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Robert Butterworth, 1st Border Regt. - died from enteric at Pretoria, 29.8.1900 2 months 1 week ago #69413

  • BereniceUK
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ANOTHER BURNLEY VICTIM TO THE FEVER.

LAST LETTER HOME.
After having been in South Africa for only two months, information was received from the War Office on Saturday by Mrs. Butterworth, of 43, Parliament-street, Burnley, that her son, Pte. Robert Butterworth (5,998), of the 1st Border Regiment had died on the 29th ult. from enteric fever at Pretoria. Much sympathy is felt for the mother in her sad bereavement. Seven years ago, during the colliers' strike, she had the misfortune to lose her husband, Mr. Sidney Butterworth, who, along with another man named Pritchard, was killed by a fall of roof on Deerplay Moor whilst in the act of getting coal. With regard to the son, he was twenty-one years of age, and had been in the Army two years. He is stated to have been a very dutiful son, of a quiet disposition, and sober in his habits. Regularly he sent home to his widowed mother sums of money he had saved. By the officers of his regiment Pte. Butterworth was spoken of in terms of the highest praise, and he was held in the highest respect by all his comrades-in-arms. Prior to joining the Army he worked at Mr. Greenwood's mineral water works, and was also employed by Mr. Ralph Mason at his tripe works. From being quite a boy until four years ago he was an instrumentalist in the Salvation Army brass band. Mrs. Butterworth has been for eighteen years a member of the Army, and on Sunday, at several of the meetings held in connection with the Ashworth-street Barracks, sympathetic allusion was made to the deceased soldier. At the time his regiment received orders to sail for South Africa Pte. Butterworth was at Malta, being then down with fever. After a time he was sent home, and on volunteering for active service later he was accepted.

Writing on July 15 to his mother, Pte. Butterworth stated that he was "doing champion and enjoying himself," and said he "could not wish for anything better than to go to Pretoria." The last letter received from him, however, was dated July 21st. In it, after stating that he was then in the best of health and spirits, he states that they have had some very hard times since he last wrote. "We started roughing it," he says, "at Bloemfontein, and we have had to rough it ever since.........I shall never forget the first march I did in South Africa. We had to carry all our belongings, for we could not get any transport waggons, and it was ankle-deep in sand, and marching the dark was twice as bad. We kept stumbling one against another.......There is some fighting going on about five miles from here (Pretoria), and we can hear the firing very plain."

Burnley Express, Wednesday 5th September 1900
___________________________________________

MEMORIAL SERVICE TO A DECEASED BURNLEY SOLDIER.


A service in memory of Private Robt. Butterworth, whose death we reported in Wednesday's "Express," and whose mother resides in Parliament-street, Burnley, was held on Wednesday night in the Ashworth-street Salvation Army Barracks. Private Butterworth, who belonged to the 1st Border Regiment, died of enteric fever at Pretoria on August 29th. He was twenty-one years of age, and had been in the Army two years. He is stated to have been a very dutiful son, of a quiet disposition, and sober in his habits. Regularly he sent home to his widowed mother sums of money he had saved. By the officers of his regiment Pte. Butterworth was spoken of in terms of the highest praise, and he was held in great esteem by his comrades-in-arms. Prior to joining the Army he worked at Mr. Greenwood's mineral water works, and was also employed by Mr. Ralph Mason at his tripe works. From being quite a boy until four years ago he was an instrumentalist in the Salvation Army brass band. At the time his regiment received orders to sail for South Africa Pte. Butterworth was at Malta, being then down with a fever. After a time he was sent home, and on volunteering for active service later he was accepted.

Burnley Express, Saturday 8th September 1900
___________________________________________

THE LATE PRIVATE BUTTERWORTH, OF BURNLEY.

LAST LETTER HOME.
On Saturday, Mrs. Butterworth, of Parliament-street, Burnley, received another letter from her son, Private R. Butterworth, who, as we stated last week, died towards the latter end of August at Pretoria from the fever. Inasmuch as he wrote home frequently, it was thought probable that there would be another letter on the way to England, which has proved to be the case. This communication is dated August 10th, and is sent from Zizikats Nek, and in it the now deceased soldier states that at the time he was in the best of health. "We have had a hard time of it," he says, "since I last wrote. On Monday, July 23rd, at 1 p.m., we started on the march, and halted at 6 p.m., having marched ten miles. We were up early on the Tuesday morning, and marched 22 miles, over hills and swamps. On the Wednesday morning we were off again by 5-30, and halted for dinner after having gone 12 miles. It was looking very black at the time. We stopped two hours for dinner, and just as we were about ready for marching again it began to rain, to lighten and thunder more than I have ever known in my life. We were wet through before we had gone a quarter of a mile, and the roads were swimming with mud and water. We went up to the ankles at every step, so travelling was slow, I can assure you. Every few paces we had to stop on account of the transport waggons getting fast. It was soon dark, and to make things worse we lost our way. There was no place to shelter. If ever I wished myself at home it was then, on July 25th. I shall never forget that night as long as I live. When we started on the march the following day it was very cold, and our clothes were dripping wet. We camped at noon, and as we were getting ready for march again Lord Roberts and Lord Kitchener rode into camp. Lord Roberts asked what kind of a night we spent on the 25th, and also wanted to know if any of the men fell out on the march. He appeared to be pleased when he was told there was only one. It was an awful camp, what with dead mules and bullocks lying about." In conclusion Private Butterworth says it can be guessed what condition the regiment were in when the doctor declared the men were in an unfit condition for marching.

At the Ashworth-street Salvation Army Barracks on Sunday, a memorial service was held to Private Butterworth, being conducted by Ensign Moyle.

Burnley Express, Wednesday 12th September 1900
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Robert Butterworth, 1st Border Regt. - died from enteric at Pretoria, 29.8.1900 2 months 1 week ago #69424

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That's a sad tale of a 21 year old man. To receive a letter after that news much have been heart breaking.
Dr David Biggins

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Robert Butterworth, 1st Border Regt. - died from enteric at Pretoria, 29.8.1900 2 months 1 week ago #69426

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So far, he's one of only two members of the Salvation Army I've found to have served as regular soldiers in the ABW. I know the SA had missions among the soldiers, providing comforts and meals.

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