born Shropshire,lived Radnor    
DIGBY JOHN Private 300244 from Birkenhead                        
DOHREN JOSEPH 27 Private 22981 from Liverpool                   
DOIG WILLIAM 21 Corporal 57527 from Dundee                      
ECCLESTON FREDERICK 30 Private 300540 born London.lived Widnes
ECKERSLEY JAMES Private 300247 from Ashton-in-Makerfield        
ENSOR THOMAS 19 Private 332470 from Liverpool                   
EVANS HARRY Private 300246 born Emden,Germany.Lived Birkenhead    
FAHEY PATRICK Corporal 305724 from Preston                      
FOY JOHN Private 35362 from Liverpool                            
GIBBONS  ALFRED Private 300259 from Liverpool                    
GULLAND WILLIAM 32 Private 17347 from Liverpool                 
HEWETT ERNEST 24 Second Lieutenant from Plaistow                
KAY JAMES 19 Private 406047 from Salford                        
KELLY JOHN Private 12446 born London,enlisted Manchester        
KEWLEY WILLIAM 27 Private 33134 from Isle of Man                
KIRKPATRICK ALEXANDER Private  12090 from Liverpool                
MILLAR BERTIE Lance Corporal 57558 from Dundee                    
MUIRHEAD JOHN  Private 31656 from Liverpool                        
OSTERFIELD HAROLD 23 Corporal 16473 from Eastham,Cheshire       
ROBERTS DAVID Private 300354 from Whiston                        
SALE GEORGE 25 Private 300372 from Liverpool                    
SMITH JOHN 24 Private 16484 from Liverpool                      
SMITH WILLIAM Private 50103 from Liverpool                      
STOTHART WALTER Private 42956 from Liverpool                    
TAYLOR ALEX 29 Private 57468 from Glasgow                      
THOMSON WILLIAM 26 Private 300558 from Birkenhead              
TREACY DONALD 20 Private 51747 from Widnes                     
TRUEMAN ALFRED Private 57964 from London                        
WATKINSON ANDREW Private 300406 from Prescot                   
WHITTAKER JOHN Private 50281 from Rawtenstall                   
WILLIAMS HUGH 25 Private 300031 from Kendal                     
YOUNG THOMAS Private 300520 from Wallasey                       

In March 1919 the following notices were posted in the Oldham Chronicle:

In loving memory of Private J.Wilfrid Butterworth,King's(Liverpool) Regiment,
Son of Mr & Mrs Geo.Butterworth,23 Alexandra Road,South Shore,Blackpool,
who fell in action in France March 28th 1918

In loving rememberance of Wilfred,my dear sweetheart,who was killed March 28 1918
Sweet memory keeps my loved one near me

In loving memory of our dear brother,Private J Wilfred Butterworth,18th King's
Liverpool Regiment,killed in action March 28th 1918
"Always in our thoughts"
Harry & Frank

His inscription on the Pozieres Memorial. Courtesy of Paul R

Service No:35988
Date of Death:28/03/1918
Regiment:The King's (Liverpool Regiment)
Unit:18th (Lancashire Hussars) Bn.
Pozieres Memorial
Panel Reference:Panel 21 to 23.