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Butcher1William Butcher was born in Marton Moss near Blackpool on the 19 May, 1894. His parents, James and Agnes Butcher (nee Bickerstaffe) were from the same area and were married in St. Paul`s Church in Marton on 14 March, 1891.

William was the middle child of three, his older brother Thomas was born in 1892 and his younger sister Ellen was born in 1897.

In 1901 the family were living at 126 Preston Road, Marton where James Butcher was employed as a labourer in a brickyard. William`s 60 year old Grandfather Lawrence Butcher was lodging with the family and he was a farm worker.

Between 1901 and 1911 the family moved away from Marton and went to Kirkham to run a lodging house at number 25 Marsden Street. The lodging house had 22 rooms and housed a variety of people from married couples to single people all doing very different jobs including hawkers, road workers, charwomen and even a musician.

Unfortunately William`s service papers have not survived but it seems he enlisted into the Army in May 1915. He joined the 3/4th Battalion of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment and was allocated the service number 3953. After training for approximately five months William was sent to France in October 1915 probably with a batch of reinforcements and on arrival he was posted to the 1/4th Battalion.

Towards the end of 1915 the Battalion were occupying trenches around Authuille on the Somme and it was here on the 25th November 1915 that William met his death. He had only been with the Battalion for a short time and had just gone on sentry duty when he was shot by a sniper.

The Preston Guardian later reported his death.


William`s family would later receive the British War and Victory Medals that their son was entitled to. He was buried with honour in Authuille Military Cemetery on the Somme.

His name is also remembered on the War Memorial Plaque inside St. Michael`s Church in Kirkham (pictured below) and he is also named on the Kirkham War Memorial.


His name also appears on the family gravestone in St. Michael`s Churchyard.

butcher3 butcher5

Rank: Private
Service No: 3953
Date of Death: 25/11/1915
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 1st/4th Bn.

Janet Davis
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One Response to 3953 PTE. W. BUTCHER. L.N.LAN.R

  1. Charles Bloomfield says:

    Many thanks for your kind research Janet.
    I am descended from William’s maternal uncle (William Bickerstaff).
    To see the Preston Guardian obituary & his photograph is a bitter-sweet experience.
    However, as many of my grandmother’s family photographs were destroyed about 25 years ago, I am grateful to see his face at last & not just remember a name carved in stone.
    RIP William

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