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.
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.
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.
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 and the Daily Express Online. 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.
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. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.