Service number 77531
Born: August 16th 1906
Died: May 21st 1940
Reginald Edmund Butterworth was born in Samarang, Java to Reginald Butterworth and his wife, Cornelia Gertrud Wellenstein of London & Java. His father is variously described as a Merchant and a Broker. Reginald had an older brother, John Compton, born in 1905 and a sister, Dorothy, born in 1910,
Samarang is an important port located on Java's northern coast and at the mouth of the Semarang River. The Butterworth family, travelled back and forth to England on several occasions. On May 6th 1912, they landed at Southampton from Batavia and on November 27th 1916, the family were the only passengers on board the Malang from Padang.
It appears that the children went to school in England and the parents remained in the country until they went with Dorothy, to the West Indies in January 1919.
The 1950 edition of “Who’s Who” has an entry for his father which states that he first went to Java in 1900 and was temporarily in England from 1916-19, serving with the Ministry of Food 1917-18 and in 1918 became Chairman of the North-Eastern Divisional Road Transport Board. He was awarded the CBE.
Reginald Edmund was educated at Harrow and matriculated in 1925. He was a fine cricketer playing for Harrow in 1924 when he was Head of the school. He played for the University XI in the 1926 and 1927 seasons. He joined the MCC and played for them from 1930 until 1939. He, also, played golf for the University.
In February 1937, he sailed to Colombo and was a member of Sir Julien Cahn’s XI which played in both Colombo and Singapore. The ship’s passenger list indicates no occupation and his address as 28, Paulton Square, Chelsea.
The London Gazette of March 5th 1940 listed his commission as a Pilot Officer on probation. He was an Air Gunner with the 13 Squadron Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve when he was shot down near St Martin au Laert on May 21st 1940.
He is buried in the St Martin au Laert churchyard. His is grave 2. Alongside him are another airman and a soldier.
His name is on the MCC Roll of Honour
His brother John was a well-known cricketer, also playing for the University. He was killed at Shooter’s Hill, London on March 18th 1941 when serving as a 2nd Lieutenant with the Royal Artillery 160 Battery. He is buried in Greenwich Cemetery Sec. G. Coll. grave 74. Screen wall. Panel 1.
Image: B. N. Lyons, R.E.C. Butterworth and L. N. Constantine