The War Graves of Ystradgynlais

Richard Butler

Richard Butler was born in Ystradgynlais and worked in the collieries before joining the South Wales Borderers. He died in 1918 after contracting pneumonia while home on furlough.

The information on Richard Butler has been compiled from a number of sources, including the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, from the Labour Voice newspaper, and the Parish Burial Register (courtesy of the Swansea Archives).

NameRichard Butler
Date of Death23rd October 1918
Place of DeathYstradgynlais
Age at Death24
Unit and RegimentSouth Wales Borderers; 3rd Bn.
Service Number63432
Additional InformationBorn Ystradgynlais 1895; Former Collier, Blacksmith Striker. Address: Oddfellows Street Ystradgynlais
Grave  St. Cynog's cemetery, Ystradgynlais  in the North-West part
Local MemorialsYstradgynlais War Memorial
Maesydderwen Roll of Honour
Family DetailsSon of Mr. John Harry Butler (born Sheffield 1875, died 1951 ;Colliery Workman) and Mrs. Elizabeth Ann Butler (born Ystradgynlais 1874) of Oddfellows Street, Ystradgynlais.
Known BrothersMorgan Bertram Edward Butler 1908-1926
Known SistersMary Emma Butler (Nurse Butler), born Ystradgynlais (1896-1925) married Commander Paymaster E H Innes R.N.
Elizabeth Ann Butler, born Liverpool 1900
Winifred Margaret Butler, born Liverpool 1901

Richard Butler
To the left is the grave in St. Cynog's
The inscription reads:-

63432 Private
Richard Butler
South Wales Borderers
23rd October 1918 Age 24

Also Mary E. Innes
(Nurse Butler)
Died 31 July 1925 Age 29

From the Labour Voice newspaper, 26th October 1918 :-

Deep regret was felt throughout Ystradgynlais on Wednesday evening when it became known that Pte. Richard Butler, of the South Wales Borderers, son of Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Butler, Oddfellows Street, had passed away at his home. Deceased had joined the Borderers at the time of the recent comb-out and had been in training at Sniggery Camp, Liverpool. He came home on furlough on Saturday, when he contracted pneumonia, to which he succumbed. He was only 24 years of age, and very popular in the district on account of his bright disposition. Much sympathy is felt with the bereaved family.

From the Labour Voice newspaper, 2nd November 1918 :-

Evidence of the deepest regret and sympathy prevailed at the funeral of Pte. Richard Butler, of the S.W.B., aged 24, whose death whilst home on leave was reported in our last issue. He was the elder son of Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Butler, Oddfellows Street. The funeral was attended by a large number of friends, and of deceased's fellow ex-pupils at Maesydderwen. The cortege was met at the Church by the Rector, the Revd. Jas. Jones, and the Revd. T. G. Jenkyns, and whilst the body was being carried up the aisle, Mrs. Williams played the "Dead March", the congregation standing. The usual Church of England service was given, and the hymn, "Nearer my God to Thee" was sung and the 39th Psalm read. The chief mourners were: Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Butler (father and mother); Nurse May Butler, Miss Winifred Butler and Miss May Butler (sisters); Master Elwood Butler (brother); Mr. Morgan Davies, Plasycoed (grandfather); Mr. J. Butler, Mr. and Mrs. U. Butler, Mr. and Mrs. B. Butler, Mr. and Mrs. George Davies, Mr. and Mrs. Alf Lloyd, Mr. and Mrs. Morgan Williams, Mr. and Mrs. John Davies, Mrs. Lloyd (Swansea); Mrs. Davies (Caerphilly); Mr. William Bowen (Onllwyn); Mr. and Mrs. David Harries, Clydach; Mrs. Wesson (uncles and aunts); and Mr. D. I. Davies, Misses Maggie, Sal and Dylis Davies (cousins). Messrs. D. J. Davies, Sidney Griffiths, Llew Thomas and W. T. Jones were bearers. Beautiful floral tributes were sent from the following: Uncles and Aunts, Mr. and Mrs. William Thomas (Isynis). Mr. and Mrs. J. Lawrence, Mr. and Mrs. J. Thomas (Oddfellows Street); Misses A. and Phyllis Thomas, Misses Annie and Ethel Hiseman (London); Miss May Williams, Ystalyfera; Young friends, Companions, and Father and Mother.

The arrangements were in the hands of the Mr. William Jones, undertaker.

Mr. and Mrs. Butler and family desire to thank all who expressed sympathy with them in their bereavement, and for the floral tributes sent. The large number received makes it impossible to reply to each individually.

From The Labour Voice newspaper, 21st July 1917, came news on Richard Butler's sister, May Butler, known as Nurse Butler, who had passed her final examination.

The many friends of Nurse May Butler, daughter of Mr and Mrs J. H. Butler, Oddfellows Street, will be pleased to learn that she has recently passed her final examination, and is now a qualified district nurse. She has been offered two Scottish posts, one under the Government, and the other at a nursing home, but she has refused both, as she has accepted a post as district nurse in the Gwendraeth Valley. Nurse Butler, who will be home shortly, entered the profession four years ago and took up training at a London hospital, after which she went to Edinburgh where she has had a very successful career.

From the Labour Voice newspaper, 1st September 1917 :-

Sister M E Butler daughter of Mr and Mrs J H Butler Oddfellows Street is at present enjoying a well earned rest. She will resume duties at Edinburgh, where she will be in charge of a Military Hospital and will not go to the Gwendraeth Valley as originally intended.

From the South Wales Voice, Saturday 29th November 1930 comes this story on the death of Nurse Butler's husband, Commander E.H. Innes, R.N.

The death occurred on Saturday last at the residence of his parents in law, Mr and Mrs J H Butler Oddfellow Street Ystradgynlais, of Commander Paymaster E H Innes R.N. (retired).
Deceased who was 66 years of age, was taken suddenly ill a week prior to his death and the news came as a shock to his friends and acquaintances in the district.
A native of Portsmouth, Commander Innes came to live at Ystradgynlais at the death of his wife (Nurse Butler) in 1925.
The son of a prison chaplain, Mr Innes was intended for the same vocation as his father, but on the latter's death, he entered the navy, and rose to the position he held on retirement from the ranks. Mr Innes was widely read and had travelled extensively. He was a brilliant conversationalist. Of Scotch birth, Mr Innes came from a well known family. He was a great supporter of all local charities. The funeral of a naval character, took place at Portsmouth on Wednesday. The body and mourners left Ystradgynlais by motor vehicles in the early morning.

From the South Wales Voice 15th June 1946 came the news of the death of Richard Butler's mother:-

The Labour Voice 27th October 1923 includes an In Memoriam entry for Richard Butler on the anniversary of his death:-


BUTLER - In loving memory of our dear son and brother, Richard Butler, who died October 23rd, 1918

Deep in our hearts lies a picture
Of a loved one gone to rest;
In memory's frame we shall keep it
Because he was one of the best.

Fondly remembered by his Father, Mother, Brother and Sisters.


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