Butterton in World War 1

It has been known for a long time that all Butterton's men who went to war in WWI returned safely, hence the term Thankful Village. However, originally Butterton was not included on Wikipedia's list of Thankful Villages but as from October 2013 we were included and we also happen to be the only Thankful Village in Staffordshire. See here.

Please also look at this website- www.hellfirecorner.co.uk to see the Butterton entry or click here to see further information on Thankful Villages.There is a photograph in the Church of the men from Butterton who joined H.M Forces for WWI. They are:
R.Salt, S.Salt, J.Salt (father of John James Salt, unable to attends on the day photo was taken), A.Poyser, C(harles).Birch, W.Henshall, P(ercy).Denham, T.Wheeldon, R.Millward, W.Millward, J.Millward, J.Goldstraw, C(yril) E .Crump, J.T Titterton and R(alph) Mellor. The 3 Millwards were brothers Ralph, James and William. If anyone knows anything about any of these men, please contact Maggie Risby.

In particular we would love to hear from you if you are a descendant of any of these men.

Butterton in World War 2

Butterton is also a 'Doubly Thankful Village'. After extensive research of the war archives we have established there is no evidence of any service personnel from the Parish of Butterton being killed in WWII and hence failing to return to the village. Furthermore, a list has been compiled of all returning WWII soldiers from the village, thanks to the help of our sole surviving ex-service person Eddie Mollatt, confirming the findings from the archives. In order to become a 'Doubly Thankful Village' we had to establish that all the men from Butterton who went to war in both World Wars survived and returned home.

If anyone has any further information regarding WWII Butterton service personnel, please contact Maggie on 01538 304115. Butterton Parishioners who joined up and subsequently returned are: Eddie Mollatt, Derrick Grindey, Kenneth Hambleton, Billy Bagshaw, Edgar Gibbs, Charlie Salt, Clifford Salt, Bernard Salt, Geoff Salt, Gordon Riley, Thomas Keeling Stubbs, Bill Sutton, Cyril Stubbs Millward, John Austin, Ralph Mellor Wood and Sidney Charles Wood.

Additionally, if you know of anyone, or have a family member, associated with Butterton who was engaged in WWII please contact Maggie Risby.

Thankful Service- 2nd November, 2014

The journey to recognise our Thankful status began in October 2013.

A Thankful village is easily recognised by the lack of a war memorial which in turn denotes no loss of life from within the community in World War 1.

It was recognised as far back as 2004 that fortunately Butterton suffered no losses during either of the 2 world wars and thanks to the hard work and persistence of Butterton Women’s Institute under the umbrella of Butterton’s Steering Group and supported by the local British Legion, we have the Remembrance poppy set into the wall at the entrance to the church. Great sacrifices have been made and continue to be made in defence of freedom and this memorial reflects that.

Research showed Butterton was not mentioned on the Thankful Village list on the Wikipedia internet page. Also it was noticed that actually Staffordshire had no Thankful Villages prior to Butterton being recognised.

Further research on the internet resulted in the discovery of a website called Hellfire Corner, which is run by 3 Great War enthusiasts. Enquiries were made and within a few days Norman, Rod and Tom declared they thought we had a good claim to Thankfulness according to the criteria they measured against. Tom visited Butterton in order to ask a few more questions and to view the photo presented by the Peace Committee in 1919 of our 15 men who all went to War and returned safely.

By the end of October we received the good news. It was official! The Wikipedia entry was altered and we were now the 54th village on the list of Thankful villages. In 2014 the Butterton History Group held an event commemorating these men. Descendants of 11 of the men have been traced and were invited to the event as Guests of honour. Bio records have been compiled for all 15 men. Some interesting statistics revealed that the 3 Millward men were brothers, 9/15 were baptised in this church, 9 attended Butterton school, 2 were married here and 4 are buried in the churchyard. ***At this point, having met and talked to some of the relatives, that although these 15 brave men returned safely they brought back with them memories and injuries which sadly had an immense impact on their later lives.

In August 2014 Butterton claimed Doubly Thankful status having carried out research to prove all our men and women returned safely from WWII. Unfortunately, there is no recognised authority established to officially recognise claims of 'Thankfulness' arising from WWII. We believe we are now the 17th village in the UK able to claim to be Doubly Thankful.

August, 2018.

Four years have passed and much has happened……

There is still no official authorisation as regards Doubly Thankful status but we have researched long and hard and are totally satisfied we have earned the status of a Doubly Thankful Village.

Butterton in the Media

In the run up to the 2018 Armistice celebrations Butterton as a Doubly Thankful Village has appeared several times in the national media. There have been articles in the Times, Telegraph, Mail Online Manchester Evening News and the Daily Express. Furthermore, on 8th November an item on Butterton was broadcast on BBC Midlands Today and an item on our Doubly Thankful status was broadcast on BBC1 on the One Show on 7th November 2019.

November 11th 2018: Day of Celebration

Representatives from Village Organisations came together to plan a Day of Celebration on 11th November 2018.

Under the umbrella of the nationwide 'Battle's Over' Celebrations, Butterton is, amongst other events, joined in a Beacon and Bells Event to mark the end of the Centenary Celebrations of WWI. As you know, all our men who served in WWI came home. This makes us a Thankful Village. Similarly, all our serving personnel survived WWII which makes us a Doubly Thankful Village, one of only seventeen in the UK. As part of an upgrade of our six church bells, the treble was recently cast, inscribed as a 'Thankful Bell' to mark the villages status. This bell was kindly donated by the Keltek Trust.

On 11th November the celebrations began with the unveiling of a Doubly Thankful Village sign, kindly sponsored by the Parish Council. BBC Radio Stoke transmitted our Remembrance Service live and can be downloaded here in 2 halves (Part 1 & Part 2) There was the first ever three hour full peal of our recently installed bells, refreshments and a display of WWI and WWII personnel bio files. As part of the large-scale British project, ‘Battle’s Over – A Nation’s Tribute’ our bells were rung again at 7.05pm on the day. At 6.30pm everyone assembled at the Village Hall for the lighting of a Beacon at 7pm, followed by a Pie and Pea Supper. A grant of £435 had been given by SMDC towards expenses on the day.

Please contact Maggie Risby- 01538 304115 or email maggie.risby@btopenworld.com for more details.

Butterton: A Doubly Thankful Village

Butterton & Grindon Home Guard
Butterton & Grindon Home Guard
Butterton men of World War 1
Butterton men of World War 1

Butterton Men of World War 1 (Original photograph in St Bartholomew's Church, Butterton)

Butterton and Grindon Home Guard, World War 2