‚ÄčRoyton Roll of Honour

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TOM BUTTERWORTH
Age:26
Rank:Private
Service No:32271
Date of Death:19/10/1918
Regiment:South Staffordshire Regiment
Unit:1st/6th Bn.
Cemetery:
Vadencourt British Cemetery
Grave Reference:II. C. 13.


Tom Butterworth was born in Royton in 1892, his parents being Lord & Leititia. The Butterworth's had 12 children in total, 8 of whom lived until adulthood. Very little is known about Tom at this point so if you have further information please share it.
He enlisted in Royton and was originally a member of the Manchester Regiment. At some point he was transferred to the South Staffordshires and while at or near to the front he was struck down with influenza during the great epidemic. He died in a casualty clearing station on October 19th,1918.
Tom was by no means alone in his cause of death. The official medical history of the war mentions that in 1918:
"...there was little or no infectious disease until influenza broke out with startling suddenness, first in June and July and again in October, in a world-wide epidemic which no medical service could control, and which laid low both friend and foe alike. The complete figures for the year are not available, but from 18th May to 10th August there were 226,615 admissions, including pyrexia of unknown origin, and from 5th October to 28th December there were 87,323 admissions, including 6,627 cases of broncho-pneumonia, with 5,377 deaths. These totals alone over a period of 24 weeks show a ratio of 157.81 per 1,000 of ration strength, and give some idea of the extent of the epidemic."