Cpl. Tom Ernest Butler MM

Corporal Tom Ernest Butler MM
York and Lancaster Regiment (No. 10957)

Tom (born 1892 in Sheffield to John Butler and Rebecca nee Nicholson) was one of 3 brothers from the Butler family who all fought and died in WW1. The family lived in Queen Street, Thorne and they had 12 children including 5 sons. Their father John was a rope maker. Tom had left home before the war started and was working as a colliery rope man at Glass Houghton Colliery having served an apprenticeship of three and a half years at Richard Dunston’s shipyard in Thorne. He enlisted in the York and Lancaster Regiment within days of the outbreak of war in August 1914.

Tom was posted to the Mediterranean in July 1915 and from there was sent to France in June 1916. After a short spell back in England late in 1916 he was back in France by January 1917 and was awarded a Military Medal in February 1917 for gallant deeds performed at the front. In December 1917 he was sent home to hospital as he was suffering from blindness in one eye. He was discharged from the army in March 1918 as no longer being fit for active service resulting in blindness in one eye aggravated by active service. He returned to Glass Houghton where he died on 22 June, 1918. The main cause of death on the death certificate was “gas on active service”.

CWGC did not as first accept that he should have a CWGC headstone as he was not a serving soldier when he died but following a submission by Anthony Brookes in 2011 a headstone was provided erected in October 2015 at St. Nicholas Church, Thorne and dedicated with members of his family in November 2015.

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