Albert Louis Butler
† Butler, Private Albert Louis no.4451.
4th Battalion 14th Reinforcements.
525 New Canterbury Road, Dulwich Hill. Carpenter.
Born in New Zealand, son of W. Fitzwalter and Julia Butler.
Came to Sydney at 14 years of age. Single.
Church of England.
Enlisted at Dulwich Hill 23/11/1915, age 28.
Casualty list DT 13/10/1916 Killed in action.
Killed in action 9/9/1916 at Ypres, aged 29.
Memorial: Menin Gate.
AWM File IDRL 428 Letters to Red Cross re Australian servicemen: Private John Norton no.3595 AIF, Kitchener’s Hospital, 3rd AGH, Brighton, 30/1/1917:
On September 9th 1916 at Ypres, Butler was with me in the trenches, holding a sap, a raiding party of Germans surprised him, and Butler was shot through the head and killed instantly. The body of Butler was buried the same night, on the other side of the parapet of the trench. His watch was taken by a friend to send home to his people.Description: Medium height, slight build, fair complexion, called “Butt”.
Corporal R. Douran no. 1926 4th AIF D Company, Fulham Military Hospital, Hammersmith, 20/3/1917: Butler belonged to a draft that joined us on 12th August 1916. He was in C Company and came from Sydney. He was acting as sentry on an advanced bombing post and was sniped by a German patrol. I was out with a party after the German patrol and heard the shot. I came over to enquire and his comrades told me that Butler was killed His comrades buried him in the parapet. This happened in the Ypres Salient. It was dark and I did not myself see the body. Description: very young. Was a bomber.
Private Charles Dowdeswell no.3032 4th AIF C Company, 3rd London General Hospital, Wandsworth SW, 26/3/1917: I was beside Albert Butler when he was killed at Ypres on September 9th when we were on outpost duty; he was buried the same night, near where he fell, by the pioneers. He was a mate of mine, we were bombers together. Description: 5 ’6", thin, dark, subject to asthma.
Private Peter John Ross no.4603 4th AIF D Company 13th Platoon, Tooting Military Hospital, 28/4/1917: I was in an advance post in a front trench at Ypres on 9th September 1916. The Germans could come in both ends of it and in the afternoon about 5 o’clock they came in and we got them but not before they had shot Butler, he lifted his head up and was shot through the head. We were all close together. I could not say what became of his body. I have written to his relations. He was a Battalion Bomber. Description: About 24 or 25, 5 ’6" or 7" nickname “But”. Lived at Dulwich Hill, Sydney.
Roll of Honour DT 14/10/1916:
Butler - Killed in action in France, Sept. 9th, 1916, Private Albert Louis Butler, third son of Mr and Mrs W. Fitzwalter Butler, 525 New Canterbury Road, Dulwich Hill. Clerk.
W.F. Butler, House and Land Agent, cnr Beamish and Lilian Street, Campsie. 1915: Oh, what a moral lesson our gallant hero taught! He knew the danger in his path, and still for honor fought; For honor he laid down his life - a noble thing to do; He died for King and country, a soldier brave and true.
Butler - Killed in action in France, Sept. 9th, 1916, Private Albert Louis Butler, dearly loved brother of Minnie, Lottie, Walter and Nellie, and uncle of little Dorothy; also beloved friend of Annie Train.
A hero laid beneath the sod, With honor has returned to God; Who has put aside his gun and sword And gone to claim his just reward.
DT 3/11/1916 Men who fell. Private Albert L. Butler, who was killed in action in France on September 9, is the third son of Mr W. Fitzwalter Butler, estate agent, of Dulwich Hill, and of Mrs Butler. He left Sydney on February 2,1916.
Tele/Mirror list 11/11/1993 Butler, Albert L. Dulwich Hill 9/9/1916 Anzac Memorial.
Australian War Memorial record available at: https://www.awm.gov.au/people/rolls/R2067587/ [accessed 19/08/2016].
The primary source of the information on this page is copied from the prize winning publication Canterbury's boys : World War I & Sydney's suburban fringe. This book is the culmination of 12 years (1988-2000) research by a team of volunteers from the Canterbury and District Historical Society led by Dr Lesley Muir. Without this team's effort and dedication and the Society's willingness and support, this information would not be available today.
An uneditable version of the book Canterbury's boys : World War I & Sydney's suburban fringe is in the eBook section of this wiki. In the main section, there is an alphabetical list of the 1,911 individuals recorded in the book - the list is titled Canterbury's Boys List. Each name in the list is linked to an editable biographical file created by copying the biography copied from the book. These editable biographies have been created to provide the space for descendants, historians, researchers, etc to add information, photographs, newspaper articles, memories, etc. they have discovered so it is available for this and future generations.
Canterbury's boys : World War I & Sydney's suburban fringe. Edited by Lesley Muir. Campsie, N.S.W. : Canterbury and District Historical Society, 2002