Captain Charles Kingstone Butler
2nd Battalion King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry
We did have no information about Captain Butler's life in Hungerford. However, Phil Wood (War Memorials of West Berkshire website), kindly contacted the Virtual Museum (July 2011) saying that "Regarding the Butler brothers (Charles Kingstone and Eric, WW1), you note that you are not aware of their links to Hungerford. The National Probate Calendars record the probate of both of their estates. In both cases their address is given as Standen Manor and their father (Charles William) is the executor. Eric and his father can be found at Standen House/Manor in the 1901 census, CK is (I think) at school in Eastbourne."
Phil Wood kindly added another snippet, found in the Newbury Weekly News, 13th July 1916:
"Captain Charles Kingstone Butler, King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, who was killed on July 1, was the eldest son of Mr & Mrs C W Butler, of Standen Manor, Hungerford, and was born in 1891.
He joined his regiment in October, 1910, and was appointed to the adjutancy of a battalion in September 1914. Captain Butler had been wounded in October, 1915.
At the Hungerford Tribunal, at which Mr C W Butler acts as military representative, and was in attendance on Friday, the chairman (Colonel Willes) said they had heard the sad news with the deepest regret, and sympathised sincerely with Mr and Mrs Butler in their great loss. They were much impressed with the fact that a strong sense of duty impelled his presence there that morning. The members of the Tribunal and officials showed respect by standing during the chairman's speech."
Phil added: "In case you are not aware the Tribunal referred to is the body that heard appeals against conscription. Reading a few reports of the Newbury Tribunal I was intrigued by the sort of the decisions they came to - often deferring the chap's call up for no more than a month or two."
Andrew Radgick kindly added by email in October 2011: "Just to add that Charles Kingstone Butler attended Wellington College, Crowthorne, Berkshire and is listed on their Roll of Honour and in their Book of Remembrance. There is also a plaque to him in All Saints Church, Eastbourne which seems to support his being in that town in the 1901 Census."
- King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry Cap Badge
- Captain Butler's name on the Thiepval memorial to the missing
On joining the Army he was sent to the 10th Battalion King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry but was later posted to the 2nd Battalion, a regular unit. He was promoted to the rank of Captain on the 24th April 1915. He was killed in action on Saturday the 1st July 1916 (The first day of the Somme Battles). On this day he was the battalion's adjutant. Captain Butler has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval memorial to the missing. He is also commemorated in All Souls Church, Eastbourne, Sussex.
The Battalion war diary reads....
Battalion in billets, Aveluy – Captain C.K. Butler - Mentioned in Dispatches.
Battalion moved into trenches Athuille Wood [This was preparation for the forthcoming attack that took place on the 1st July 1916]
Battalion moved from Crucifix Corner to take over trenches from skinner St to Mersey St.
Battalion relieved from front line to its battle position in Kintyre and Caithness Trench.
1.7.1916 (The 1st Day of the Battle of the Somme)
Battalion in support, in trenches 300 yards east of Authuille Village, some 400 yards in rear of the leading lines.
(From right to Left) 2 platoons of 'C' Company, 2 Platoons of 'D' Company, 'A' Company, 'B' Company, 2 platoons 'C' Company (Captain C K Butler commanding 'A' Company). 'A' and 'B' Companies were ordered to follow close behind the centre of the attack and when the 3rd objective was reached to go through the attacking battalions to take the 4th objective.
At 7.30 am the battalion left Kintyre and Caithness trenches and advanced at a steady pace. On reaching the ridge, and behind our own front line, the left of the attack i.e. 'B' Company and 2 platoons of 'C' and 'D' companies came under very heavy machine gun fire from the direction of Thiepval.
Meanwhile the right of our attack, A' Company and two platoons of 'C' and 'D' companies had been able to advance with less difficulty and following close on the heels of the 17th Highland Light Infantry captured the German front line in the Leipzig Salient, and passing over it established themselves near the Quarry in the German support line opposite Fort Hindenberg. Captain C K Butler commanding 'A' Company gallantly lead a bombing party on to communication Trench leading from the hostile support trench to the reserve trench. Here he was killed by a bullet wound through the head.
Casualties Officers killed 5, wounded 7 Other Ranks Killed 42, Wounded 242, missing 46, shell shock 7.