Butler, Joseph William

Name of Researcher / Enw’r ymchwylydd: Geoffrey Alexander Mitchell.

Name of Memorial / Enw’r gofeb: Greenfield War Memorial.

Name / Enw: Butler, Joseph William

Regiment/Catrawd: ‘B’ Company, 5th Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers.

Service Rank and Number / Rheng gwasanaeth a rhif: Private 240802

Military Cemetery/Memorial / Fynwent milwrol: Jerusalem Memorial

Ref No Grave or Memorial / Rhif cyfeirnod bedd: Panels 20 to 22

Country of Cemetery or Memorial / Gwlad y fynwent neu gofeb: Israel

Medals Awarded / Medalau a ddyfarnwyd: 1915 Star, Victory Medal, British War Medal

Date of Death: 26th March 1917

Date and Circumstances of Death / Dyddiad ac amgylchiadau marwolaeth:

Joseph arrived in the Balkans Theatre of War with the Battalion on Sunday 8 August 1915 and was Killed in Action on the first day of the Battle of Gaza Monday 26 March 1917, aged 24 years. (Royal Welsh Fusiliers War Diaries)

Joseph William Butler was born in Holywell, Flintshire, during 1892.

The 1911 census states that the family resided at 4 Mount Pleasant, Greenfield, Flintshire.   The head of the family was William Thomas Butler aged 48,  who was emplyed as a Clerk in a Building Society.    His wife Mary Jane Butler a 44 year old House Worker and their 4 (four) children – Joseph William Butler aged 17, a General Labourer.  Margaret Jane Butler aged 11 years, Samuel Butler aged 5 and Herbert Butler aged 3 years.

On 14 July 1915 Joseph along with many other Flintshire Soldiers embarked HM Transport Ship ‘Caledonia’ at Devonport bound for Gallipoli, arriving in that Theatre of War on 8 August 1915.


S.S. Caledonia

The 9,223 ton S.S. Caledonia was a British passenger ship built for the Anchor Line by David and William Henderson & Company at Glasgow, Scotland. The ship was launched on 22 October 1904 and plied a tourist route between Glasgow and New York.   When World War 1 commenced in August 1914, the British government requisitioned Caledonia and converted this once elegant liner into a troop ship.  Post conversion, Caledonia could carry 3,074 troops and 212 horses.


Jerusalem War Cemetery and Memorial.

County Herald – Friday 9 August 1918. Killed at the Front.   The sad news has been received by Mr & Mrs William Thomas Butler, 6 Mount Pleasant, Greenfield, of the death of their son, Private Joseph William Butler, who had been reported missing.  According to the information received he was killed on March 26th, 1917.  Much sympathy is felt with the bereaved parents.  Private J W Butler was in his 25th year.  In his possession was a small pocket Testament, in which was written in his own handwriting the following verse of a Welsh hymn:  Dyro ini wel’d o’r newydd,  Mae ty’r Arglwydd yw ein rhan,  Aed dy bresennoldeb hyfryd,  Gyda’th weision ymhob man.  Goleu cryoddi fry,  Chwalo bob rhyw gwmwl du.

On 7 November 1918 a payment of £6.6s.8d was made by the War Office to Mary Jane Butler, this being monies owed to her son Joseph.  On 12 January 1920, a further payment which is recorded as a War Gratuity of £10.10s.0d was also made to her.

Joseph William Butler is also remembered on the North Wales Heroes Memorial Arch, Deiniol Road, Bangor, Gwynedd, North Wales.

There is no Flintshire Roll of Honour card for him at the County Archives Office, Hawarden.   Details of his medals were obtained from www.forces-war-records.co.uk