Francis BUTLER

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BUTLER, Francis

Service Number: 20
Enlisted: 4 February 1915, Keswick, South Australia
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 27th Infantry Battalion
Born: Diamond Creek, Victoria, 3 May 1887
Home Town: Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Labourer
Died: Died of Wounds, Belgium, 20 September 1917, aged 30 years
Cemetery: Menin Road South Military Cemetery
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Australian War Memorial, Roll of Honour
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World War 1 Service

4 Feb 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 20, Keswick, South Australia
31 May 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 20, 27th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Geelong, Adelaide
31 May 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 20, 27th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
20 Sep 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 20, 27th Infantry Battalion, Menin Road

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Biography contributed by Alyssa Nguyen

Francis Butler was born on the 3rd of May 1887 in Diamond Creek, Victoria. However, he moved to South Australia and grew up in Adelaide, South Australia. Butler was born into a Roman Catholic family and community. Information relating to Francis’ schooling has not been recovered and is still unknown.

Upon enlistment, Butler, who was unmarried, listed his mother Mrs. Ellen Butler as his next of kin. Butler also had a younger brother by the name of Driver Butler who was also in the Australian military. Driver Butler returned to Australia on the 3rd of April 1919. His service number is known to be 20 and he was in the 27th Battalion. Prior to enlisting into the Australian Military, he was employed as a labourer.

On the 4th of February, in Keswick, South Australia, Francis Butler enlisted to the Australian Military. When he had joined the military, he was enlisted as a private and he was accepted into the 27th Battalion, A Company. However, before this, he also enlisted for the AIF but was unfortunately rejected for the enlistment on the grounds of being medically unfit.

On the 14th of March 1916, Butler embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force. He disembarked at Marseilles, France on the 19th of March 1916. Unfortunately, during the war, Butler was often sent to the Hospital. On the 10th of November 1916, he was admitted to 7th Field Ambulance as he had edema of his foot. Francis Butler was also admitted to the 18th Casualty Clearing Station on the 11th of November, Stationary Hospital on the 12th if November 1916 and 3rd Auxilary Hospital in Dartford on the 29th of November 1916. The details of why he was admitted to these facilities was Trench Foot. On the 15th of June 1917, Butler proceeded overseas to France.

During the war, Butler experienced times when he was caught being guilty of things he should not have done. Butler was guilty on the 22nd of August as he was caught being drunk and failed to obey an order that he was absent from his billet.  Francis Butler was also found guilty on the 15th of January as he was caught of being absent without leave from 3.30pm, 12th of January, to 9.30pm, 14th of January 1917. On the 20th of September 1917, Butler was unfortunately wounded in action and admitted to 3rd Australian Field Ambulance. Later that day, it was officially announced that Butler had passed away of wounds on the 20th of September 1917.

Francis Butler’s place of burial is on Menin Road, South Military Cemetery ( Plot ||, Row A1, Grave No 22, Belgium). There are multiple of memorials to commemorate Butler such as Adelaide National War Memorial (WW1), Australian War Memorial and the Roll of Honour. Butler was able to earn three medals. The three medals are the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

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