Leonard Butcher

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Leonard Butcher
Butcher Leonard 1.jpg
photo courtesy Cheryl Mellor
Personal Information
Date of Birth c1898
Place of Birth Serpentine, Western Australia
Death 3 May 1917
Place of Death Bullecourt, France
Age at Enlistment 22 years, 3 months
Description 5'9¾" (1.77m) tall ; 146 lbs
66.224 kg
; sallow complexion ; grey eyes ; dark brown hair
Occupation Labourer
Religion Methodist
Address NOK Pinjarra, Western Australia
Next of Kin Father , Mr Walter Butcher
Military Information
Reg Number 3056
Date of Enlistment 1 Sep 1915
Rank Private
Unit/Formation 28th Battalion, 7th Reinforcements
Date of Embarkation 18 Jan 1916 ‒ 16 Feb 1916
Ship Embarked On HMAT A7 Medic Fremantle to Alexandria
Fate Killed in Action, 3 May 1917 2nd Bullecourt
Monument Serpentine
Kelmscott Congregational Church Honour Board
Villers-Bretonneux Memorial
Australian War Memorial
Medals British War Medal
Victory Medal

Pre War

A student at the Serpentine Primary School during 30 Jun - 14 Dec 1908. His mother Jessie (nee Armstrong) died before his second birthday on 3 Sep 1900.

War Service

Two months after entering Blackboy Hill camp, Leonard was allocated to the 7th reinforcement draft for the 28th Battalion and travelled with them to Egypt, where on 14 Feb 1916 he was charged with leaving the troopship without leave to do so. Punishment was the loss of five days pay.

On arrival in Egypt, Leonard barely had time to settle in before he was again embarked, this time from Alexandria on 21 Mar 1916 aboard SS Oriana for Marseilles where they disembarked on 27 Mar 1916.

Sent to the 2nd Division's Base Depot in Étaples on 27 Mar 1916, he was admitted to the 9th Stationary Hospital in Le Havre the same day with VD, a carry over from his brief stay in Egypt. Discharged to duty 71 days later, he returned to the base depot for another two months before joining the 28th Battalion on 17 Aug 1916 at Bonville as the remnants of the Battalion was leaving the Poziéres area following a stint in the front lines.

On 3 Sep 1916 he was seen by the 1st Canadian Field Ambulance and sent on to the Casualty Clearing Station with Myalgia, and then on 5 Sep 1916 to the 14th General Hospital at Wimereux with influenza. Three days later he was released to the No 1 Convalescent Depot in Boulogne until 14 Sep 1916 when he was returned to the base depot in Étaples. He eventually rejoined the 28th Battalion on 9 Nov 1916. His records contain an entry 'Reported Missing' for 16-18 Nov 1916 without further explanation, with the following entry saying that he had returned to his unit on 20 Nov 1916. (On 16 Nov 1916 the Germans had counter attacked elements of the 7th Brigade who had gained ground near Gueudecourt.)

Leonard reported to the 6th Australian Field Ambulance hospital on 12 Dec 1916, before being transferred the same day to the 38th Casualty Clearing Station with bronchitis and then on 26 Dec 1916 when he was transferred by Ambulance Train to the 11th Stationary Hospital. When he had recovered, Leonard returned to the 28th Battalion via the 2nd Division's Base Depot on 23 Jan 1917. On 10 Jan 1917 he again sought help from the 6th Australian Field Ambulance, presenting this time with neuritis, later diagnosed as mumps. He rejoined the battalion from this illness on 3 Mar 1917.

Leonard was Killed in Action on 3 May 1917 during what became known as 2nd Bullecourt. The 28th Battalion on this day were attacking to the left of Reincourt and took heavy casualties (162 either KIA or WIA).

  • Villers-Bretonneux memorial 2015 photo L. Reynolds
  • Section of 28th Battalion panels


Name is included on the Kelmscott Congregational Church Honour Board.

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