09 May 2010

Victoria Cross: J. F. P. Butler


Lieutenant, The King's Royal Rifle Corps; attached Pioneer Company, Gold Coast Regiment, West African Field Force.

Born: 20 December 1888, Berkeley, Gloucestershire
Died: 5 September 1916, Matombo, German East Africa

Citation: For most conspicuous bravery in the Cameroons, West Africa.
On 17th November, 1914, with a party of 13 men, he went into the thick bush and at once attacked the enemy, in strength about 100, including several Europeans, defeated them, and captured their machine-gun and many loads of ammunition.
On 27th December, 1914, when on patrol duty, with a few men, he swam the Ekam River, which was held by the enemy, alone and in the face of a brisk fire, completed his reconnaissance on the further bank, and returned in safety. Two of his men were wounded while he was actually in the water.

(London Gazette Issue 29272 dated 23 Aug 1915, published 20 Aug 1915.)

Note: He was the nephew of Lieutenant Lord Gifford VC, 24th Foot, who was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions during the Ashanti Campaign of 1873-74.

From 1884 to 1916, Cameroon was the German colony of Kamerun. Butler was part of a force which invaded from the neighbouring British colony of Nigeria.

German East Africa, known later as Tanganyika, is now part of Tanzania. Matombo is in the northeastern part of the country, near Tanga.

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