Gunner John O'Connor Butler

Date of Birth 6 July 1877
Age at Death 39
Date of Death 4 December 1916
Service Number 23071
Military Service Royal Garrison Artillery, 72nd Heavy Battery
Merton Address Berkside, Finborough Road, Mitcham
Local Memorial Mitcham War Memorial

Additional Information

John O’Connor Butler was born in Lambeth on 6 July 1877. His father John Senior was a Stationer with his own business and the 1881 Census records that John and his wife Sarah were living at 76 Rye Lane, Peckham. The couple had five children - George aged 6, Walter 2, Charles 1, Bartholomew aged 4 months, and John who was aged 4. The family were prosperous enough to employ two servants.

John was admitted to Haseltine Road School, Lewisham in September 1884 aged seven. In 1891 the family were still living in the Peckham area and the a few more children joined the family – Raphael 9, Marie 5, Arthur 3, Gertrude 2 and Eileen aged 1 week. The family were still able to employ the services of a servant.

By 1901, the family had moved to 167 Trevelyan Road, Tooting. John’s father, no longer had his own business, and was now employed as a Stationer’s Assistant. Another sister, Ethel had joined the family. John Junior does not appear on the 1901 Census with his family, as it seems that in 1894, aged 18, John enlisted with the Royal Artillery with the regimental no.1793. (This information is provided by the UK, Royal Hospital Chelsea Pensioner Soldier Service Records).

It is not known how long he served with that regiment, but in 1911 he was back living at home with the family, at Berkside, Finborough Road, Mitcham. John was now working on his own account as a Travelling Salesmen, dealing in Hardware. His father John had retired, and only Raphael, Marie, Arthur, Eileen and Ethel are living at home. The Census reveals that the couple had fifteen children in total, but sadly six of the children had died.

During WW1 John enlisted at Woolwich as a Gunner with the Royal Garrison. He was assigned to the 72nd Heavy Battery, which was stationed at Kirkee in India. There is no record of his service in India, but he died on 4 December 1916. He is buried in the Jubbulpore Cantonment Cemetery in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, India, and appears on the Kirkee 1914-18 Memorial.

John is also commemorated on the Mitcham War Memorial. After his death, his father received his last pay of £11.3.5.


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