No.G/28069, Private, James BUTCHER
Aged 24

1st/10th (Service)) Battalion (The Stockbrokers), Royal Fusiliers
Died of his Wounds on Saturday, 21st April 1917

James Butcher was born in 1892 (Mildenhall Q4-1892 4A:710), son of James and Maria Shingles BUTCHER (née WEBB).

1901 census...Aged 8, he was at Beck Row Street,Mildenhall with is father James BUTCHER [48] horsekeeper; his mother Maria [44]; brothers Henry [13] and Bertie [4];sister Florie [11]. All were born in Mildenhall. There were elder siblings, Ethel (Nellie) [1877], Rosetta (Rosa) [1879], Elizabeth [1882] and Annie [1884]

1911 census...Aged 19 a farm labourer, he was at Beck Row with his parents and brothers Henry and Bertie, both farm labourers. All of Maria's 8 children survived

Brother Bertie enlisted in February 1916, also in the Royal Fusiliers (address for family given as c/o Pratt's Farm, Beck Row. Bertie was wounded in the right thigh (after only 23 days in France) and medically discharged in November 1917.

James enlisted in Newmarket. He arrived in France on 15th July 1916.
His Army records have not been found and dying of his wounds at a general hospital in Rouen there was no way of saying exactly where or when he was wounded, then we found the report in the Bury Free Press of 12th May 1917. Wounded on Easter Monday leads to the war diary which was as follows:-

9th April - Left bivouacs at 4:30 am,. marched via St Catherines at Arras, at the latter place our first casualties occurred, owing to enemy shelling neat RAILWAY BRIDGE at G.28.b.9.6. Moved forward to British original front line, south of RAILWAY, in G.24.C. Ho tea was served to the Battn. the cookers having moved forward to G.29.a.6.8. At 12 noon the RAILWAY BRIDGE G.28.b.9.6. was blown up by an explosion of one of our ammunition dumps, caused by enemy shell falling on it. About 1pm moved forward tot he BROWN LINE, no hostile shelling or opposition till this point was reached when heavy machine gun fire prevented further progress.During the day the weather was fine and sunny but snow fell at night.
The tea break and railway bridge mentioned above

Another Beck Row lad has fallen, and it is with deep regret that we have to record the death of Prvt James Butcher, 10th Royal Fusiliers, who was wounded in the left thigh by gun shot on Easter Monday {April 9th},and was admitted to the base hospital, France. He was the second son of Mr.James Butcher, of the Sycamore Farm,Beck Row. No intimation of the occurrence was received by the parents until April 21st, when a telegram was sent, stating that their son was wounded and also dangerously ill. On Monday April 23rd a letter was received from the deceased in his own handwriting, stating that he was wounded but getting on well, and hoped soon to be in England. On Thursday, April 26th, an official letter was received stating their son had died on 21st April ,the same day the telegram was sent. This was a great shock to the parents,and the sympathy of the whole village goes out to the bereaved in their great loss.
Deceased, who joined the Army about 12 months ago had been in France all through the winter. He was a bright and cheerful young man, and was highly respected. He was 24 years of age. A younger brother has also been severely wounded, and has been in hospital many week, and has not yet thoroughly recovered.

Also, in the Bury Free Press of 9th June 1917:-

Mrs.James Butcher has received the following letter respecting the death of her son, Private Butcher, which reads as follows:-
"No.3 Stationary Hospital, France. Dear Mrs Butcher, - Martin has asked me to answer your letter, as I nursed your boy with his wounds. He was admitted to us on the 12th April with a rather severe gunshot wound in the left thigh. We were very hopeful of his recovery, but gas gangrene set in, and the wound being so high up his leg, it was impossible to save him. Please rest assured that everything possible was done for him. He was a splendid boy; always so bright and cheerful. He never complained, and I am glad to to able to tell you that he suffered very little.........(Sister) A.E.Burton

photo: Commonwealth War Graves Commission

James Butcher is buried in St. Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen grave O:9:G:2
and commemorated on the Beck Row war memorial

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details