No.19768, Private, Harry Butcher
Aged 26

2nd Battalion, Essex Regiment
Died of his Wounds on Monday, 30th July 1917

Harry Butcher was born in Ridgewell (Halstead Q3-1888 4A:548), son of Alfred and Mary Ann BUTCHER (née DAINES).

1891 census...Aged 2, he was at Mill Lane, Ridgewell with his father Alfred BUTCHER [26] farm labourer born Tilbury Juxta Clare and his mother Mary Ann [25] born Ridgewell.

1901 census...Aged 12, he was at Hall Lane, Ridgewell with his grandparents Charles DAINES [62] and Lydia [58] and his uncle Oliver DAINES [26] all born in Ridgewell. His parents were at Drury Lane, Ridgewell with his brothers James [9] and Charles [6] and sister Ivy [2], all born in Ridgewell.

1911 census...Aged 22, a farm labourer, he was still at Hall Lane, Ridgewell with his widowed grandmother Lydia DAINES. His parents were at Green View, Ridgewell with his brothers James and Charles (both farm labourer) and George [3]; sisters Ivy and Florence [9]. The new siblings born in Ridgewell. All six of Mary's children survive.

His brother James served in the Essex Regiment, Labour Corps and Northamptonshire Regiment, from his disciplinary records a far from ideal soldier, but he survived the war.

Harry enlisted in Edmonton.

The Army seem to have lost Harry since the War Diary for 30th simply says:-
July 30th, In huts, training is being carried out. Casualties 1 OR to FA

As CWGC have only Harry dying of the 2nd battalion that day, he must have either been wounded earlier, or, if the man sent to a Field Ambulance on 30th, to have incurred an injury and after death his grave being lost. Unfortunately no other military records have been found. His Soldiers Effects entry says killed in action which does not match the report above. The only action for the Essex regiment that day was the 13th Battalion, which was in France, not Belgium.

photo:Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Harry Butcher is commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres, panel 39

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

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