Harry Douglas Butcher

From Our Contribution

Harry Douglas Butcher
Butcher Harry.jpg
courtesy Neville Browning
Personal Information
Date of Birth c1899
Place of Birth Mardella, Western Australia
Death 16 Jan 1982
Place of Death Safety Bay, Western Australia
Age at Enlistment 18 years old
Description 5' 8" (1.72m) tall ; 144 lbs
65.317 kg
; fresh complexion ; blue eyes ; brown hair
Occupation Farm hand
Religion Church of England
Address Armadale, Western Australia
Next of Kin Father , Mr Hugh John Butcher
Military Information
Reg Number 3615
Date of Enlistment 8 Feb 1917
Rank Private
Unit/Formation 57th Battalion, 10th reinforcements / 15th brigade, 5th Division
Date of Embarkation 28 Feb 1918 ‒ 20 Apr 1918
Ship Embarked On HMAT A71 Nestor Melbourne to Liverpool
Date of Return 12 Jul 1919 ‒ 16 Aug 1919
Ship Returned On SS City of Exeter
Fate Returned to Australia
Monument Armadale War Memorial (Armadale panel)
Armadale and Districts Roll of Honour
Medals British War Medal
Victory Medal

Pre War

War Service

Although his enlistment is shown as 8 Feb 1917, his parents did not give permission for him to enlist until 1 month later.

Soon after commencing training (14 Jun 1916) he was admitted to the West Subiaco Hospital, before being transferred to the 8th Australian General Hospital in Fremantle on 3 Aug 1917. He remained in their care until 12 Sep 1917, after which he returned to Blackboy Hill camp where he was allocated to the 27th reinforcement draft for the 11th Battalion.

Before embarking he was identified as a potential officer, and he received training at Portsea and Broadmeadows camp in Victoria between 14 Jan and 28 Feb 1918, before returning to enlisted ranks training.

He finally embarked for overseas service from Melbourne on 28 Feb 1918. At some point he transferred to the 10th reinforcement draft for the 57th Battalion.

On arriving in England he was sent to the 14th Training Battalion at Fovant to prepare for service on the Western Front. Training completed, Harry proceeded to France through Folkestone on 10 Jul 1918 and after a fortnight with the Australian Infantry Base Depot, he joined the 57th Battalion on a fine warm day - 24 Jul 1918, just in time for the 3rd Battle of the Somme.

The 57th Battalion was active east of Villers-Bretonneux; in the front line near Proyart; at Brie; and along the Somme River, as the Australian units worked towards Péronne and then beyond to the Beaurevoir Line. The battalion was withdrawn for a last time from the front lines in the evening of 1 Oct 1918. From 17 Feb to 3 Mar 1919 Harry was on leave in England, and on 30 May 1919 he left France for the last time, returning to Australia via Sutton Veny in England.

Discharged by the 5 Military District on 9 Sep 1919.

ANSWERED THE CALL Feb 5th - Fit H.D. Butcher (Armadale)[1]

COMING HOME - OUR RETURNING HEROES - City of Exeter List...3615 Pte Butcher, H. D., 57th Battalion.[2]

Post War

On 19 Apr 1927 Harry married Emily Jane Batt. Sadly Emily died in 1929 and Harry doesn't appear to remarry.

In the 1925 and 1931 electoral rolls Harry is farming at Marradong south of Boddington. In 1936 and 1937 he was a timberman at 'Riverina' near Menzies with Noel Albert who was a miner and his wife Alice. In the 1954 to 1972 electoral records he is listed as a timber worker, living in Claremont and in 1977 at Safety Bay where he died.


  1. "ANSWERED THE CALL.". The Daily News. XXXVI, (13,106). Western Australia. 13 February 1917. p. 5 (THIRD EDITION). Retrieved 30 May 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 
  2. "CITY OF EXETER LIST.". The Daily News. XXXVIII, (13,866). Western Australia. 12 August 1919. p. 5 (THIRD EDITION). Retrieved 30 May 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 

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