Private Lewis Butterfield

Stanbury Men


Private Lewis Butterfield, 88th Company, Machine Gun Corps (Infantry). Service number 86105.

Private Lewis Butterfield of StanburyLewis was born in Stanbury in 1884, registered in Keighley in the third quarter of the year. Parents John William and Isabella Butterfield. In 1891 he was six years old and living at 91, Stanbury, with his parents, three sisters and one brother. His father John was a master tailor.

In 1901 Lewis was sixteen and living at 63, Stanbury with his widowed father, two sisters and two brothers. John was still a master tailor and Lewis was a quarryman of building stone. Lewis married Sarah Davies on June 6, 1908, registered at Keighley in the second quarter of the year.

In 1911 they were living at 65, Stanbury with two more children, Margaret Mary Davies aged 4 and Cecil Butterfield aged 1. Lewis was working as a quarryman delver.

War service:
Lewis enlisted at Keighley with no. 87 Training Reserve, on December 15, 1916, he was 32 years and 11 months old and working as an engine driver [this may have been a crane engine at the quarry]. By this time they had two more children, Isabella, born in 1912 and Hilda, born in 1915. He was transferred to the Machine Gun Corps later. Lewis was killed in action on May 29, 1917 whilst
serving with the 88th Company of Machine Gun Corps. He was buried at the time but the location was lost and he has no known final resting place. He is remembered on the Arras Memorial at Fauborg D'Amiens in France.

Keighley News June 9, 1917 page 9:
STANBURY. A MACHINE GUNNER'S DEATH.
Gunner Lewis Butterfield, who was killed in action on May 29, was 33 years of age, and leaves a widow and four children. He joined up shortly befoe Christmas and was first in training with the Durham Light Infantry at Pocklington, and was afterwards transferred to the Machine Gun Corps, in which he was serving at the time of his death. In a sympathetic letter to Mrs Butterfield, Sergeant G. Wright says: "You husband was detailed off to do some work up the firing line, and on the way up a fragment of a shell which burst a few yards from him, penetrated his back. We had him removed at once to the dressing station, where a doctor was in attendance and did what he could for him, but it was of no avail. He died a few minutes afterwards, and will be buried in a cemetery not far from where he fell. There a cross is being erected for him. We feel his death keenly in this company as he was a model soldier, and set such a good example to the other chaps who came out with him, doing his alloted share of the work with a good heart and never grumbling.
Writing on June 6, Lieutenant and Adjutant C. H. Jelf-Reveney said: "By this time you will have heard of the sad death of your husband. Please accept my deep sympathy with you in your loss. He was only with this company a short time, but even in that brief period I realised what a splendid man he was. Always a willing worker, he met his death like a true soldier. He was buried in a cemetery
close to the trenches, which it will be possible to locate after the war."

Ater the war:
Lewis was posthumously awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal for his war service.

He is named on Stanbury War Memorial and the Haworth Oddfellows roll of honour, in the care of Wyedean Weaving at Haworth.
According to documents in Lewis' Army records, his wife Sarah was living at 39, Ivy Terrace at Low Moor in Bradford in 1917, and in 1921, she was living at 14, Lumb Foot, Stanbury.
As the sole legatee in his will, she would have received his remaining back pay and war gratuity. She would also have received his medals plus a Great War memorial plaque and scroll.
On 17th December 1917 Sarah started receiving a war widows pension of 28 shillings and nine pence per week, for herself and their children.

Source information:
England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915
1891 England Census
1901 England Census
England & Wales, Civil Registration Marriage Index, 1837-1915
West Yorkshire, England, Tax Valuation, 1910
1911 England Census
British Army World War I Service Records, 1914-1920
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919
Keighley News archives in Keighley Library
Army Registers of Soldiers' Effects, 1901-1929
British Army WWI Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920
WWI Service Medal and Award Rolls, 1914-1920
World War I Pension Ledgers and Index Cards, 1914-1923

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