The information displayed here is at the time of death.
Henry Butcher was born 5 July 1890 at Twickenham, Middlesex, the second of three sons of William, architect and surveyor, and Alice Butcher. He was educated at St Dunstan's College, Catford, and then worked as a clerk first in the audit department of the South Eastern and Chatham Railway, and subsequently in the London City and Westminster Bank Ltd. He continued his education at St Augustine’s College in Canterbury from 1911 which mainly trained missionaries, and where Henry also served as a linesman and scorer for the College’s Football and Cricket teams, respectively. He became an Unattached (non-resident) member of Durham University in Easter term 1914 in order to gain a university qualification whilst still attending St Augustine’s College. He passed his first year exams in Theology that term, and would have been intending to go on to gain a Licence in Theology. Sometime after the outbreak of war he enlisted in the 36th Field Ambulance, Royal Army Medical Corps. This became the Field Ambulance in 36th Brigade, 12th (Eastern) Division. This unit was formed in August 1914 as one of the first six Kitchener divisions known as K1 Army Group. The RAMC and Engineers trained initially at Hounslow. The 12th Division went overseas between 29 May and 1 June 1915. Harry Butcher arrived in France on 30 May, presumably with the rest of his unit. The division initially went into the line in the Ploegsteert area in Flanders but was relieved on 26 September and went into the line near Hulluch on the Loos battlefield on the evening of 30 September/1 October. The operation was carried out under heavy artillery fire and 36th Field Ambulance’s Dressing Station or Field Hospital was heavily damaged by shellfire on 1 October killing him, another RAMC soldier, and two ambulance drivers. A friend from St Augustine’s College, Bruce Beale, wrote at the time, "... life is counted of small value the poor fellows fall by hundreds daily ...". Butcher’s home address was then 44 Tweedy Road, Bromley, Kent. He is buried in Vermelles British cemetery in France. A Dressing Station was located at the Château de Vermelles at this time, and it is likely that he was buried near where he fell.
Place of Birth: Twickenham, Kent
Family Residence: 44 Tweedy Road, Bromley, Kent
School: St. Dunstan's College, Catford
Vermelles British Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France
Durham University Roll of Service
Tim Brown; Joyce Malcolm
Copyright 2018 Newcastle University Library. Designed and developed by Digital Library Services.