The O'Leary Collection—Medals of The Royal Canadian Regiment

Major Walter "Chester" Butler, V.D.

7th Regiment, Fusiliers
1st Canadian Infantry Battalion
The Western Ontario Regiment
The Canadian Fusiliers (City of London Regiment)

By: Capt (ret'd) Michael M. O'Leary, CD, The RCR

Walter Chester Butler was born in London, Ontario, on 10 Sep 1886. His birth, and those of three siblings, were not registered until 23 Aug 1893. In the birth registry, "Chester's" parents are identified as Francis Henry and Hanna Barbara Butler of 290 Piccadilly St., London, Ont. Also shown in the registry are siblings Edna (b. 1883), Gordon (b. 1884), and Leta (b. 1887). Henry Butler's occupation is recorded as "accountant" for each birth record.

Born into a family with military service in its lineage, Chester's maternal grandfather had been a veteran of the Fenian Raids, serving with Shanley's Battery of Artillery. Col. James Shanley, later master of the supreme court and deputy registrar in chancery commanded the London Field Battery in the Fenian Raids. Chester's father, Francis (Frank) served in the Northwest Rebellion of 1885 with the 7th Battalion from London, Ont., and his brother Gordon would later serve in the First World War.

Initial research into Butler's story through local newspapers stalled until it was realized that he went by his middle name. Repeating searches for "Chester Butler" quickly brought forward a wealth of information. The earliest appearance of his name in The London Advertiser appears on 1 Jun 1901. Chester is shown in a list of successful candidates in the Government Art School examinations conducted by the London Collegiate Institute where he received a certificate for "Freehand" drawing, and also under the Advanced Course list for Industrial Design.

Butler's name again shows up in class results at the Collegiate Institute published in the Advertiser on 27 Jun 1901. He is shown with a Class III standing for Form I.(A)., which indicates a result of between 50 and 60 per cent. (Butler's is the only name with a Class III result in that Form, and there is only one name below him in Class IV.)

Butler's family, led by father Francis (40), with his trade shown as Broker, and mother Hannah (38), can be found in the 1901 Canadian Census. In that year's census record three of the couple's four children are still living at home. Eldest brother Gordon, at 16, is a Bank Clerk, and also shown are Chester (14) and Leta (10).

On 21 Dec 1901, The Advertiser published the new class standings at the Collegiate for the Christmas break. Chester Butler still held a Class III in Form I.(A.) By the Advertiser issue of 25 Jun 1902, Butler had moved up to Form II.(D). His scholastic performance, however had not improved as he was shown to be standing in Class V, evidence of a 30 to 40 per cent result. Class V is noted in the column's introductory remarks as "very bad." Despite his unimpressive scholastic record, Butler was listed among the successful candidates at the London Collegiate Institute in the Advertiser's edition of 18 Aug 1902.

The 20 Mar 1903 edition of The Advertiser noted that the London Collegiate Institute Cadet Corps had presented an entertainment at City hall the previous evening. Butler was among the named members of the committee which had organized the event. Less than a month later, he again appeared in the student standings at the Collegiate Institute that were published on 9 Apr 1903. Shown in Form III.(E.), Butler once again had a Class V result.

With a less than impressive academic record, some might suggest it was expected that Butler would wind up in the military. As it happened, in its 8 Mar 1904 edition, The Advertiser of London, Ont., announced the commencement of Annual Drill for the 7th Regiment, Fusiliers. Still using the old drill shed in the Victoria Park area (the original British garrison location in London), the paper noted the poor condition of the facility and the limited drill that was able to be carried out in the centre of drill floor which wasn't covered by ice and water. The new Armouries on Dundas Street, however, which would be completed the following year, was noted as already having a positive effect on recruiting.

Among the Regiment's newest recruits in 1904 was listed "W.C. Butler." Assigned to "B" Company, Butler would attend a planned "Recruit Class" to be "held every Friday evening at 8 o'clock until further orders."

With prior experience with the Collegiate Institute's Cadet Corps possibly offering an advantage, Butler's early accomplishments as a soldier of the Canadian Militia are reflected in the Advertiser's reporting on the 7th Regiment's Annual Shoot in October, 1905. In a detailed article published 27 Oct 1905 covering the previous day's shooting at the Cove Ranges in London, Corporal Butler of "B" Company achieved the high score in the Tyro Match ("Tyro" were first time competitors).

Placing in the prize money for four matches, Butler's shooting skills were evident in the results:

Prizes for the 7th Regiment's annual rifle shoot were awarded on parade in the Armouries by the regimental Rifle Association on 6 Nov 1905. The following day's Advertiser noted that "Corporal Butler, another young shot, won the cup and medal presented by Hon. Adam Beck, M.P.P., and received merited applause and congratulations."

Butkler obviously showed some aptitude for military service which was reflected in his early advancement through the ranks. On 28 Dec 1906, The Advertiser reported on a reunion dinner held by the London Collegiate Institute Cadets the previous evening. Butler, now "Sergeant Chester Butler, of the Seventh Regiment" appears in the toasts list responding to the toast to the "Boys of the Old Brigade" during the dinner.

The newspaper, reporting on the local Liberal Club, also indicated Butler's political interests in what would be a life-long affiliation. Butler attended an "enthusiastic meeting of the Young Liberals of London" on the evening of 4 Jan 1907. Nominations were recorded for the election of officers two weeks later. Among these nominations, Butler's name was put forward for the office of Secretary-Treasurer.

Butler was also active in the social engagements of his regiment. The warrant officers, staff sergeants and sergeants of the Seventh Regiment hosted an informal ball at the Armouries in London on the evening of 22 Feb 1907. Attended by about 400 guests, the main floor of the Armouries was fully decorated for the occasion. Listed among those guests attending the ball was Color-Sergeant Butler.

On 2 Sep 1908, officers were elected at a meeting of the Seventh Regiment Athletic Committee. The following day's Advertiser noted that Capt H.C. Becher was elected as President, and named as the Convener of the Baseball Committee was Sergt. Chester Butler. The baseball season was anticipated to open on the 1st of October.

Butler was also active in his Church community. He was mentioned in the Advertiser of 18 Sep 1908 as attending and giving an address to a local meeting of the Brotherhood of St. Andrew, a missionary and evangelism ministry of the Anglican Church. The meeting was attended by members of the Brotherhood from five city churches as well as representatives from Chatham and Port Stanley.

On 31 Oct 1908, an annual rifle match was held between the sergeants of Wolseley Barracks and those of the Seventh Regiment. Two days later, The London Advertiser reported: "The ninth annual rifle match of the sergeants of Wolseley Barracks and the Seventh Regiment was held in the Armouries on Saturday, and some good scores were made. At the conclusion of the shoot those participating had a banquet at a local restaurant and spent a very pleasant time. Speeches were made by Sergt.-Major Erskine, Sergt.-Major Borland, Quartermaster-Sergeant Dunlevy, Quartermaster-Sergeant Insley, Color-Sergt. Youngman and Color-Sergt. Butler. Drill Sergt. Black gave a splendid lecture on rifle shooting that was greatly enjoyed. The Seventh Regiment won by a score of 383 to 338."

Nominations for elections of the Young Liberals Club were published in the Advertiser on 9 Jan 1909. Chester Butler was named as a candidate for Ward 4. Two days later the paper listed the successful candidates, Butler and Gordon Ingram were elected to represent Ward 4.

Butler was back on the rifle range in the summer of 1909. On 3 Aug 1909, the Advertiser printed a detailed list of results of the Seventh Regiment's annual rifle matches held at the Cove Ranges the previous day where he continued to demonstrate his marksmanship skills. One of four recipients of the "Gold Cross guns" awarded to men making over 100 points, Butler showed up in the money in these matches:

Butler's name also appears in the lists of shooters for "B" Company in the Company Match and as an individual marksman in the Extra Series matches at 200, 500, and 600 yards.

Activities of the Liberal Club appeared in The Advertiser numerous times in late 1909 and early 1910. Butler was again nominated for one of the Club's appointments. The Advertiser edition of 29 Nov 1909 named the officers of the Liberal Club elected two nights previously. Chester Butler was named to the office of Secretary-Treasurer as well as the Ward 2 representative. The Club went on to conduct a Mock Parliament early in the new year and then staged an entertainment. On 15 Apr 1909, The Advertiser described an evening of entertainment at the Grand Theatre put on by The Liberal Minstrels. During the evening of singing and short plays, "burlesques", Butler appeared in the role of Ephraim in a brief three-scene play titled "The Buckskin." He was also listed as one of the baritones among the show's singers.

Color-Sergeant Butler, 7th Regiment, attended the School of signalling conducted at Wolseley Barracks from 14 Aug to 28 Sep 1910. Successfully completing the training, he earned a certificate in Army signalling and qualified as an "Assistant Instructor."

While attending the signalling training, Butler still had time to participate in the 7th Regiment's range day. The annual rifle shoot of the Seventh Regiment was conducted on 5 Sep 1910 and reported on in The Advertiser the following day. Sergt. Butler, "B" Coy, showed up in the following match results:

Butler's aggregate total of 135 points (two scores at each of 200, 500, and 600 yards) won him an additional $1.00 prize. Butler was also among the list of Non-Commissioned Officers and men of the Seventh Regiment who received the Worsted Cross Guns (badge) for his marksmanship skills at the match.

On 24 Oct 1910, at the parade of the Seventh Regiment in the London Armouries, with many local citizens attending to watch, prizes for the recent rifle matches were presented. The following day's edition of the Advertiser reported: "The regiment turned out well. The soldiers were put through a drill by Lieut.-Col. Campbell, and were afterwards inspected by Col. Hodgins, D.O.C., and his staff. On the completion of this work, a nice programme was introduced, Col. Campbell presiding."

In the presentations that followed: "Sergt. Chester Butler's section won the prize given by Sir John Carling for the highest attendance average. Miss Carling made the presentation on behalf of her father … Mrs F.A. Reid presented the silver shield given by Major John Graham for the section commander having the best record. It was won by Sergt. Chester Butler."

The Advertiser issue on 7 Mar 1911 identified nine members of the Seventh Regiment who were nominated by the staff or their companies for the Coronation Contingent. From "B" Company, the nomination went to Color-Sergt. Chester Butler. The nine men were scheduled to parade on the following Monday evening to be inspected by a committee of officers who would make a final selection of three from the unit for the Contingent. Notably, two companies, "C" and "D", had put forward no nominations because they did not have anyone who met the requirement of three years service.

On 13 Mar the Coronation Contingent nominees paraded at the Armouries for the final selection. The choice of three, and of two alternates, was made by lot. The three names drawn first were those of "Col.-Sergt. Ed Gardner, "H" Co., Briscoe Street; Col.-Sergt. Arch. Galbraith, "G" Co., rifle ranges; and Col.-Sergt. Chester Butler, "B" Co., 843 Wellington St." The following day's article in The Advertiser included brief descriptions of each successful candidate. Butler's read:

"Son of a Veteran

"Col.-Sergt. Chester Butler is a son of Mr. F.H. Butler, inspector of weights and measures, and himself a former member of the regiment, and a veteran of '85. For some years he has been connected with the regiment, enlisting as a private. He devoted much of his time to his company, and won promotion. His most conspicuous work in connection with his company was at the rifle ranges, where he has made some excellent scores. Several prizes have come his way. Sergt. Butler competed at the D.R.A. Shoot at Ottawa, and was a money winner there in competition with the crack shots of the Dominion. He has also been interested in athletics and has played on several of the teams from the regiment. He is prominently identified with St. Paul's Sunday school, and is also secretary of the Liberal Club."

On 13 May 1911, the Advertiser reported that the 7th Regiment men for the Coronation Contingent would shortly be on their way. It was planned that they would spend a week at Quebec drilling with the Dominion Contingent before sailing on the 24th of May. All the sergeants nominated to the Contingent were going over as privates, parading and paid at that rank.

A crowd of citizens attended the departure of the Military District No. 1 Coronation Contingent men from London by train on 22 May 1911. Traveling on the Grand Trunk Railway in a dedicated car, they headed for Quebec to be drilled with the Contingent until sailing on the 2nd of June.

After returning from England with the Coronation Contingent, Butler was interviewed by The Advertiser. The 11 Jul 1911 edition of the papers shared his views and experiences with readers in London:

"London Men Well Pleased With Coronation Reception

"Col.-Sergt. Chester Butler Tells of the Crowning of King George V.
"Canadians Were Not Dissatisfied
"No Truth in the Report That They Felt Snubbed Because They Did Not Parade.

"What was it that impressed you most in connection with the coronation?" The Advertiser asked Color-Sergeant Chester Butler, of the Seventh Regiment, who was one of the London men who were with the Canadian Contingent at the Coronation.

"The magnificence and the grandeur of it all," he replied. "Though one might live a hundred years he could never forget the impressiveness and the greatness of the coronation spectacle, with its parades and reviews. Nearly seventy thousand soldiers took part in the King's parade on Friday, Which is known as the 'Royal progress.' If it were possible for the coronation parade to be outdone the 'Royal progress' was the grander of the two. It appealed more strongly to the soldiers, a greater number of whom took part in it. It was in command of Lord Cheylesmere, who gave an elaborate dinner to the King. He is sending souvenirs to all the men in the colonial troops."

"Had Good Time.

"We were well taken care of during our stay in England," said Sergt. Butler. "Our sister regiment, the Seventh Fusiliers, looked after us and left nothing undone to insure our comfort and entertainment. All the colonial forces, with the exception of the Indian troops, were quartered at the Duke of York School at Chelsea. The Indians were stationed at Hampton Court.

"I want you to contradict the report published in one of the Toronto Papers that the Canadian soldiers were dissatisfied because they could not take part in the parade. Only eight officers and forty men marched in the procession, but the remainder were given the post of honor directly in front of Buckingham Palace. We could not have been placed in a better position so far as our viewing the procession was concerned. There is absolutely no truth in the reports published to the effect that the colonial troops were snubbed and insulted by Lord Kitchener. The procession passed twice where we were stationed and we were entirely pleased with our position.

"The Mounted Police.

"The Northwest Mounted Police led the procession when the King went to St, Paul's Cathedral for the thanksgiving ceremony, In the opinion of all they were the finest body of men taking part in the coronation spectacle They even appeared a finer lot of men than the Life Guards, and many comments were expressed to that effect."

"Signal stations were placed all along the line of march, and the moment the King was crowned it was signaled back to Buckingham Palace. I was able to intercept and read the message, and so knew immediately when the crown was placed on the King's head."

"There was not the slightest hitch in any of the coronation proceedings or manoeuvres. The work of Lord Kitchener in arranging and carrying out everything wax admirable, Nothing could have been improved upon. We were up at 4:30 o'clock and in position by 7, and all the many thousands of men were placed without the slightest difficulty or hitch. In the orders issued for the day there were no less than 212 pages.

"Splendid Police.

"One of the things that struck us most forcibly, apart from the coronation parade, Was the way the London police handled the crowds, There were millions and millions of people. There were millions of visitors, apart from Europe and America, yet the police handed the great crowds like so many soldiers in review. The Americans predominated among the coronation sightseers. Prices of almost everything were double the usual figure. Every house was transformed into a boarding-house or a hotel, and exorbitant prices were demanded.

"The enthusiasm of the people was unbounded. No one could doubt that the English monarchy will last for 100 years yet. There were no disturbances of any kind from the suffragettes, socialists or others. There were several mammoth suffragist parades, but they were not interfered with socialists, suffragists and other reformers were left in possession of Hyde Park, and they held their meetings there as usual. Side by side we observed a socialist, an anti-socialist, a suffragist, an atheist, a religious reformer and a variety of other orators, each with his or her following of interested hearers.

"Liked the Soldiers.

"Whenever the suffragists held a special meeting they sent pressing invitations to the colonial soldiers. College women, society ladles and others took part in the meetings.

"We were given a magnificent reception on our arrival in England. The bands waited six hours at Liverpool to welcome the Canadian troops. We were expected at 6 o'clock in the morning, but did not get in until 12 noon. We had a trip to Manchester, where we were entertained by the city, There was also a special performance of the international horse show for the colonial troops on June 13. Here we saw Hon. Adam Beck, who was one of the Judges.

"Fifty officers of the colonial troops, including ten Canadians, were entertained at Chatsworth House, the home of the Duke of Devonshire. A number of us were also invited out to Aldershot, where nothing was too good for us.

"We saw the Canadian Boy Scouts, who were drawn up in front of Buckingham Palace on the day of the coronation. One of the interesting things about the coronation was the motion pictures, which we saw at night, of the procession, and spectacles we had seen in action in the morning and afternoon.

"The naval review at Spithead was a wonderful spectacle, 'There were 185 vessels taking part, of which number 18 represented the first-class foreign navies. At night the ships were illuminated and on almost every one a ball was given, The lights and music made a veritable fairyland."

"When asked as to the correctness of the reports that the Canadians were dissatisfied with their commanding officers, Sergt. Butler expressed admiration for the commands of Major Labatt, of Hamilton, formerly of London and the Seventh Regiment, and Col. Williams, of Toronto. Major Labatt was undoubtedly one of the best officers in the Canadian contingent, he said."

The annual rifle shoot of the Seventh Fusiliers was held at the Cove Ranges on 14 Oct 1911. Butler once again demonstrated his skills as a marksman. He placed in the prize-winning shooters for the Corporation Match (600 yds, score 37, prize $1.00, 18th place), The Extra Series at 200, 500, and 600 yards (scores 22, 23, and 21; and prizes $2.00, $1.00, and $2.00, respectively), the Regimental Matches (score 59, prize $3.00, 10th place), and in the Grand Aggregate (total of Corporation and Regimental; score 96, prize $1.00, 11th place). As a firer for the "B" Company team, he shared in the win for the Tracy Cup and $7.50 prize. The other firers from the company were Captain H.C. Becher, Sergt. Penny, Sergt. Osborne, Corp. Craig, and Corp. Steele. For his shooting prowess in the year's matches, Butler again received the Worsted Cross Guns (badge) to wear on his uniform for an aggregate score over 90 (but below the 100 points needed for the Gold Crossed Guns).

With the annual range shoot completed and winter closing in on the town, the sergeants of Wolseley Barracks and the Seventh Regiment met for their own annual indoor shooting competition on 12 Dec 1911. Teams of seven members each fired seven rounds at the targets, a bullseye worth five points towards the team's aggregate score. The Wolseley Barracks team won by a narrow margin of 216 points to the Seventh Regiment team's 208. The only high possible score of 35 was posted by Color-Sergt. Butler, although there were a 34 and two 33's posted by the top shooters from the Barracks.

The 17 Jan 1912 edition of the London Advertiser reported on the the previous night's meeting of the Liberal Club. In preparation for that year's election of officers, Chester Butler was appointed returning officer, tasked with looking after the ballots on election day. The Liberal Club, of which Butler still held the appointment of secretary, was back in the local paper on 28 Mar 1912 when the London Liberals, in a joint meeting with their compatriots from Woodstock, went on record with a "hearty endorsement of the Liberal temperance policy, as enunciated in the Legislative Assembly by Mr. N.W. Rowell, K.C." Rowell was leader of the Opposition in the Ontario Legislature.

The Seventh Regiment paraded on the evening of Monday, the 13th of May, 1912, for the presentation of regimental and shooting prizes. Reported the following day in the Advertiser, the opening paragraphs of the column set the tone for the evening and offering a glimpse of the state of the Regiment among the citizens of London:

"Prizes presented to 7th Regt.
"Pleasant Ceremony in the Armories on Monday Evening Drew Big Crowd.
"More Men Are Needed
"Sixty Per Cent of Strength of Regiment Made Up of Men From Across the Seas.

"The annual presentation of prizes and inspection of the Seventh Regiment took place on Monday evening at the armories. The regiment turned out well, and Col. Hodgins, D.O.C., who inspected the "boys" found everything in first-class condition. He complimented the men on the excellence of their appearance. The ladies of the regiment presented the prizes won on the local rifle ranges, and in other competitions, to the victors. There was a large concourse of citizens present, the galleries being packed. An excellent programme of music was rendered by the band under the leadership of Bandmaster Slater.

"The regiment paraded promptly at 8 o'clock, and later Lieut.-Col. Hodgins, D.O.C., and Major Gordon-Hall were received by the officers and men. The inspection was then made, and the men complimented by the district officer commanding on their neat appearance."

"Col. Campbell's Address.

"Lieut-Col. A.A. Campbell introduced the programme of the evening. In a brief address he congratulated the men on passing so creditable an inspection, and expressed his pleasure at being in command of such a fine body of men. In looking over the men prominent in civic life, he could find many, the majority of them, who were either connected with the Seventh Regiment at the present time, or had been in the past. It was an honor to belong to it. The regiment needed all the encouragement the citizens could give it. It was not very complimentary to Londoners to know that 60 per of the men in the Seventh came from across the seas. The old country men took a keen interest in military affairs, but native-born Canadians were most indifferent. He expressed the hope that conditions would soon be changed, and that more Canadians would take thelr place in the regiment.

"Mayor Graham followed, with a short speech.

"An Efficient Body.

"Lieut.-Col. Hodgins congratulated the regiment on its efficiency. This was the first time he had seen the men since autumn, when they hald a tactical day at Sundas. On that occasion the Seventh had behaved splendidly, in fact, they had never failed him when called on. He regretted the fact also that Londoners do not join the regiment in so large numbers as they should. This was a mistake and efforts should be made to correct it.

"The Seventh is the oldest and first among my family of regiments," said Col. Hodgins, "Always see that you hold that position, In order to do so the officers and men must be backed up and supported by the citizens of London. See that you do this, men of London."

"Prizes Presented: …"

In the presentations of prizes that followed, the prize for most efficient Section in the right half of the battalion was won "B" Company, No. 1 Section, led by by Color-Sergt Butler. The soldiers of the section were Corp. J Frith, Ptes. C.R. Brownlee, J. Henderson, W. Groshow, F.H. Paull, F.G. Rumball, Jun., Alex. Wilson, and M. Watts. Butler's section also took the right-half section prize for attendance.

At the Seventh Regiment's annual shoot on 2 Sep 1912, Butler continued to demonstrate his skills as a marksman. He placed in a four-way tie at 66 points in the Regimental Match, placing fourth overall based on placement of hits and taking a prize of $5.00. In the City of London match, shooting at 600 yards, Butler placed fifth with a score of 44 securing another prize of $4.00. His grand aggregate of 110 points for shooting at 200, 500, and 600 yards was sufficient for a fifth place finish and another $2.00. His separate scores and prizes at the three ranges were: 200 yards (3rd place, 25 points, $6.00), 500 yards (10th place, 24 points, $1.00), and 600 yards (4th place, 24 points, $5.00). Capt. Becher's "B" Company team once again won the Tracy Cup and $7.50 prize, the team's results being led by Color-Sergt. Butler's 66 points. The team's other shooters were Corp. Steele, Pte. Sampson, Pte. Paul, Pte. Gilford, and Pte. Watts. A "B" Company team under command of Butler also won the Skirmishing Match, during which firers advance from 600 to 100 yards, and a $4.00 prize was divided by Butler and the team's shooters: Corp. Steele, and Privates Sampson, Paul, Gilford, and Watts. Butler's grand aggregate of over 100 points also won for him the right to wear the Gold Cross Guns for the forthcoming year as evidence of his shooting skills.

In the winter of 1912-13, at the age of 27, Butler's name appears in the local paper for a new reason. He starts to show up on the social pages listed among the eligible bachelors attending dances and other events. On 25 Jan 1913, he is named as one of the guests at a ball held by Hermitage Club in the new Masonic temple.

Attending social events hosted by others is also balanced in Butler's life with taking on responsibilities as a member of host organizations. On 11 Feb 1913, The London Advertiser published a brief column announcing the intention of the garrison Non-Commissioned Officers to host a Paardeberg Ball on 27 February at the Masonic Temple. Following a notable list of patrons and patronesses for the ball, Butler was among those named on the organizing committee.

A few months later, with a comic misprint, Butler was again at the Temple for a ball. The 5 Apr 1913 edition of the Advertiser announced that "Mrs. (sic) Chester Bulter" was named as attending a charity ball at Masonic Temple in support of the Children's Aid Society and the Victorian Order of Nurses.

Also in April, 1913, the Advertiser reported that in the Liberal Club's election of new officers Chester Bulter, secretary-treasurer, would be maintaining his office by acclamation after no competing nominations were offered.

Eighty members of the Seventh Regiment attended an Empire Day (Victoria Day) shoot at Cove Ranges on Saturday, 24 May 1913. In the Advertiser's coverage printed on the following Monday, the 80 shooters competed for ten shields to be awarded by the Regimental Rifle Association. Posting the high score of the day was Color-Sergt. Butler with a score of 92.

Butler 's name also shows up in the results of the regimental matches held at the Cove Ranges on 20 Oct 1913. In the Regimental Match firing at 200 and 500 yards, he was in a five-way tie for first place at 67 points. In the City of London Match, at 600 yards, Butler was in 18th place with a score of 40. He placed 11th in the Grand Aggregate for shooting at 200, 500, and 600 yards, scoring 107 out of a possible 120 points. For achieving over 100 points in the Grand Aggregate, he would again wear the Gold Cross Guns for the coming year.

On 30 Oct 1913, the garrison sergeants gathered to elect new officers for the London Garrison Sergeants' Association. Plans were also set in motion for sports committees to conduct military leagues for indoor baseball and basketball. Butler was elected to one of the Association's auditor positions, and he also appeared as a member of the new Sports Committee.

A hundred members and guests of the Seventh Regiment gathered on 10 Nov 1913 at the Armouries for a "merry party" and entertainment hosted by "B" Company. This was one of a series of parties hosted in turn by the companies of the battalion. Held in the men's mess room and chaired by Color-Sergeant Butler, the guests enjoyed an evening of dining and entertainment of song, recitations, and music including bagpipe performances.

Early in the new year, 1914, Butler was again confirmed as secretary-treasurer of the Liberal Club by acclamation.

On 21 Mar 1914, Butler's military career was set on a new path. Effective that date he was appointed to a provisional lieutenancy in the 7th Regiment "Fusiliers." This was promulgated in the 7 Apr 1914 Militia Orders published in The Canada Gazette of 23 May 1914.

Within days of his appointment, Butler's new role in the Regiment was being shared by the local newspaper. On 24 Mar 1914, The London Advertiser announced a number of changes in the staff of the Seventh Regiment:

"To Reorganize Staff of Seventh Regiment
"Many Changes Practically Amount to Reorganization of Commissioned Officers.

"Monday night sees the beginning of spring drill for the Seventh Regiment, and the indications are that the season will be one of the best ever enjoyed by the regiment. An increased establishment, new uniforms of the latest pattern, and practical reorganization of the staff of officers, are all factors which it is hoped will contribute towards giving new impetus to the regiment, While it has not yet been officially gazetted, it is generally understood that Maj. H.C. Becher will succeed to the command of the regiment on the retirement of Lieut.-Col, Campbell. He took over the stores from Col. Campbell Monday night and will be in charge of the regiment temporarily the present commanding officer having applied for leave of absence.

"Among the new officers who will identify themselves with the regiment are City Engineer Ashplant who goes to "E" company; Alexander Calder, who becomes provisional lieutenant in charge of "B" company, and Color Sergeant W.C. Butler. Sergt. Butler has been identified with "B" company for many years as a non-commissioned officer.

"Capt. W.R. Brown, who has been in command of "D" company for a number of years, has been appointed transport officer, and Dr. George Hale has been posted to the army medical corps and will, be assigned to the regiment as medical officer.

"The new uniforms are being issued this week and are the subject of much favorable comment among the men."

Lieutenant (Prov.) W.C. Butler attended the Royal School of Infantry at Wolseley Barracks from 28 Apr to 2 May 1914. This period was sufficient for him to pass the required examinations and earn a certificate qualifying him for the rank of Lieutenant. Confirmation of Butler's Lieutenancy in the 7th Regiment, back-dated to 21 Mar 1914, was published in The Canada Gazette on 27 Jun 1914.

On 10 Jul 1914, "B" Company, led by Lieutenants Calder and Butler, held their annual company shoot at the Cove Ranges. Over thirty members of the company were in attendance and after firing was completed, they enjoyed a lunch, brief addresses by the officers, and recitations and verse by Sergt. M.B. Watt.

The Seventh Regiment's Rifle Association met on the evening of 31 Jul 1914 at the Amouries. The next day's Advertiser reported on the election of officers for the Association. Under the presidency of Lieut.-Col. H.C. Becher, the slate of appointments included Lieutenant Chester Butler. Decisions were also taken that reflected on the regimental culture surrounding shooting, and in the following years a new rule was to be instituted that those competing in regimental and team shooting competitions would be required to have attended a minimum of six drills prior to the shoot. During the meeting, Chester Butler was also nominated to be a member of the regiment's proposed team for the upcoming Ontario and Dominion Rifle Association shoots, to be held at Toronto and Ottawa, respectively.

Exactly how the new ruling affecting regimental shooters would affect recruiting and retention in the 7th Regiment was going to have to wait. On 4 Aug 1914, Britain declared war on Germany. That act also meant that Canada was at war and citizens who had been following the growing tensions in Europe through the newspapers now had an immediate hometown focus on world events.

The 7 Aug 1914 edition of The London Advertiser reported that a special extra edition of The Canada Gazette, the Government's official publication, announced that "Canada is in a state of war." The paper went on to report that commanding officers of Militia units had been formally notified by telegraph of enlistment terms to match mobilization orders that had been issued the previous day. For the thousands who might be ready to enlist at once, it announced:

"Tomorrow, all over the country, recruiting offices will be opened and inspecting physicians will begin their work."

With these announcements, in the absence of a general mobilization of formed units from the Canadian Militia, Chester Butler and the officers, non-commissioned officers, and men of the Seventh Regiment were set upon their many individual paths to wartime service. By Monday 10 Aug 1914, the Commanding Officer of the Seventh Regiment, Lieut.-Col. H.C. Becher, was discounting rumours that the Regiment was to be mobilized and on its way to Halifax. Having paraded nearly 400 strong on the preceding Friday, the Seventh Regiment planned another march in the city that evening to demonstrate its readiness and encourage enlistment. Led by its bands and accompanied by naval and military reservists following the battalion, these parades both emphasized the readiness of the soldiers of the Seventh as well as promoted recruiting efforts.

On 12 Aug 1914, the Advertiser informed its readers that a list of 150 men of the Seventh Regiment and other city units had been forwarded to Ottawa as ready volunteers for war service. Volunteers had to meet the various physical standards for mobilization in their corps, and had to on the roll of a unit to have their names put forward. The following day the paper published the names of the first volunteers from the Seventh Regiment and the Sixth Field battery of London.

The Advertiser's edition of 17 Aug 1914 provided details of two new orders which would affect those officers and men who had volunteered for active service. The first was that they would all need to be vaccinated against typhoid. The second order, applicable to Butler and the other officers, was that they would need to complete all tests of qualification before they could go. On the evening of 17 Aug 1914, Lieut.-Col. Becher led over 300 men of the Seventh Regiment from the Armouries to Victoria Park. Here the battalion practiced the attack in skirmish order.

The first troops departed London by train in the early afternoon of 20 Aug 1914. Nearly two thousand Londoners were on hand to see off over one hundred soldiers of the First Hussars, the Seventh Field Company Engineers, and the First Division Corps of Guides. They were headed to Camp Valcartier near Quebec City, where the First Canadian Contingent was being formed.

On 21 Aug 1914, the Advertiser announced that the first men of the Seventh Regiment would board a train for Valcartier the following day. 140 men of the Seventh were ready to go. They would be accompanied by volunteers from the Twenty-fifth Regiment from St. Thomas and pick up the men of the Twenty-Second Regiment on their way through Woodstock.

"Cheered by thousands," the volunteers of the Seventh Regiment, Fusiliers, boarded their train in London on Saturday 22 Aug 1914. A photograph on the front page of the Advertiser showed four of the seven Fusilier officers who were going with them: Capt. W.J. Taylor, Capt. Frank Ware, Lieut.-Col. H.C. Becher, and Lieut. Chester Butler.

News shared in the London Advertiser on 24 Aug 1914 showed that the organization of the First Canadian Contingent was proceeding apace. Lieut.-Col. H.C. Becher, the peacetime commanding officer of the Seventh Regiment, was to be appointed to command the Fifth Battalion being formed at Valcartier. Taking, among others, his own Fusilier troops under command, the men of the Seventh Regiment were to form "G" Company of the battalion and the remainder to be placed in "F" Company.

As thousands of troops poured into Camp Valcartier for the organization of the First Canadian Contingent, order and counter-order were the order of the day. The first organization of battalions from the many drafts from Militia units across the Dominion was established by Valcartier Camp Order No. 28 of 22nd August, 1914. The troops sent from London, of both the 7th Regiment and the 1st Hussars, along with soldiers from 14 other units, almost all from Military District No. 1 (retitled the First Divisional Area in 1911).

That structure lasted eleven days before it was replaced by Valcartier Camp Order No. 241 of 2nd September, 1914. In the new organization, the officers, N.C.O.'s and men of the 7th Regiment were one of the larger elements in the new 1st Provisional Battalion which would become the 1st Canadian Infantry Battalion. Lieut.-Col. Becher was appointed second-in-command of the 1st Battalion and would go overseas as a Major (although he is more often referred to by his substantive rank of Lieut.-Col.). Lieut. Chester Butler was appointed Signalling Officer.

The Militia units which provided drafts that formed this battalion were:

1st Provisional Battalion (3 Sep 1914)

During these days of turmoil in the Contingent's initial organization, rumours reached London that the unit the men and officers of the Seventh had been placed in would not go over in the first contingent. The continuing reorganization of the provisional battalions, however, as quickly overturned such predictions. By the time a telegram arrived in London from Lieut.-Col. Becher to Major Spittal, acting commanding officer of the Seventh Regiment, the unit's men in Valcartier were then in the newly reorganized 1st Canadian Infantry Battalion. Becher's telegram read:

"To Major William Spittal,

"Camp orders tonight give the names of the first brigade officers to go. Only one out so far, I am second in command of the first battalion; Watson, captain; Butler, signalling officer; Hunt, lieutenant; Ware, staff captain. Don't think we will leave for about a week. First battalion put it all over other three in manoeuvres yesterday. Regards to all.

"(Signed) H.C. Becher."

Walter Chester Butler attested for service in the Canadian Expeditionary Force (C.E.F.) with the 1st Canadian Infantry Battalion at Camp Valcartier, Quebec, on 23 Sep 1914. An apparent shortage of the Officers' Declaration Forms resulted in his personal information being recorded on a soldier's Attestation Paper.

A 27-year-old accountant, Butler was described on his attestation paper as 5 feet 9 1/2-inches tall, with a 35-inch chest, a medium complexion, grey eyes, and dark brown hair. His religious denomination was Church of England. Butler identified his father, Frank H. Butler, 194 Cheapside Dr., London, Ont., as his next of kin. Butler stated that he had 11 years previous service with the 7th Fusiliers of London, Ont. His form is annotated with the note "Signalling Officer."

Commencing October, 1914, Butler established a monthly Pay Assignment of $25 to be sent to his mother. As a Lieutenant in the C.E.F., Butler was paid $2.00 per day plus an additional sixty cents daily field allowance. His pay assignment represented about one-third of his monthly pay. Initially sent to the Cheapside address, Butler's parents later moved to 236 Central Ave., London, Ont. This pay assignment would continue throughout Butler's wartime service.

The 1st Canadian Infantry Battalion sailed for England as part of Canada's First Contingent. Crossing the Atlantic aboard the S.S. Laurentic, the unit arrived in England on 14 Oct 1914 with a strength of 45 officers and 1121 men. Four days later they were at Bustard camp on Salisbury Plain where they would undergo training until 7 Jan 1915.

The London Advertiser, on 13 Jan 1915, published the following note:

"Boys Not Forgotten By Three Good Men
"Messrs. Duffield, Smith and Cronyn Didn't Tell Anyone of Gift Sent to England

"James C. Duffield, A.M. Smith and Hume Cronyn were the unannounced benefactors of the men at Salisbury Plain at Christmas, and through their generosity, every London man enjoyed a most excellent turkey dinner. Just how much the men appreciated this kindness became known today in a letter received from Lieut. Chester Butler. Every man and officer received an equal share in the donation of $250 which was sent."

On 8 Feb 1915, the 1st Battalion travelled to Avonmouth and embarked on a transport for France. They landed at St. Nazaire, France, on 11 Feb 1915. The battalion travelling by train the 700 kilometres to Strazelle, a three-day journey, then had a short march to billets at Merris on 14 Feb 1915. The unit's first casualty in France occurred when 7057 Corpl. J.P. McMaster fell under the train and was fatally injured.

After three days at Merris, the 1st Battalion marched 20 kilometres to Armentieres on 17 Feb 1915 to enter the Divisional Reserve. From 18 to 22 Feb the unit had its first experience of the front line trenches. Receiving instruction in billet routine, hand grenades and trench routine among other subjects, the companies rotated through the forward lines under the guidance of experienced British Army units.

On Monday, March 15, 1915, The London Advertiser published a letter received from Butler detailing the troops first experience of the trenches. Led by a stack of headlining bullets to capture the reader's attention, the article read:

London Lads Behave Like Veterans Under Fire in Trenches in France

Period of Anxious Waiting To Citizens With Friends and Relatives Fighting in Europe Is Broken With Good News That, Although Under Fire, Londoners Come Safely Through Ordeal – High Praise For Canadians From All Sides.

Lieut. Chester Butler Writes From the Front

Tells of Receiving Baptism of Fire and How It Feels To Undergo the Experience
Went In With English Regulars
German Snipers Proved Menace, But, Luckily, None of Their Bullets Found London Billets.

The first direct word from the First Battalion in the trenches to their relatives in London came today. A period of anxious waiting following the most momentous news of a century–aye, of all time–has been the last two weeks, for no English mail has reached London although London boys have been in action, bearing themselves bravely, doing their city honor, for some weeks.

Letters from Lieut. Chester Butler, one of London's most admired young men and soldiers, who is in charge of the signallers of the First Battalion, reached his parents, Mr. and Mrs. F.H. Butler, 11 Cheapside street, today. They were overjoyed to learn that he had been on duty in the trenches, and that he had come out of them uninjured, His first letter, which describes this first visit to the trenches, shows that he was the headquarters staff, and went in with a colonel and adjutant of the regulars, It is as follows:

"Baptism of Fire.

"It will no doubt be a great relief to you all to know that I am all right after having been in the trenches, I have received my "baptism of fire." Our whole battalion was brought up here for instructional work in the trenches. and we all went in with the English regulars. I was with the headquarters staff, and went in with the colonel and adjutant of the regulars. All the troops go into the trenches at night, and we went to the headquarters of the regiment at the front, which is in a house in the rear of the firing line. When we arrived they had some hot soup and other things for us to eat, and we then went out into the trenches in the middle of the night. There we met the general commanding this brigade, and went through the long lines.

"Billy Dann on General's Staff.

"Who do you think was on the general's staff but Billy Dann (son of the late Canon Dann, who left London some years ago for England, and has since resided there). At the present time there is no very severe fighting going on, only sniping, that is sharpshooters letting off an occasional shot, but very seldom hitting anybody. Some of the German trenches are about 600 yards away. while others are only about 75 yards away. We have big, high breastworks all along our front, and nothing can hit the men in the trenches. Everybody seemed as happy as larks and were singing and joking all the time. The men have good hot meals, which they cook themselves.

"Kept Sniping at Them.

"There was a German sniper who was in a houxe and kept continually firing away at our trenches and as he was under cover we could not get him. They sent word to the artillery and they are coming into position there this afternoon, so I guess by now there is nothing left of the house or the German.

"The colonel, the adjutant and I left the trenches about 10 o'clock and went back to regimental headquarters of the English regiment we were with and had breakfast, and later left for town. The firing line is only about two miles from here. This is a most remarkable war in many respects. Just imagine being in the trenches at 10 o'clock and at noon being back in a big comfortable house, where we had a hot bath, a change of clothing and an excellent dinner–all inside of two hours.

Expect to Go Back Soon.

"We expect to go back now to our former village where we went when we first landed in this country, and then other Canadian battalions will come up here for this same kind of instruction,

"One of the amusing things I heard this morning was an English Tommy who had some of those creepy, crawly things on him. He was sitting with his undershirt off and killing them with the handle of his bayonet and he shouted out, "Who wants two little ones for a big one?"

"Our fellows all behaved remarkably well, and the English officers all speak in the highest of terms about them. I was through all our trenches and saw every one of the London boys, and I was never more agreeably surprised in my life at their splendid behavior.

"With love to all,

The battalion marched back to Merris and their Divisional Reserve role on 23 Feb 1915. Re-occupying their previous billets, they spent four days in training activities ranging from inspections of rifles and feet, route marching, and the siting and occupation of trenches.

Butler's contributions to the paper, whether made directly or through his family, ensured that many Londoners were following the story of the 1st Battalion through his words. On 16 Mar 1915 another lengthy article appeared in The London Advertiser based on Butler's letter of 24 Feb 1915:

"In Trenches A Week London Boys Had Finest of Meals

"Lieut. Chester Butler Says men Were Comfortable as at Home.
"Prices Higher Here.
"In Spite of War, 20 cents Pays For Good Meal in France.

"Home comforts In the trenches!

"Such a possibility seems strange after the stories that have come from Flanders of flooded breastworks and terrible privations suffered by the defenders of the Allies' trenches, but it is more than a possibility. It is a reality according to Lieut. Chester Butler, of this city, signalling officer of the 1st Canadian of the 1st Canadian Battalion.

"In his second letter from France, dated February 24, received by his mother, be describes life in the trenches from a somewhat different angle to the one which was published in The Advertiser of yesterday which chronicled the Canadians' baptism of fire. In this second letter he is back with his battalion the first billet it had after arriving in the theatre of war.

"A Week in Trenches.

"The letter follows:

"Here we are in our first billet that we came to after a week's duty in the trenches, which I enjoyed very much.

"A very strange thing happened last night at mess. Lieut. Creighton, of our battalion, was telling a story about coming down on the train from Winnipeg to enlist and happened to mention the name "Hesketh." I thought the name was familiar, and found it was the same Lieut. Hesketh that was through the Northwest rebellion with father, He is here as a major of the Strathcona Horse. I understand that they are going to be sent to Egypt as there is little use for cavalry in this war at the present.

"Surprised at the Trenches.

"You would have been most agreeably surprised if you had seen how nice it was in the trenches and what conveniences they have here. The firing line is about a mile outside a fairly big city. and they get up supplies every night. When they are relieved, which is every six days, they just go back to their billets in nice comfortable houses.

"Just before coming out, we were attached to the Shropshire Light Infantry, and for breakfast we had ham and eggs, sausages, toast, jam and coffee. For lunch we had soup, steak, potatoes, buns, jam and tea. Even the men live well.

"Improving Their Lines.

"The English have held this line for some time, and have been improving it all the time. Every officer has a little place to sleep built in the rear of the trench, and the officers of each company have a mess of their own.

"You no doubt read in the papers of the truce which was arranged between the troops at Christmas. Well, that was just around here. It seems that the Germans, opposing our troops, were Saxons, and they said to our men: "You are Anglos, and we are Saxons, and the Anglo-Saxon should not fight against each other.

"Borrowed Each Other's Mallets.

"After this conversetion they put in their time fixing their trenches and putting up breastworks, even borrowing each others mallets to do the work. There was not a shot fired for three weeks, and at last the Germans ordered them to fire. Finally the Saxons were withdrawn, and some Prussians put in their place.

"The Saxons told the English beforehand that if they were relieved they would fire three volleys into the air, and they would know that afterwards they could then fire into the trenches.

"Confirmed by Officers.

"I know that this is an actual fact, because I got it from several different officers who were present. You know that Saxony was conquered by the Germans, but they are not loyal to them at all.

"We marched back here yesterday morning, a distance of about twelve miles. It was a lovely day for a march The weather was remarkably good while we were away. I think it only rained once, and we were not in the trenches then.

"Living is Cheap

"Things are fairly cheap over here; in fact far cheaper than in Canada, in spite of the war. You can get a good lunch here for one franc (20 cents), and the cooking is excellent. You just ought to taste their omelettes, French-fried potatoes and coffee. Where we are billeted now, they make their own bread, keep lots of chickens, and we get strictly fresh-laid eggs.

"I understand that we will be here for some time, as all the other Canadians have got to go to the trenches for instructions.

"I generally go to bed at 9 p.m., and as it is exactly that now, I am beginning to get sleepy. I don't get up till 7 a.m., so with lots of sleep and good meals and fresh air, I am feeling fine, in fact, never better.

"Good-night, best love to all,

Marching to Flerbaix on 28 Feb 1915, another 20 Kilometre march, the battalion took up billets for the night while the Commanding Officer and Adjutant visited the trenches they would occupy the following day. By 9 p.m., 1 Mar 1915, the 1st Battalion had taken over the No. 5 Sub-Section trenches from the 1st Bn., South Staffordshire Regiment and commenced their first full tour in the Forward Line of Trenches. This tour of duty was a sobering introduction to the life of the infantry in trench warfare that would fill the next four years. From casualties by artillery fire in the village before marching into the trenches, to heavy sniper fire in the trenches, and variable weather including some snow and rain, the tone was set for the coming years.

Relieved by the 3rd Battalion on the night of 5 Mar 1915, the 1st Canadians rotated into Brigade Reserve. Here they were in billets had a chance for baths, rest, and Church Parade on the 7th. On 9 Mar 1915, the unit returned to the No. 5 Sub-Section trenches, relieving the 3rd Battalion.

During its front line tour of duty from 10 to 13 Mar 1915, the 1st Battalion experienced its first combat action. The unit's "Battle Bar Document" (prepared after the war by the Militia Department in anticipation of the possibility of clasps for the British War Medal) makes the very succint observation that the unit "STOOD TO ARMS during this tour for British operations at NEUVE CHAPELLE." The War Diary was slightly more expansive:

"March 10/15 — Received orders to hold enemy to their ground while 4th Div. Attacked Neuve Chapelle on our right. Kept up a heavy fusillade, assisted by artillery, all day. 3 killed and 5 wounded.

"March 11/15 — Repeated the same as on the 10th.Enemy retaliated by long distance shelling, smashing Dressing Station and Supply Post. 2 men slightly wounded.

"March 12/15 — Repeated same 10th inst. Enemy shelled our trenches off and on with very little damage. Pte Jackson #4 Co. killed."

On being relieved in the forward trenches by the 3rd Battalion on 13 Mar 1915, the 1st Canadians returned to billets at Merris and the Divisional Reserve task. The battalion rested for two days and then conducted practices of attacking from trenches.

On 24 Mar 1915, The London Advertiser published extracts from two letters written by Butler on the 8th of March:

"London Battery Shoots Down 'Eyes' of Enemy

"Second Shot Did Trick–English Trying For It All Winter.
"Make Name for Selves.
"Lieut. Chester Butler Says Canadian Artillery Companies Doing Splendid Work.

"Wood Leonard's battery is attached to this brigade, and they are certainly doing excellent work. The other day they shot down as German artillery observation post with their second shot, and the English artillery have been trying for it all winter. The Canadian artillery are going to make a name for themselves in this war. Saw Frank Ware yesterday and he is fine. So is Col. Becher."

"This extract from a letter that came today to his parents from Lieut. Chester Butler, of the 1st Battalion, 1st Brigade, speaks for itself. It shows that practically all the London men, infantry and artillery, are together, and that the famous old Sixth, which left London as a unit, has already distinguished itself.

"Lieut. Butler has written two letters dated March 8, and the interesting part of the other letter is as follow:

"Highly Complimented.

"You will no doubt see by the papers that we have been in the trenches again, and the battalion did remarkably well and were highly complimented by the general. Col. Hill is sick in the hospital, and Col. Becher was in command, and he did splendidly. We were in the supporting trenches, and were very comfortable. We sleep in dugouts built in the earth, and eat in a larger one. We get our supplies in at night, and have fresh eggs and meats daily. We use condensed milk entirely, as the fresh milk might not be pure, and we never take any chances like that.

"Just Imagine. When we were up there we had our mail brought up every night, and mail collected, just the same as if we were living in a city. I did not get any from home, but I beleive there is a big Canadian mail due tomorrow, so I hope to get some. We have hot baths in the town, and everybody is paraded there and has to take one. That is done every time troops come out of the trenches.

"Last night there was a German spy arrested here. He was caught in the act of signalling to the enemy's trenches from behind our lines with a lantern, and they were answering him. There was another spy arrested this morning, but I have not heard what for."

Letters from the front penned by Butler were again mentioned in the Advertiser on 31 Mar 1915:

"Lieut. Butler tells of the part of the 1st Battalion in the attack on Neuve Chapelle. He said that they kept up a tremendous fire while the attack was proceeding, but that the actual attack was made to the right. The object of the heavy fire was to prevent the Germans in the trenches opposite from going to the assistance of the defenders of Neuve Chapelle."

Concerns about the high cost of living for officers overseas were debunked in Butler's letter published in The London Advertiser on 14 Apr 1915:

"H.C.L. Has No Fears for London Officers Serving at the Front "Get Meals Fit for Gods for 10 Cents–Lieut. Chester Butler Writes Home.

"The high cost of living has no terrors for the London officers in the trenches. According to a letter received by the Parents of Lieut. Chester Butler yesterday he and three others of the 1st Battalion are getting the finest of French meals at ten cents per meal.

"We have the laugh on you folks at home," he says. "We are with a French family, and we get mutton and vegetables and French-fried potatoes and. home-made bread for dinner and poached eggs and toast and fruit at breakfast, all for the sum of 10 cents. There are four of us, and it only costs us 40 cents a meal."

"The London officers are reported to be In the best of health. One of the London men left in London recently sent to his friends 5,000 cigarettes and other gifts, and always gifts are pouring in from England."

The 1st Canadian Infantry Battalion returned to the same front line trenches for another tour of duty from 18 to 21 Mar 1915. During this relatively quiet tour of the front, the battalion suffered two fatalities, Private James Fairbairn and Lieutenant William Gaulagher. Relieved once again by the 3rd Battalion, the 1st Canadians returned to the Brigade Reserve for 22-25 Mar 1915, using this period for rest, baths, and route marching.

By the end of March, the First Canadian Division went into army reserve around Estaires, five miles behind the lines. The 1st Battalion moved to the new area on the night of 25 Mar 1915, to new billets at a location identified in the War Diary only by map location "L.9.a.7.8, 36A France, 1/40000."

The 1st Battalion began a period of training while out of the front lines. Route marching and practice in digging with entrenching tools ended the month of March 1915. Sadly, even periods away from the trenches were not without danger, the unit losing one bomb-thrower, Private Sidney Preston, in a training accident.

Training, dominated by route marching, continued into April 1915. The unit cleaned billets on the afternoon of 5 Apr 1915 and the next day set out to march to Oudezeele. Occupying new billets, training continued with bayonet fighting and 'fire control and fire discipline' appearing in the War Dairy record.

Five days later, on 19 Apr 1915, The London Advertiser had more news for Londoners from Butler when he described the daily routine out of the trenches and how they were receiving church services:

"Preached On Top Of Refuse Heap

"Unique Religious Service Held at Front Told of in Letter.
"Daily Work Strenuous.
"Lieut. Chester Butler Writes Home–Germans Brutal Even To Women.

"I will try and give you some idea of what a day's work consists of: We get up at 6 and from 6:30 to 7 physical drill and running. Breakfast at 7:30, I parade 9 till 32, for trench digging, attacking and defending trenches, bayonet fighting and all kinds of field manoeuvers. Dinner at 12:30, parade again at 2 p.m., for route march about 8 to 10 miles, tea at 6 p.m., bed about 9 or 9:30 p.m. So you see we are in the open all day long, and get a sleep at night. I feel fine and was never better in my life. When I finish the route marches I am not the least bit tired. Tomorrow is Good Friday, and we have our usual parade. We also have a church service in a big field near here. On Easter Sunday they are going to have a special church service, and holy communion. Our church is a barn and the communion table is made of a pile of bully beef boxes with a blanket over them.

"Unique Church Service.

"I think one of the most unique church services I ever attended was one we had a couple of weeks ago on a farm, in the centre of which was a large refuse heap. We gathered around and the minister stood on top and preached.

"When the Germans were in this part of the country some officers stayed in this house, and the ladies here tell me that they (the Germans), always went around with their revolvers drawn and demanded everything at the point of the revolver. When they sat down to their meals they always had their revolvers by their plates. The ladies seem to appreciate the difference between the Germans and Canadians, and are always trying to do something for us. They always have lovely coffee on the stove and they give us a cup whenever we want it, and won't take any money."

The 1st Canadians' return to the trenches began on 18 Apr 1915 when the battalion moved to Proven, Belgium. After a day spent cleaning billets, they moved again on the 20th to Camp "B", Vlamertinghe. Here, in Divisional Reserve, the troops cleaned billets again while being held at short notice to move.

The orders to move came in the early morning hours of 23 Apr 1915. From camp "B" the 1st Battalion marched via Brielen over the Yser canal by the No. 4 pontoon bridge. By 9.00 a.m., orders had been received for an attack on Pilckem Village. A narrative written for the 1st Canadian Infantry Battalion's War Diary describes the events of the next few days:

Narrative of operations 23rd to 30th April, 1915.

Ref. Sheet 28, 1/40,000

On the morning of the 23rd April at 1.40 A.M. The 1st and 4th Canadian Bns moved from VLAMERTINGHE via BRIELEN and crossed the YSER CANAL–4th Battalion leading.

These units then occupied a position on the east side of the CANAL facing NORTH along the track leading EAST from the bridge (Pontoon No. 4) 500 yards south of the first bend in the CANAL north of YPRES. This position extended from the YPRES–PILCKEM road, inclusive, to the CANAL. Th 4th Canadian Battalion was on the right.

Col. GEDDES, the Buffs, with 3 Bns. was expected to advance through the position occupied to the NORTH.

At 5 A.M. the Canadian Bns. were ordered to attack in the direction of PILCKEM village with their left resting on the YPRES–PILCKEM road supporting an attack by the FRENCH on their left and to maintain contact with Col. GEDDES' force on their right. The 4th Bn was directed to lead the advance, the 1st Bn supporting.

The ridge 1200 yards SOUTH of PILCKEM was occupied by the enemy and was the first objective.

The attack was launched under heavy artillery, machine gun and rifle fire and without artillery preparation. The only artillery support was afforded by one Batty in rear.

On our advance the enemy retired from some advanced trenches he had occupied to his main position on the ridge.

At 9:30 A.M. after reaching a point 500 yards from the crest of the ridge the attacking force was ordered to halt and entrench.

At 3:48 P.M. the FRENCH advanced to attack on our left and at the same time Col. GEDDES' force advanced through our entrenched position. The Canadian Bns, went forward with this force leaving a sufficient garrison in the entrenched position already gained.

In support of this position the local reserve of the 1st Canadian Bn, had in the morning thrown up a a strong line of trenches facing PILCKEM ridge on the high ground near the track leading from the CANAL bridge.

The afternoon attack reached a point within 200 yards of the enemy's main position on the ridge but being too thin and insufficiently supported by artillery the attack failed to gain its objective, but the ground gained was held.

At 11:50 P.M, the advanced troops were relieved and the 1st Canadian Bn was ordered to occupy the line of trenches constructed by the local reserve in the morning and act as a reserve to the front line. This position was held until 7 P.M. the 24th inst. under very heavy artillery, machine gun and rifle fire.

During the morning 24th inst. the FRENCH developed an attack on our left which was unsuccessful but some ground was gained.

At 7 P.M. the 24th inst, the 1st Canadian Bn, was ordered to march towards FORTUIN via WIELTJE and on reaching a point 200 yards south of FORTUIN entrenched facing NORTH, supporting an attack on ST. JULIEN.

The Bn remained in these supporting trenches under heavy fire until 8 P.M. the Bn, was withdrawn and marched to the west bank of the YSER CANAL at PONTOON bridge No. 4—the point of crossing on the 23rd inst. and occupied a position covering the ground between the 3rd and 5th PONTOON BRIDGES. This position mas maintained under heavy artillery fire until the evening of the 28th inst.

At 6:80 P.M, the 28th inst. the Bn with the remainder of the 1st Canadian Inf. Bde crossed the canal road constructed a line of trenches between the farms C22a and C22b and also assisted the Rifle Bde in building and repairing their trenches, later withdrawing to VLAMERTINGHE.

The casualties suffered during the period 23rd to 30th inst. were: officers—killed 3, wounded 7; other ranks—killed 58, wounded 306, missing 34. Nearly all these casualties occurred on the 23rd inst.

The conduct of all ranks was all that could possibly be desired and their devotion to duty and steadiness remarkable.

F.W. Hill
Comdg., 1st Canadian Battalion

1 May 1915

On 29 Apr 1915, the 1st Battalion was withdrawn from the field of battle and returned to Divisional Reserve in billets at Camp "B", Vlamertinghe. Chester Butler had already been evacuated. He was wounded during the initial assault at Pilckem Ridge on 23 Apr 1915.

Evacuated from the battlefield, the details of which would come out later, Butler would have passed through the battalion's dressing station and be admitted to No. 7 Casualty Clearing Station on 25 Apr 1915. His service record shows that he would be immediately transferred, crossing the Channel to Dover, Eng., by the hospital ship H.M.H.S. St. Patrick. On the same date, Butler was admitted to Lady Mason's Hospital, London, Eng., suffering from a gun shot wound ("G.S.W.") in his right thigh.

On Monday, 26 Apr 1915, The London Advertiser carried the first news of Butler's wounding:

"Ten men From West Ontario; Two Are Dead
"Lieut. Butler and Lieut. Weld, of London, Among Wounded.
"Lieut. Lindsay Killed
"Vancouver Man, Native of Strathroy, Gives Up His Life.

"Two young men connected with prominent London families are reported in the list of casualties received yesterday. Mr. and Mrs. Frank H. Butler, of 194 Cheapside street, received word early Sunday morning that their son, Lieut. W.C. Butler, had been wounded, but no additional particulars were obtained. Mr. Butler at once phoned to friends in Ottawa, but the casualty office was able to give no details as to the seriousness of the wound. Early Sunday morning the Canadian Press wire carried Lieut. Butler's name to The Advertiser office.

"A Popular Officer.

"None of the young men who left London, as officers or in the ranks, is more favorably known than Chester Butler, He offered his services the moment war was announced, and was accepted, as he was one of the best qualified officers in the city. For many years he has been a member of the 7th Regiment, and he was especially well qualified in signalling. Also he was one of the best shots in the regiment. When the 1st Battalion was organized he was placed in charge of the signalling section, but as signalling has not figured in this War to any extent, he has been performing ordinary duty, and he was no doubt in command of a section when he was wounded.

"One of Fighting Family.

"When Chester Butler left London he was told by his grandfather, Walter Fairbairn, who has also seen active service in the Canadian forces, to bring back the Victoria Cross. Whether his action in the recent fighting won him the coveted honor is not known, but it is realized by all his friends that it would not have been lost through lack of trying. His father also served in the Riel rebellion, so that three generations of the family have been on active service for Canada.

"Lieut. Butler was known to every Liberal in London, as he has acted as secretary of the Liberal Club for many years. He was prominent also in the work of St. Paul's Cathedral."

The Globe, of Toronto, also reported on 26 Apr 1915 the loss of officers who were from or known to Toronto in the recent battle. The paper included Butler in its article, providing the following information:

"London, Ont., April 25.-–Lieut. W. C. Butler is a son of Mr. and Mrs. F. H. Butler, Cheapside street, is only twenty-seven years. old, but is one of the most efficient soldiers this city has sent to the front. In the 7th Fusiliers of London he won merit Promotion from; the ranks and was one of the first to enlist for war. His aptitude for military service secured him recognition at Salisbury, and he went to the battle-front in command of the signalling corps. He left a responsible position on the London office staff of the International Harvester Company, and up to the time of his departure Chester Butler had been for a, number of years the Secretary-Treasurer of the London Liberal Club."

The following day, The Advertiser carried "London's message to Lieut. Butler":

"As a mark of appreciation of his services, Mayor H.A. Stevenson last night cabled the following message, on behalf of the citizens of London, to Lieut. Chester Butler, son of Mr. And Mrs. Frank H. Butler, of 194 Cheapside street, who was wounded in the recent engagement of Canadians: "London's sympathy and homage." (Signed) H.A. Stevenson."

Butler was as diligently working to communicate with home on the state of his wounds. On 27 Apr 1915, The London Advertiser published the following on his first cable to family:

"Lieut. C. Butler Sent Cable From London Hospital
"Slightly Wounded In Thigh, His Message–Says 'Doing Splendidly."

"Slightly wounded in thigh. Doing splendidly in hospital, London. Address 16 Bruton street.

"(Signed) "CHESTER."

"The above message was received in cable form from Lieut. Chester Butler, son of Mr, and Mrs. Frank H, Butler, of 194 Cheapside street, who enlisted with the first Canadian expeditionary force and who was reported wounded in the desperate charge of Canadians in recapturing their guns.

"Taken to England.

"From another message received yesterday, it was learned that only six hours after Lieut. Butler had been shot, he was landed in England along with many others, and rushed to the hospital for treatment.

"Since the receipt of the casualty lists on Sunday and press dispatches from Ottawa carrying the name of the popular London officers and telling of the awful destruction of life, in the fierce conflict around Hill No. 60, relatives and friends have anxiously awaited further news of his conditions. Mr. Butler got into touch with military authorities at Ottawa in an effort to learn the seriousness of his son's wounds. No information was available, however, and the young officer's cable message to his parents was the first news received in this city that he was not dangerously wounded, as was feared."

The London Advertiser provided more details for its readers on 28 Apr 1915:

"Lieut. Butler's Wound Not Thought Serious
"Shot Entered Thigh–Condition Quite Satisfactory

"Following the receipt of a cable message from Lieut. Chester Butler, his son, stating that the wound which he had received in the engagement of Canadians around Hill 60, was not serious, Frank H. Butler, of 194 Cheapside street, last night, received a telegram from the adjutant-general at Ottawa, declaring that the young London officer had sustained a gunshot wound in the thigh and that his condition was quite satisfactory. The telegram stated that Lieut. Butler was at present in Lady Gibson's Hospital, London, England, where he had been removed along with others after the battle.

"When Mr. Butler was notified on Sunday by Ottawa that his son was among the wounded in the great struggle, he at once communicated with Ottawa in the hope of learning how serious the injury might be. The reply received last night, arrived after the cable message from Lieut. Butler written from the English hospital, and stating that his condition was not serious, had been received."

Recovering in hospital, Butler now had the time to write at length and share his experiences with family and through the pages of The London Advertiser, his friends and acquaintances in the city. On Monday, May 10, 1915, the paper carried the following story:

"Veritable Hell of Shot, Shell Faced Unflinchingly by Men From London on Firing Lines Comes Word in Letter Here

"Lieut. Chester Butler Gives Unstinted Praise to Lance Corp. Rance, Capt. F.B. Ware, Pte. Nelson Porte and Others Who Made Names For Selves in France–Lieut. Butler in English Hospital Now.

"Lieut. Chester Butler, son of Mr. Frank Butler, this city, sends a blood-red letter from the front telling of the recent fighting in which he and other men from London played their part, and well. The words are simple, but underlying them one may almost hear the scream of shrapnel, the whine of bullets, the cries of wounded and the strangled coughs of dying; the beich of fire from cannon mouths, the numerous clouds of black smoke which herald bursting shells; the charge of khaki-clad men with bayonets bared for thrust at enemy–the whole letter breathes the battlefield, but says not by word or intent, anything which would lead one to believe the writer had done aught but duty.

"Method of Attack.

"When the German artillery opened fire on the battalion of which Lieut. Butler and other Londoners formed a part, "it was like Hades let loose," to quote the writer's own words. Short rushes of about 50 yards were made, when the attackers would make cover in the safety of some small hill. A moment's respite then on again. This method of attack was held to until the enemy's trenches had beey reached, when it was cold steel against cold steel, with the Canadians simply gutting the enemy from his stronghold. A shrapnel shell exploded and a lateral area of about 200 yards was covered with a rain of bullets. Seven of the men, shoulder to shoulder with Lieut. Butler, were wounded, yet the forward movement did not even falter. It was one of these bullets that struck the Londoner in the thigh causing his wound and rendering him for the time-being, hors de combat.

"Carried From Battlefield.

"The wounded were carried from the battlefield into temporary Quarters, where injuries were dressed. But the enemy shelled these quarters so the stricken men were carried to the cellar. There they found asylum.</p>

"Night was coming on and the injured in this dark chamber had about given up all hope of succor for the time, when a voice was born to their ears and the words, "Where are you, Chester," were heard. To quote from the letter again; "Well, I gave a shout that you would have heard over in Canada. Who do you think it was but Capt. Frank Ware, Nelson Porte and two others from the 7th who came all the way up with a stretcher to carry me back. I don't think I was ever so glad to see anybody in my life."

"Lieut. Butler pays highest honor to Lance-Corporal Rance who, although shot, got the position of the men in the cellar and then worked his way to headquarters, where he told of the plight of the Londoner and his comrades, with the result that assistance came to them and, best of all, from Forest City men.

"The letter reads:


"Boulogne, France, April 24, 1915.

"I am glad to be able to say that I am getting on remarkably well after being shot in the thigh yesterday at an awfully big battle, in which the Canadians took part, when we captured the town of Pilkem, a small place north of Ypres. I am afraid the casualties will be appalling and will reach into the thousands–THE LOSSES OF OUR BATTALION ALONE I THINK WILL BE OVER THREE HUNDRED.

"I was wounded yesterday at 9:15 a.m. and arrived at No, 7 Stationary Hospital, Boulogne this means, after having the greatest experience of my life.

"On Thursday night the French lost the town of Pilkem, but were ordered to retake it the next morning supported by the Canadians. We were turned out of our camp at 1 a.m. and marched to take up our positions about seven or eight miles off. Almost as soon as we arrived there we commenced to advance. The worst of it was, our advance of nearly 1,500 yards was all in the open with practically no cover at all, and in broad daylight, it being at 6:30 a.m. when we commenced to advance.


"We made short rushes of about 50 yards, and would then lie down for a short time taking advantage of what natural cover there was, such as ditches or slight rises in the ground.

"After I had made arrangements about the signalling I had charge of No. 8 Platoon of No. 2 Company, which is mostly composed of men from the 7th, And I was with them when I ghot hit."

"This platoon had just finished a rush of about yards and had taken cover by the side of a small We had just been there about a minute when a shrapnel burst over us, WOUNDING SEVEN OF US AT ONCE.

"You know a shrapnel shell is composed of hundreds of bullets, and is timed so as to explode up in the air. When it bursts the bullets are shot forward about 200 yards and cover a lateral space of about 50 yards. It is just like a spray of bullets. I was hit in the right thigh about half way between the knee and the hip. That one shell hit four in the head and three in the limbs. Of course, those hit in the limbs could not move, and had to stay there for nearly an hour, as our stretcher bearers could not get to us. However, there were some French troops in a house on our left who saw us and some men came over and carried us in on their backs.

"When I was first hit Sergt. Fred Piper, of London, put on my field service dressing and when we got over to the French troops their doctor fixed us up properly and looked after us well.

"Germans Shell House.

"Our troubles were not over then, in fact they were just going to start afresh. The French took us into a house, and as soon we got in the Germans started to shell the place. The best place to go during a bombardment is the cellar, and it did not take us long to get there I can tell you.

"When we were there we learned the charge on the enemy's trenches was going to be made at 5 p.m. That meant heavy firing and also that we could not be taken out. That afternoon seemed about a year long. I thought that every shot that was fired was aimed directly at our house.

"Our doctor did not know that we were in the house and therefore would not send for us unless he had been notified.

"About 5 p.m. Lance-Corporal Rance, who had been shot got our position and worked his way down to the brigade headquarters and notified them.

"Voice Welcomed.

"It was getting nearly 8 o'clock and we had about lost hope of being taken out when I heard a voice outside saying, "Where are you, Chester?" Well, I gave a shout that you would have heard over in Canada. Who do you think it was but Capt. Frank Ware, Nelson Porte and two others from the 7th, who came all the way up with a stretcher to carry me back. I don't think I was ever so glad to see anybody in my life.

"When I was taken out of the cellar I don't think I will ever forget the sight as long as I live. The house in which we had been was nearly knocked to pieces with only part of the walls standing. Every other building in the locality was on fire. The fighting was still going on, and it was a most weird sight. They all took turns in carrying the stretcher, and got me back to brigade headquarters, where our own medical officer fixed me up again. I was then put in an ambulance and taken to No. 1 Field Ambulance. This corps was stationed right opposite us at Bustard camp, so I knew all their officers and they certainly treated me like a prince. They gave me something to eat and a cup of cocoa, which was the first I had since the night before, so it certainly went good.

"By Train To Boulogne.

"After that I was taken in the ambulance to the train and brought here to Boulogne where we arrived this morning, and brought to No. 7 Stationary Hospital. It is in very large building and was formerly a hotel. It is just for British officers, and is one of the most up-to-date hospitals in the army. The commanding officer is one of the most noted surgeons in England.

"They put the X-ray on my wound this morning and located the bullet all right and also discovered that there was no fracture of the bone. I am getting on fine. They may send me over to England in a day or so.

"In the same room with me are two English officers, and they told me there are only three officers left in their battalion, the rest being either killed or wounded. No. 2 company of our battalion is partly composed of 7th Regiment men, and there were five officers went Into the fight. Two were killed and the other three were wounded. (it is not believed that these are London officers.)

"Hold Important Position.

"This a most important position where the Canadians are, as it controls the road leading to Calais, and of course the Germans are making every effort to win, but they never will. I wish you could have seen our chaps fighting yesterday. They fought like Trojans and did wonderfully well. There is not a regiment in the service that could have done better.

"Now please do not worry about me, as I am getting on excellent and feel fine, and am getting the best of treatment and will soon be O.K. again. Love to all.


"P.S.–The doctor has just told me I am to be sent to England today. The hospitals are all crowded and we have to make room for others.

"In England Now.

"A second letter, dated London, England, April 26, 1913, reads as follows:

"Well, here I am, over in England in a magnificent home owned by Lady Evelyn Mason, which she has furnished a hospital for wounded officers. It is fitted as an up-to-date hospital in every respect, and there are about 30 officers here. There are about seven of us in this big room, which looks out on the street, so we see lots of people all the time; and cannot get lonesome.

"I am feeling fine. and my leg gives me very little trouble. I hope to be up soon.

"I arrived here last night about midnight, Isn't that marvelously quick work? I was not brought back from the firing line until about 8 p.m. Friday, and on Saturday morning was in the hospital at Boulogne; left France at 5 p.m. Sunday, arrived at Dover at 7 p.m., and then on to London. The organization of our medical service is simply splendid. On all trains and boats there is a staff of doctors and nurses. So far I have been attended to by six different doctors, and everybody receives the best of attention.

"Canadians Stopped Enemy

"Just a few moments ago I was talking to a general who comes to the hospital, and he says the war office gives the Canadians credit for stopping the Germans from getting into Calais–for that was the object of their attack. I see by the papers that the fighting is still going on, and I an awfully anxious to know how our chaps are making out.

"I cable you this morning stating that I was all right. I will write you again tomorrow, and I implore you all once more not to worry about me in the slightest, as I am positively feeling fine, and I hope I will soon be out.

"The letter of "tomorrow" was written as promised, and contained the following:

"Am still improving splendidly. There is very little pain in my leg, and the doctors are well pleased. I had the X-ray on it this morning to locate the bullet, and they are to decide whether it is to be taken out or left in. They tel me that under certain circumstances they leave the bullet in, and it has no effect whatever. If they leave it in, I will always have a "sinker" with me in case I should go fishing.

"Everything is very lively in this hospital, and I like it fine. There are lots of visitors here all the time, and I have no chance to get lonely.

"Thanks for Cablegrams.

"I received two very nice cablegrams today. One from the officers of the 7th, and one fron Mayor Stevenson.

"They have just now brought in an officer of the Royal Field Artillery (England) who was also wounded last Friday in that scrap north of Ypres where we were.

"I am awfully anxious to get the official casualty list of the last fight and find out who are safe. I am afraid the list, though, will be terrible. As far as I know now in our battalion we had four officers killed and seven wounded, and among the N.C.O.'s and men I believe the total killed and wounded will be close to 300, including many Londoners.

"I met Lady Evelyn Mason this morning, and had a long talk with her. She appears to be a lovely lady, and takes a lot of interest in all her patients


Effective 12 May 1915, Butler was promoted to Captain on the roll of the 7th Regiment (Fusiliers). The Canada Gazette entry (28 Aug 1915) recording this promotion notes that he is "to remain seconded" indicating his continuing attachment to the C.E.F.

The Advertiser published another brief item on Butler's hospitalization on 13 May 1915:

"Comforting Letter

"Mrs. F.H. Butler Receives Word From English Woman About her Son's Injuries

"An English lady, Miss Annie Meredith, one of those who visits the wounded officers at Lady Evelyn Mason's Hospital, has written a comforting letter to Mrs. F.H. Butler, mother of Lieut. Chester Butler, who was wounded in the fighting at Langemark.

"English women are caring for the Canadian wounded as though they were their own sons, and needless to say the Canadian mothers appreciate this more than they can tell."

Having been evacuated from the continent wounded, Butler was transferred from the 1st Canadian Infantry Battalion to a new parent unit in England. Accordingly, he was taken on the strength of the 9th Reserve Infantry Battalion, CEF, at Shorncliffe on 17 May 1915.

Chester Butler would not return to the front lines in France and Belgium. During his brief battlefield experience, ending with his wounding, he was present at the first combat actions of the 1st Battalion, which would be commemorated in the Battle Honours the unit would receive for the Great War.

Under the operational title of "Summer Operations, 1915. (March-October)", the 1st Canadian Infantry battalion would eventually be awarded four Battle Honours for the fighting in the spring of 1915. These, with the dates during which units could claim eligibility for the Battle Honour is them met the conditions for the award, were:

Butler was recovering well and by mid-May was able to leave the hospital on excursions with fellow patients. The Advertiser's edition of 19 May 1915 carried the following note from a London soldier who saw Butler on one trip outside from the hospital:

"Saw London Lieutenant
"Sergt. Lee With 18th Battalion Writes From England

"While off on a stroll, at the English troops camp, during leave of absence, Sergeant Maurice Lee, who left this city with the 18th Battalion, came across Lieut. Chester Butler, who with other wounded soldiers, was out for a spin in a motor, donated to the hospital authorities by Lady Mason, according to a letter received by a relative."

The following day's paper included the brief note: "Lieut. Butler Improves.—A short letter received by the parents of Lieut. Chester Butler stated that the latter is rapidly recovering from his wound, and that he has improved to such an extent that he is now able to go out for automobile rides."

Butler's sister Leta was wed in London on the morning of 2 Jun 1915. She and her new husband, Mr. Ernest Frederick Waller, received cabled congratulations from Butler. The message arrived just before the commencement of the ceremony.

While in hospital, Butler also found time to weigh in on a subject that would be a contentious issue of the CEF's battlefield experience for over a century after the war. Considering his personal experience as a competitive rifle shooter, it shouldn't be a surprise that he was supportive of the Ross Rifle at this stage, although the failings as a battle rifle were about to be exposed. Butler's views on the essential need for marksmen and the Ross rifle were published in The London Advertiser on 15 May 1915:

"Need Good Shots As Never Before, Says an Officer

"Lieut. Butler, in a Letter to Major Murphy, Comments On Matter Debated Here.
"Ross Rifle Is Splendid
"Critics Silenced by Test of the Canadian Firearm at the Front.

"This war has certainly shown us the necessity of having rifle shots," writes Lieut. Butler from a hospital in Nuneham Park, England, to Major T.J. Murphy. As will be remembered, Major Murphy was one of those who, through the columns of The Advertiser, urged upon all the necessity of constant practise with the rifle in order that, if necessary, they might shoulder one, and be of use to the country in time of danger. Lieut. Butler strikes the same note Major Murphy and others struck when they urged upon all young men constant and diligent practise at the ranges.

"The letter reads:

"My Dear Major,–I am getting on splendidly, and my leg is getting stronger all the time. I hope to be O.K. again soon. How is the 7th coming along? I trust it is flourishing. Are we having the usual good success with rifle practice? This war has certainly shown us the necessity for having good rifle shots. In trench warfare such as we have had all winter, and where the snipers worked with deadly effect, we knew the exact range to the enemy's trench, and we simply carried out the principles learned on the rifle ranges.

"The "peep" sight on the Ross rifle gives us a decided advantage for shooting. The critics of the rifle, I think, will be silenced as to their criticism whether the rifle will stand the rough usage of active service. Events have proved there is not a better rifle made.

"Sincerely yours,

The following month, Butler writes to send thanks for scrapbooks received from school children in London. Printed in the Advertiser on 19 Jun 1915, he also provides some details on his recovering wound.

"School Scrap Books Much Appreciated.
"Lieut. Butler Thanks Inspector Edwards For Them.

"Lieut, Chester Butler, writing from Nuneham, England, under date of June 3, to Inspector Edwards says:

"I am getting along splendidly, and my leg is getting stronger every day. I hope soon to be able to walk without a cane. The muscles were very badly torn, and of course, that takes some time to heal. The bullet is still in my leg. and the doctors are going to leave it there, as the wound is a very clean one. It is quite warm here, but not nearly so warm as it was in Belgium on April 23. Your letter was the first intimation I had that Bob Watt and Dick Whetter are prisoners. I saw Dick at the front a number of times. The scrap books which the school children sent us at the front were splendid, and were greatly appreciated by all."

"Lieut. Butler sends a small photo taken on a battlefield, showing a house that had been wrecked by shells, and in the foreground a huge hole torn by a "Jack Johnson."

With the community following the service of Londoner's overseas, the Advertiser in its edition of 8 Jul 1915 shared a sobering statistic regarding the first of the 7th Regiment's officers who went overseas with the 1st Canadian Infantry Battalion:

"Writing from France a London soldier draws attention to the fact that of the seven local officers with the 7th Regiment detachment of the first contingent, only one is now in France. The reduction to one from seven is but another indication of the terrible toll that has been exacted during the present war.

"Lieut.-Col. Becher has been killed in action; Lieut. Chester Butler has been wounded; Capt. George Watson has been invalided home; Capt. Gordon Hunt is here on furlough; Lieut. Campbell Galbraith transferred to the A.M.C. and is still in England, and Major Taylor is also there."

On 15 Jul 1915, Butler appeared before a Medical Board at Caxton Hall, SW. The Board determined that he was incapable of service for one month. This was the first of a series of Boards he would attend as his fitness for further service in France & Flanders, or in England, was monitored.

While he continued his recovery, Butler was also drawn into an ongoing question about the fate of one of the 1st Battalion's soldiers. A short item in The Advertiser on 16 Jul 1915 mentioned Butler, stating that he and others from London were trying to confirm or refute rumours of the status of a missing soldier of the 15th Canadian Infantry Battalion. Sergeant William Groshow was known by Butler from their days of service in the 7th Fusiliers. Groshow claimed four years service with the Fusiliers when he attested for CEF service in Toronto in September, 1915. he had been in Butler's section in 1912 when the section won the prizes for most efficient section and best attendance in the right half of the battalion.

The Advertiser's story on 16 Jul 1915 illuminated the contrasts between the extensive communications with home that Butler enjoyed and the absolute dearth of information, often confused by rumours, for families when soldiers disappeared on the field of battle. It also showed the lengths some families were willing to go to in order to confirm their soldier's fate.

"No Authentic News of Missing Soldier
"Rumors of Sergt. Groshow Being in England Only Add to Mother's Anxiety.

"Some time ago, a rumor reached Mrs. Groshow, matron of the Home for Incurables, that her son, "Billy" Groshow, was in a hospital in England. This report could not be confirmed, and rather added to the anxiety of friends and relatives, who felt if such were the case, he must be in a very serious condition to be unable to send a message.

"Later came a statement from a member of the 18th Battalion that Groshow's name had appeared in an English paper in a list of prisoners in Germany. To date, his name has not appeared in Canadian lists of prisoners.

"Lieut. Chester Butler and other Londoners with overseas units are doing everything in their power to trace the young soldier, who has not been heard from since the battle of Langemarck."

Sergeant William Groshow, 15th Battalion, was reported Missing in Action at some point between the 24th and 29th of April 1915. It would not be until March of 1916 that he would be officially recorded as "now for official purposes presumed to have died." That delay, as all possibilities for a man's name to appear as admitted to hospital, on prisoners of war lists, or in grave registration data, left families unsure of the fate of their loved one. The readiness of Butler and others from London to try and confirm Groshow's fate reflects well on the familial connections their prior service in the Militia had engendered. Regardless that he had reached France in another battalion and another Brigade, he was still one of their own.

Butler had belonged to the 9th Battalion, CEF, since shortly after being evacuated from France. The unit was re-designated the 9th Reserve Infantry Battalion within the Canadian Training Depot on 29 Apr 1915 and Butler's "transfer" to this new designation was recorded in his file on 18 Jul 1915.

Two days later, Butler was in front of another Medical Board. From 20 Jul 1915, he was assessed as incapacitated for all service for another one month. Even as his recovery continued and he remained in England, rumours were shared back home in the papers. On 29 Jul 1915, the Advertiser noted the possibility of Butler returning to France as a captain or major.

On 31 Jul 1915, Butler's medical status was upgraded slightly. He was reported by a Medical Board as fit for light duties in an office and he was ordered to report to the Canadian Training Depot. Three weeks later, on 20 Aug 1915, his limitations on employment were again recorded. A Medical Board at Shorncliffe declared him to be "unfit for General Service for three months. Fit for Home Service." In the context of the British Expeditionary Force, by which administration of Canadians overseas fell under many similar processes, "Home Service" meant that he was employable in the United Kingdom.

Shortly after this latest medical update, a Canadian newspaper published a brief mention of Butler which confirmed his employment at the time. On 29 Aug 1915, the Guide Advocate of Watford, Ont., carried a Welcome Home article on the invalided and returned Lieut. R.H. Stapleford of the 1st Battalion. In his comments he included: "I saw Lieut. Chester Butler just before I left. He came to visit me in the hospital and has recovered from his wounds. He is in the record office, and is doing well. He is a fine officer."

Butler appeared before another Medical Board at Caxton Hall on 20 Sep 1915. His assessment of fitness at that time was recorded as "unfit for General Service for three months. Fit for Home Service for two months."

With his name continuing to appear in the letters other London soldiers sent home, Butler was named in the 21 Oct 1915 issue of The London Advertiser which shared the comments of Private John Carolan of Sarnia who had been wounded at Ypres. Included in his remarks he had this to say about Butler after praising Lieut.-Col. Becher: "Lieut. Chester Butler–he's a captain now, I believe–was also popular with the troops under him. He was also kind and considerate, and made conditions a lot easier for us, whenever possible."

On schedule as the term of his last Medical Boards pronouncement ran out, Butler was once again Boarded on 15 Nov 1915 at the D.M.S. Office, London. This time, he was pronounced "unfit for General Service for three months."

While not able to return to the 1st Battalion in France, Butler was employed at the Record Office and considered fit enough for special duties. On 17 Nov 1915, the Advertiser shared the rumour that Butler might soon be returning to the city assist in raising a new battalion for the C.E.F. With a proposed "City of London Battalion" under consideration, it was "also rumored that Capt. Chester Butler, at present in the record office at Shorncliffe, may be given an important post in the battalion. He is recovering from wounds received in France, and would be available for active service in a very short time. Officers claim that he is most efficient and his presence here would do much to stimulate recruiting."

Butler was posted to the Canadian Record Office in London, Eng., on 9 Feb 1916. A 24 Feb 1916 "Special to The Advertiser" notice appeared in the paper of the same date giving notice of Butler's change of employment:

"Lieut. Chester Butler Has Been Transferred

"London, Feb. 24.–Lieut. Chester Butler, 1st Battalion, has been transferred to the chief paymasters' office at London, England."

His transfer to London enabled Butler to discover more about the fate of William Groshow. As it happened, he met an NCO from Groshow's battalion who was there when he was last seen in the trenches. The London Advertiser, in its edition of 2 May 1915, shared the news of this development:

"Learns Son's Fate From Non-Com of His Old Platoon

"London Mother Told He Was Left in Trench.
"Had Been Badly Gassed.
"Mrs. Groshow Hears Missing McColl Boys Are Also Dead.

"Through the instrumentality of Capt. Chester Butler of this city, late of the 1st Battalion, and now of the Canadian pay and records office of the C.E.F., in London, England, Mrs. Janet B. Groshow, superintendent of the Victoria Home for Incurables, has been able to gain news of her missing son. "Billy" Groshow, of the 48th Highlanders. Months of weary waiting for news of her missing soldier-boy having brought forth little or no tangible evidence of his death, Mrs. Groshow left for England to personally visit the hospitals and soldiers' homes there to see if she could locate her boy. Stories of soldiers' minds and memories having been so affected that they forgot who they were, led Mrs. Groshow to believe that she might be able to see her boy in the old land.

"In a letter home, Capt. Butler refers to the culmination of Mrs. Groshow's search as follows:

"Mrs. Groshow was up a few days ago, and I was fortunately able to find the sergeant who was in charge of her son's platoon. He works at the office. He was able to give her full particulars, as he was with him till the last. It seems that he was badly gassed, and left with others in a trench when they had to leave.

"I got some maps and described exactly where it was. Poor Mrs. Groshow was really relieved to learn this, even if he was dead. The sergeant also said that the two McColl boys of Parkhill, about whom there has been so much in the papers, are also dead."

Butler had one of his periodic appearances in front of a Medical Board on 8 May 1916. Conducted at the D.M.S. Office, London, he was again pronounced fit for "Home Service, unfit for General Service for three months."

A week after the medical Board, Butler was enjoying the company of 1st battalion soldiers at a dinner held in London, Eng. The London Advertiser on 15 May 1916 provided the details they had received:

"Western Ontario Represented at Battalion Dinner

"Canadians in London, Eng., Celebrate Ypres.
"Menu Received in City.
"Banquet Arranged by 1st Battalion Men in Records Office.

"London and Western Ontario was well represented at the first annual dinner of the 1st Canadian Battalion members, how on duty at the pay and records office in London, England. The dinner was to commemorate the second battle of Ypres, 1915, and was held at the Shaftesbury Hotel on April 27. A souvenir menu and toast list has been sent home by Capt. Butler.

"In the toast list, "Canada" was proposed by Lance-Corp. Harry L. Atkinson of this city, a former city editor of The Advertiser, and responded to by Lieut.-Col. D.M. Sutherland, commander of the 71st Battalion, and late of the 1st Battalion.

"The toast, "1st Canadian Battalion," was proposed by Sergt. S. Birch and responded to by Capt Butler, "Our Guests" was proposed by Sergt. J. Humphreys and responded to by Lieut. J.G. Ross, Lieut.-Col. J.A.C. Mowbray and Major G. M. Todd.

"Corp. C. Rouse of Guelph proposed the toast to "The Artists."

"Two interesting nominal rolls are included in the menu-souvenir The first is of the officers, N.C.O.'s and men of the battalion now on duty at the pay and record office, and the second is the list of those at the Epsom Convalescent Hospital."

(The nominal rolls followed in a single list of 60 names.)

Examined again by a Medical Board on 8 Aug 1916, this time at 86 Strand, London, Butler was assessed for the ongoing effects of his right thigh wound. The Board's finding was that Butler still had "weakness in his right leg. Heart still slightly enlarged, but compensation is good." Not considered fit at the time for General Service, the Board estimated that he would be unfit for a further three months but was fit for service at home (i.e, England). The Proceedings of a Medical Board form noted his length of service at 12 1/3 years.

8 Aug 1916 Medical Board, D.M.S. Office, London. Home Service, unfit for General Service for three months.

8 Nov 1916 Examined by a Medical Board at 86 Strand, London, on 8 Nov 1916, Butler was assessed for the ongoing effects on his right thigh wound. The Board's finding was that Butler still had "some weakness in his right leg. The heart is still slightly enlarged but compensation is good." Not fit at the time for General Service, the Board estimated that he would be unfit for a further three months but was fit for service at home (i.e, England). The Proceedings of a Medical Board form noted his length of service at 12 years 1 month, placing his first enlistment with the 7th Fusiliers about October, 1904.

In November, 1916, the Medical Board at the D.D.M.S. Office in London, gave Butler his periodic assessment. He was again declared fit for "Home Service, unfit for General Service for three months." This limitation, however, didn't stop him from being selected for a working trip back to Canada. On 1 Dec 1916, Butler proceeded to Canada as Paymaster and duty to Ottawa, assumed duties with No. 1 Detachment, Canadian Army Pay Corps.

The London Advertiser shared the news in its edition of 7 Dec 1916:

"Capt Chester Butler Coming Home Shortly
"Young London Officer Was One of the First to Go Overseas.

"Mayor Stevenson received word last evening that Capt. Chester Butler will arrive home very shortly. Just when he will reach London is not known, but the mayor states that he will be along soon. Capt. Butler was one of the first officers of the 7th Regiment to go overseas, and was wounded in the fierce fighting around Ypres a year ago last summer. After recovering he took a position in the pay and records office in England."

On Saturday, December 9, 1916, the same day Butler arrived in the city for three days' leave, The London Advertiser rushed to share the story with its readers:

"No Doubt Victory Will Be Ours Soon," Says Capt. Butler

"London's First Wounded Man Back From Europe.
"Heroic Jimmy Murray.
"Officer Says He Is One of the Greatest Fighters Ever Seen.

"If you want to hear pessimistic reports about the war talk to a civilian, if you want optimistic reports, talk to soldiers, talk to the British Tommies, talk to the men at the front. They have no doubt absolutely as to the outcome. The civilians are frequently in the dumps. There is no doubt that victory will be ours."

"This was the statement made by Capt. Chester Butler, who left London two yours ago last August for the front. He came home at noon Saturday for a three days' leave of absence. He is returning at once to England, to resume his duties in the pay and records office.

"Capt. Butler looks remarkably fit. He was wounded at the first engagement the Canadians were in a year ago last March, and was sent to England. He recovered, and at once went to the pay and record office, where he has done good work. His wound was in the hip, but there are only slight traces of his injury. He has an almost imperceptible limp.

"Gives Reception.

"He was accorded a great reception on his arrival in London. Lieut-Col. W. Spittal and the officers of the 7th Regiment, to which Capt. Butler belonged prior to his enlistment; Lt.-Col Coles, Mayor Stevenson, Ald. E.S. Little, president of the Liberal Cub, and the executive, F.E. Leonard, J.P. Moore and T.A. McMahon of the Soldiers' Aid Commission, and a large number of the members of the Returned Soldiers' Association, many of them comrades of Captain Butler's, and a few of them wounded in the same battle, ware all present.

"Capt. Butler called every man by his name, and in fact did not forget a single soul. Arthur Sippl and a number of the members of the Liberal Club executive when Capt. Butler was secretary, where on hand, and they gave him a reception that was worth while. Mrs. Butler, his mother, and Mrs. Waller, his sister, went to Woodstock to meet him.

"I am feeling well, in fact, I never felt better," he declared. "I am glad to be home, but I am going to stay a very few days, as I must be back. The people here have been very kind to me, and I appreciate it."

"How was the war?" he was asked.

"Allies Will Win

"Don't be pessimistic," he declared. "Rumania does look bad, but that will be straightened out. The end is coming, and coming soon, and the Allies will be victorious. In Great Britain there is the utmost confidence in the final result, but there have been some changes going on to make the end more certain and the result more definite.

"The people of Great Britain of all classes have the utmost confidence in Lloyd George, and they are expecting great things from his ministry. As they say in Canada, he has the pepper, and he has the determination to go in and win, and win quickly. He's the big man of Great Britain, and the people as a whole are sure that he will do real things. There is no doubt in my mind that he will do brilliant service for the Empire in his new place.

"How's your old battalion," he was asked.

"The old 1st Battalion is shot up, not a single officer that went forward with us being on the line, and only about ten men. They were not all killed, but the ten men I have mentioned are the only ones available for service.

"A London Wonder.

"Jimmy Murray, son of Scott Murray, King street, is one of the ten, and that boy is an absolute wonder. He's one of the greatest fighting chaps that ever faced a gun. He has never been wounded, won his D.C.M., and after nearly two years' continuous servies in the trenches, he's still at it.

"Jimmy is a great lad. Once, an officer told me, Jimmy was buried in a trench, and rendered unconscious. They dug him out, and sent him to the hospital. He was put to bed, and after a time he came too. He rubbed his eyes, looked about him, asked where he was, and where his battalion was. The questions were all answered to his satisfaction, but Jimmy had other things in mind. He felt himself all over, saw that he was not hurt, and decided on his own course. He got up, dressed, and was back with his old bunch in no time, He simply would not stay in the hospital.

"Later the officers thought that he had seen enough hard service, so they decided to give him a place on the headquarters staff, lighter work, of course, and free from danger to a large extent. Jimmy stood it for 24 hours, and then he disappeared. The next day he was found again in the first line of trenches, fighting with his comrades of the 1st Battalion, Murray simply will not take leaves or anything like that. He wants to fight, and he is doing it. That's the kind of stuff London sent to the front. Stories by the yard could be written about Jimmy Murray. He has been decorated, and he deserves all the good things said of him.

"The Canadians have done splendid work, and have made a real name for themselves. It makes one proud of his country, and I am sure we are all proud of the boys."

"Three cheers were given for Capt. Butler as he left for his home, and they were given with a right good-will."

The London Liberal Club also took the opportunity to host Butler during his brief visit to London. On 12 Dec 1916, The London Advertiser reported:

"London Liberals Honor Capt Butler
"Presented With Pipes at Informal Reception Last Evening.

"Capt. Chester Butler, who is in London on leave for a few days, was the guest of honor of the executive of the Liberal Club at Hyman Hall at an informal reception. He was presented with a handsome set of pipes by Ald. E.S. Little, president of the club, as a mark of appreciation for his long services as Secretary of the club. For ten years prior to his going overseas he acted in that capacity.

"The presentation speech was made by Ald. Little. He spoke of the fine work he had done as secretary, and his still more splendid service for the Empire. Liberals were proud of Capt. Butler. Capt. Butler, in a brief reply, thanked the club for their uniform kindness to him, and he hoped that his little service was of value. He gave a short history of the 1st Battalion, and declared that its record was one of the best in the British army.

"We have received more honors than any other Canadian battalion," he declared. "We have lost fewer prisoners, had more casualties, and had missed fewer engagements than any other battalion. We never failed to gain our objective, and we never lost a trench. The boys have all done well. Lieut.-Col. Wood Leonard is ranked as one of the best artillerymen in France. All the other members of the Liberal Club have done magnificent work for the Empire."

"Short eulogistic speeches were made by Vice-President Charles Keene, J.H. Fowler, C.R. Sanagan, and others.

"The balance of the evening was spent in cards and music."

Butler's return to Canada was to last only a few short weeks. On 28 Dec 1916, he was declared "Off Command" having returned to England from Canada. His return to duty overseas was also marked by a transfer from the infantry, and held on the General List, i.e., officers available for duties outside their trade and in headquarters or other employment, to the Canadian Army Pay Corps. Effective 2 Jan 1917, Chester Butler was a Temporary captain in the C.A.P.C.

With his file before a London area Medical Board at 76 Strand, London, on 5 Mar 1917, Butler was again assessed for the ongoing effects on his right thigh wound and his fitness for continued service. The Board's finding was that "his leg as yet is smaller in size and he complains of weakness in walking and pains in damp weather." Not considered fit at the time for General Service, the Board estimated that he would remain unfit for a further two months but was fit enough for service at home (i.e, England).

After his further two months of Home Service, Butler was reexamined by the Medical Board on 18 May 1917. The Board's finding was that "this Officer has now recovered. Leg Strong and no loss of movement or sensation." Butler was now pronounced fit for General Service.

Chester Butler continued to serve with the Canadian Army Pay Corps for the remainder of the war. On 30 Aug 1917, his name appeared in the list of those who were "Mentioned to the Secretary of State for War for Valuable Services Rendered." The honour, relatively unknown, was similar in context to a Mention in Despatches, but did not include the entitlement to wear a similar device on medal ribbons. Butler's file does not provide specific details of the reason for the award. The award was published in the Canadian Corps Order 490, dated 30 Aug 1917.

Butler made one more round trip to Canada in early 1919 on "Conducting Duty." As a pay officer, he was likely escorting a returning shipload of soldiers and acting as the pay officer for the troops until they were on their way from shipboard top their designated District Depots for demobilization and discharge. For this trip, Butler was "On Command" as of 29 Jan 1919 and returned, "Off Command", on 17 Mar 1919 at which time he reported to the Paymaster General 's office for duty.

Even as the Canadian Expeditionary Force was closing out its operations in England, there was still time for soldiers to be engaged in social and sporting activities. On 23 Jun 1919, The Globe of Toronto carried a news item from the preceding date from London, Eng. The article listed the Canadian officers, non-commissioned officer, and soldiers who went England to Paris, France, for the Inter-Allied Games. The events included athletics, football, boxing, tug-of-war, rifle team, and baseball. Butler was listed as the officer in charge of the Canadian baseball team.

Butler was medically examined on 25 Aug 1919 in preparation for his discharge from the CEF. His general health and physical condition was assessed as "Fit." At 5 feet 9 1/2-inches in height and weighing 146 pounds, Butler's physique was described as "Good." It was noted that he had scars on his right thigh and the back of his right hand. Notes on the form read:

"Wounded on 23 Apr 1915, shrapnel in right thigh, states that a piece of shell-casing embedded in muscles of thigh causing slight pain in different parts of leg and thigh on long standing, is not considered a disability. Physical condition Ai."

On 20 Sep 1919, Chester Butler was struck off the strength of the Overseas Military Forces of Canada to the CEF in Canada on proceeding to Canada aboard the S.S. Mauretania. He arrived back in Canada on 26 Sep 1919.

Chester Butler was struck off the strength of the C.E.F. on 3 Oct 1919 at District Depot No. 1, London, Ont. His Discharge Certificate notes that he had served "in Canada, England, and France with the 1st Battalion, 9th Reserve Battalion, 36th Battalion, General List, Canadian Army Pay Corps, and No. 1 Detachment C.A.P.C." A further note on his certificate reads "Wounded 23-5-15. Brought to Notice of the Secretary of State for War for valuable services rendered in connection with the War; 7-8-17."

Butler's discharge from the C.E.F. was recorded in the Canada Gazette issue of 13 Dec 1919: "No. 1 District Depot.—The Undermentioned officers are struck off the strength of the C.E.F. on General demobilization: Captain Walter Chester Butler, 3rd October, 1919." He continued to be employed in Canada on full-time service and his substantive promotion to captain in the Canadian Army Pay Corps took effect on 4 Oct 1919. Butler remained on the staff of District Depot No. 1 in London, Ont.

For his service in the CEF, Butler was entitled to a War Service Gratuity of $1143.73. This was paid to him in installments between September 1919 and February 1920.

Chester Butler very quickly engaged himself in the new veterans' associations that were springing up. On the evening of 30 Dec 1919, he was the chairman for a the regular meeting of the Great War Veterans' Association at the Memorial Hall, London.

Beginning 1 Jan 1920, Butler joined the Permanent Staff of the Active Militia with the 7th Regiment in London, Ont. For this duty he received a daily rate of pay of $3.00. In addition he received 50 cents per day for holding an Adjutant's appointment and a further $1.00 per day Subsistence Allowance. Butler filled this appointment for six months.

New veterans' groups included those with widespread applicability to returned soldiers and some with very limited scope for the admission of members. The Signallers' Association was one of the latter. This group met in London on 29 Jan 1919 and Chester Butler was elected president of this new and growing association of ex-signallers. The group was open to any man who served on communications overseas including "operators, linemen, battalion runners, and pigeon men."

On 11 Feb 1920, Butler was elected Vice-President of the local branch of the G.W.V.A. On the same date, an item in the Advertiser's classifieds issued a meeting call for the 1st Battalion Association. Open to all officers, N.C.O.'s, and men who had served in the 1st Battalion, the meeting was planned for the 7th Regiment's Sergeant's Mess on 12 Feb 1920. The announcement was sign by the Association's Secretary, Captain Chester Butler.

About fifty members the 1st Canadian Infantry Battalion met at the Armouries on 12 Feb 1920. The following day's paper reported that Butler had been elected President of the Association by acclamation. The members present began planning for a social evening on 19 March to commemorate the battalion's landing in France, and a reunion to be held on the night of April 23, the anniversary of the unit's first battle at Neuve Chapelle.

In March 1920, on the forming of a Central Veterans' Council of London between a number of separate veterans' group, Butler was elected Vice-President of the new organization.

Butler returned to the infantry and the 7th Regiment (Fusiliers) as the unit re-organized under a new title: "The Western Ontario Regiment" (in accordance with General Order 39, 1920). Officer appointments were published in the Canada Gazette of 29 May 1920. Lieut.-Col. G.E. Reid, D.S.O. was confirmed as the Commanding Officer. Butler's name appears under the appointment "To be Captain and provisional adjutant: Captain W.C. Butler." Concurrent with his re-appointment to the Western Ontario Regiment, Butler was struck off the strength of the C.A.P.C. effective 15 Apr 1920.

The Canada Gazette edition of 4 Sep 1920 included the announcement of Butler's final discharge from his full time service that began with the onset of the Great War: "Casualty Company, M.D. No. 1.–Captain Walter Chester Butler is struck off the strength of the C.E.F. on general demobilization. 30th June, 1920."

By July 1920, Butler was identified in the Advertiser as the president of the London Great War Veterans Association at a meeting of the Grand Army of United Veterans, a further initiative to unite the veterans groups of London. This was expected to set an example for similar divided populations of veterans in the country.

Butler continued to engage himself in matter of veterans' care. The Advertiser edition of 8 Jul 1920 named Butler as one of the members of a Soldiers' Counsel Committee that would review applications and advice the London Chamber of Commerce on a loan plan in support of veterans' housing.

In 1920, the "7th Regiment, Fusiliers" underwent a change of unit title as part of a plan by the Militia Department to integrate the history and familiar names of the CEF into the post-war Canadian Militia. The unit was renamed "The Western Ontario Regiment." The regiment would have three battalions, one in the Active Militia and two Reserve Battalions that would only have officers identified for their organizations. The naming of the three battalions reflected the perpetuation of CEF units held by the regiment.

The official lineage document published by DND provides the following synopsis: "Upon redesignation as The Western Ontario Regiment on 29 March 1920, it was organized as a three battalion regiment with the 1st Battalion (1st Battalion, CEF) on the Non Permanent Active Militia order of battle, and the 2nd Battalion (33rd Battalion, CEF) and 3rd Battalion (142nd Battalion, CEF) on the Reserve order of battle. The reserve units were disbanded on 14 December 1936 (GO 3/37)."

As the unit re-organized in 1920, one initiative that was put forward was the possibility of having a pipe band. Applications were made to the Militia Department to support this plan and requests for uniforms and instruments submitted. Under the expectation that this would be supported, The London Advertiser on 31 Jul 1920 carried, over Butler's name, a call for pipers and drummers to meet at the Armouries on Wednesday, August 4, 1920, in order to organize a Pipe Band for the regiment. In the end, the plan received no support or equipment through the Militia Department but that would not be the end of the unit's plans for pipes and drums.

Butler lost no time on his return to Canada in getting back to rifle shooting. He was at the Ontario Rifle Association meet at Long Branch ranges on 13 Aug 1920 and the results were published in the following day's edition of The Globe. Butler's name appeared in the list of competitors shooting in the Lieutenant-Governor's Match. He scored 106 points, sufficient for a money prize of $5.00 but 10 points and 30 spots out of the running for top place.

In its issue dated 11 Dec 1920, The Canada Gazette shared the news of Butler's promotion: "The Western Ontario Regiment.–To be Major: Captain W.C. Butler. 1st September, 1920." On 12 Feb 1920, the Gazette recorded that Butler had vacated the appointment of Adjutant on the same date as his promotion to Major. His promotion and official dispensing with the appointment of Adjutant must have both been backdated, Butler's name, as both Captain and Adjutant, continued to appear in the Regiment's posting's in the Advertiser's classified at least into October.

Perhaps reflecting the challenges of attracting men to fill the ranks in a nation tired of the military after a long war and in which most prospective recruits had already served, The Western Ontario Regiment turned to an alternative recruiting pitch. Posted in the classifieds of the London Advertiser on 9 Oct 1920 over Butler's signature was the following:

"First Battalion "The Western Ontario Regiment.

"Instead of carrying out the military training as in the past, The Western Ontario Regiment will commence RECREATIONAL TRAINING


"Arrangements will be made for Boxing, Indoor Baseball. Basket Ball, Rifle Shooting. Bayonet Fighting and other sports.

"All men desirous of taking part in these sports may join any Monday night at the Armouries.

"Chester Butler; Captain-Adjutant 1st Batt, W.O.R."

The Free Press, London, Ont., carried news of this new training approach on 12 October 1920:

"W.O.R. Starts Its Athletic Program
"Indoor Baseball, Basket Ball, Rifle Shooting, Boxing and Bayonet Drill Included

"Recreational training for members of the 1st Battalion, the Western Ontario Regiment, was commenced at the armories last evening, and a large number of the members of the militia regiment turned out for the opening class. A program including indoor baseball, basket ball, rifle shooting, boxing and bayonet fighting has been prepared by Capt. Chester Butler, adjutant of the 1st Battalion, W.O.R.

"Sergt. Thomas Wallace, formerly of the 2nd Battalion, Bedford Regiment, who was three times Imperial Army boxing champion, in India, has been secured as boxing instructor for the 1st Battalion, and members of the regiment will receive instructions from London's newest tutor. Wallace was a prisoner of war in Germany for five years, and during that time put on several boxing tournaments for the prisoners.

"Competitions in all lines of sports will be held later and the teams having the most points will qualify for the finals. Handsome trophies will be awarded to the winners of the various competitions.

"The bayonet fighting equipment arrived yesterday, and was installed for the first bayonet practice.

"The recreational training course is open to all members of the 1st Battalion Western Ontario Regiment. and will be continued during the winter months. The officers are confident that it will be put over in a successful manner, as it is being received well by the members."

The 15 Oct 1920 edition of The London Advertiser shared the following announcement with a file photo of Butler in uniform:

"Capt. W. Chester Butler has been appointed special auditor for the London district of the inland revenue department, to examine the books of business firms and check up returns made to the department under the sales and luxury tax laws, it was officially announced this afternoon."

The depth of Butler's community engagement in support of soldiers is consistent in the appearances his name makes in the local papers. On 16 Oct 1920, he was named among those working to establish bi-monthly pay for military sanatorium patients, vice a monthly stipend. The same day, he was identified as a pallbearer at Sgt Hopwood's funeral. A few weeks later, on 5 Nov 1920, he is listed in a ciolumn covering the planning of an Armistice Day parade.

Continued Militia service, busily engaged in veterans' affairs, Butler also found time to re-integrate into the local sporting scene on behalf of his Regiment's soldiers. In the organization of the London and District Football Association for 1921, Butler represented the interests of the W.O.R.'s soccer team. In the election of officers for the Association, he was elected to the appointment of treasurer.

As an officer of the Militia, wounded and returned to Canada at War's end, now established in his professional life and both active and well-known in the community, it was only to be expected that Butler's name would start appearing in the Society column of The Free Press. On 22 Jan 1921, his name appears, with those of other eligible bachelors, as having been guests at a dance hosted by Mrs. and Mrs. Frank McCorrnick at the Country Club. The list of guests, both couples and singles, includes many well-known London surnames.

A church parade was held in London by veterans and serving soldiers on 19 Apr 1921 to commemorate the Battle of Ypres, 1915, and its Canadian heroes. The London Advertiser reported the following day that the parade was commanded by Lieut.-Col. W.G. Coles and Major Chester Butler acted as Adjutant. The leading units in the parade to St Paul's Cathedral were the Great War Veterans Association, the Army and Navy Veterans, the Grand Army of United Veterans and other veterans. They were led by the G.W.V.A. band, newly attired in blue uniforms. Next in the order of march were the Nursing Sisters and the various veterans associations' ladies auxiliaries. Following the veterans groups came the serving contingents in their order of precedence: The Royal Canadian Regiment, the First Hussars, the Western Ontario Regiment, the Machine Gun Corps, and the Boys' Naval Brigade. Rev. C.W. Foreman, a wartime chaplain, preached to the assembled gathering. The offertory for the service was accepted on behalf of a fund for ex-soldiers and their dependents.

For his service in the C.E.F., Butler was entitled to receive the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal, and the Victory Medal. These were despatched to him at 236 Central Ave., London, Ont., in April and June 1921.

Butler was also re-engaged in rifle shooting, although his name was more likely to appear as an official rather than as a competitive shooter. On 13 May 1921 The London Advertiser shared the news that Butler had been selected to go to England with the Canadian Bisley Team as the team's adjutant. A few days later, on 16 May 1921, the W.O.R. Rifle Association held its organizing meeting for the forthcoming year. With about 50 members in attendance, Lieut.-Col. J. Eric (Buster) Reid was elected to the post of president and his vice-president was Capt. Chester Butler. The association intended to hold shoots at the Cove Ranges every Saturday afternoon during the summer and on holidays.

At the end of May 1921, as the W.O.R. Rifle Association prepared for competitions, it expected to be handicapped by absence of Butler [and Allen] at Bisley. Within days, Butler demonstrated his value to the team. On 6 Jun 1921, The London Advertiser published the results of the W.O.R. rifle association's first shoot held two days previously. Butler shot the best score of the day at 200, 500, and 600 yards, scoring 92 of a high possible 105. The lower than anticipated scores, 31, 30, and 31 for Butler at the respective ranges, was explained by the challenges of a strong north wind crossing the range. Showing that the wind equally affected all shooters, Butler's three competitors in his class scored 91, 91, and 90.

The following week, on 13 Jun 1921, Butler was off to Ottawa for the gathering of the Bisley Team, and from there proceeded to England. The team trained at Ottawa until early July before proceeding overseas. By early August, the W.O.R. rifle team was on its way to Long Branch ranges for the Ontario rifle Association matches. It was hoped at the time that Butler would meet the team there on his return journal. As it happened, Butler did not get back to London until 12 Aug 1921.

In the 1921 Canadian Census, the Butlers are living at 236 Central Avenue in London, Ontario. Parents Francis and Hannah are recorded as 62 and 59 years of age respectively. Only Chester, now 33, still lives with his parents.

On 16 Aug 1921, The Free Press, London, Ont., reported that Butler had conducted some regimental business while in England with the Canadian Bisley Team. As noted by the paper:

"Outfit for Pipe Band of W.O.R. Purchased

"Major Chester Butler, adjutant of the Western Ontario Regiment, who has just returned from England, where he was in charge of the Canadian riflemen who took part in the Bisley shoot, purchased a complete outfit for the Pipe Band of the W, O. R. while in the Old Country.

"The outfit is complete and will be available for the band shortly, The pipers are enthusiastic in regard to their organization and have been practicing faithfully since their organization about a year ago.

"The band is one of the largest in the country and members are still being taken on. They cannot get too many good pipers, however, and there is still an opportunity for Scotch musicians to have a place in the band."

This news item, and subsequent mentions of the regiment's pipe band show that although it received no direct support for the Militia Department, the plan for Pipes and Drums did not die out.

Recurring instances of Butler's name in the papers showed that his life continued on in a busy cycle of regimental training, shooting, and sports, and social engagements including attendance at and membership of the Hunt Club. Tracing its roots to the city's garrison period in 1843, the Hunt Club was formalized in 1885 and was well-established as a center-piece of the city's society.

On 4 Apr 1922, The Advertiser reported on a meeting on the reorganization of the W.O.R. 250 men attended the meeting, three bands were mentioned (brass, bugle, and pipe), and Butler remains as adjutant.

The London Free Press, on 31 Jul 1922, reported on the W.O.R. rifle association's shooting. Maj. Chester Butler was continuing to prove his skills with the rifle, winning a silver cup presented by Col. A.M. Smith for having the highest aggregate score in the June and July competitions. Butler's score was 457, and his nearest competitor had 449.

By early 1923, the Western Ontario Regiment had been recruiting and training under that title for three years. Despite the intentions of the renaming of regiments in 1920 by the Militia Department, it remained an article of dissatisfaction among the "old" Fusiliers. On 9 Apr 1923, The Free Press, London, Ont., reported on a meeting of the veterans of the Northwest Rebellion campaign of 1885. The regiment's name was a subject of considerable concern. Butler was at the meeting to represent the serving regiment, his father was there as one of the veterans of 1885.

"Want Name of "7th Regiment"

"Veterans of 1885 Regret Change To "W. O. Regiment"
"Reunion Great Success
"Survivors of Northwest Campaign Dine Together

"Believing that the bravery, loyalty and devotion of early pioneers should be thus perpetuated, surviving members of the 7th Fusiliers of London, at a reunion banquet held in the Tecumseh House Saturday night, pledged themselves to support in every possible way the move now being made by officers and men of the W.O. Battalion which has lately replaced the historic old regiment, to have the more appropriate name of "7th Fusiliers" readopted as a title for the London unit.

"The matter was brought to the attention of the veteran survivors of the famous Riel Rebellion at the conclusion of their banquet, by Major Chester Butler, an officer attached to the headquarters staff of the battalion which following the conclusion of the late war took the place of the better known "7th." Major Butler stated that for nearly two years officers and men had been forwarding petitions to Ottawa asking that a change be made. The department of militia had, however, positively refused to consider their plea, although newly adopted titles had been discarded in the case of many other units.

"A resolution was finally adopted by the 50 or more who were in attend ance, and by a unanimous vote each individual present agreed to support in every possible way any efforts that might be made toward bringing about the change.

"Enjoyable Event.

"The banquet itself was a most enjoyable affair. There were no formalities, and after Capt. George M. Reid had read the pile of letters and telegrams from members who owing to distance were unable to be in attendance, he declared that it was up to those present to provide their entertainment. It was intended to eliminate formalities so that everyone might have a "real good time."

"It was unanimously agreed that if the gathering accomplished nothing more than the augmenting of efforts already made to perpetuate the memory of early pioneers, it would have been worth while. It did accomplish more, however, for it enabled those veterans who so willingly offered their services and later went through untold hardships "way back in '85, to once more become acquainted. Story telling and brief reminiscent talks by various individuals soon brought, back the spirit of those early days, and before the meal had been completed those hard headed grey-haired business men who congregated in the famous Indian Room of the Tecumseh House were again young men just out of their 'teens.

"No more fitting surroundings could have been desired and a happier more jolly group of individuals never met. It was a real reunion. Each man wore his medal bearing the effigy of the great Queen Victoria. These were worn, however, as a sort of reverent connecting link with those bygone days. There was nothing boastful in the attitude of any individual, although some of those present displayed proudly no less than half a dozen medals on a chest that braved great hardships.

"For greater love hath no man" are lines that have been exemplified by Canadians and Britishers all down the ages and the few score who gathered last night were true examples of the type that resulted in the compilation of that famous poem.

"Toast to the King.

"After the opening toast, "The King," had been responded to in true military style by the entire assembly standing at attention and singing lustily the National Anthem, Captain George M. Reid, who 38 years ago was the adjutant of the famgus 7th Fusiliers, explained that in the absence of Col. A.M, Smith. and Col. W.M. Gartshore, he was the only one left at home to take the chair. He proceeded at once to read the array of telegrams and communications. There were letters from all parts of the American Continent, but all were agreed that the affair should be made an annual one.

"The chairman then called on Major Chester Butler, of the W.O.R., who was present as a guest, to say a few words. Major Butler at once launched into the problem nearest his heart–the action of the Government in "divorcing," as he termed it, the London unit from its original title and labeling it with the rather undignified name of "W.O. Regiment."

"Major Butler said that at the present time the men have no regular badges to wear on account of the fact that they have been living in hopes that a change would be permitted by Ottawa. Numerous petitions had been forwarded, he said, but the department had repeatedly refused to sanction a change. He believed, however, that recruiting would be a great deal easier and the battalion would, in case of conflict, accomplish a great deal more if the old name with all its traditional honor were retained.

"The next speaker to take the floor was Alf Jones, of Brantford, who occupied an official position in the late 7th Regiment during the Riel Rebellion of "85. He recalled the time 38 or 39 years ago when he and his brother had come to London to attend the military school.

"All Liked George.

"There was a big burly fellow with a fair moustache whom I particularly recall. He was like a father and a brother to us and I always had a warm spot in my heart for him," the speaker declared.

"He then described his decision to enter the Northwest fight and his wire to George M. Reid, who was the "gentleman with the fair moustache." A wire came back instructing him to "come at once."

"George Armstrong, of Boston, was the next speaker. He was given a rousing reception for he held the distinction of having come the greatest distance to attend the reunion, He described the activities of the Canadian Club and other similar organizations in the United States. John D. Jacobs, a well known Londoner, then took the floor in support of the suggestion made by Major Butler regarding the changing of the present battalion name. He declared that it was unfair that the "W.O. Regiment" should be allowed to use the colors of the 7th Fusiliers. It was too much like allowing them to "steal" these colors, he said.

"After some discussion a resolution was adopted and signed by all those Present, asking the department of militia to readopt the old name. This petition will be sent to out-of-town members and when it reaches Ottawa it will contain the names of all surviving members of the old 7th Fusiliers which took part in the Riel Rebellion of 1885."

Butler's appearances in The Canada Gazette were not limited to his military service. The 15 Sep 1923 edition included his name in a list of promotions and transfers approved by the Civil Service Commission for the week ending 8 Sep 1923. Included in the list under "Customs and Excise" was "Walter Chester Butler, O.A.S., Asst. Inspector of Customs and Excise, London, Ont."

Between 8 Jan and 16 Feb 1924, Butler attended military training to acquire a skill that he would have been expected to achieve in order to be promoted to field officer rank (i.e., major or above). During that period he completed a Provisional School of Equitation and passed the required examinations to receive a certificate of completion.

The Canada Gazette published 22 Mar 1924 included Militia General Order 35:—Colonial Auxiliary Forces Long Service Medal. Included in the list of authorized recipients is "Major W.C. Butler, W.O. Regt."

Butler's new medal was instituted in 1899. The updated Royal Warrant for the Colonial Auxiliary Forces Long Service Medal, dated 25 Jan 1923, was published in the Canada Gazette on 8 Mar 1924 under General Order 21. The General Order set forth the following qualifying requirements that affected Butler's entitlement for the award (paragraph numbering matches source document):

1.     The Medal may be awarded to a member of the Non-Permanent Active Militia who has completed 20 years service as laid down in these regulations.

5.     A Member of the Non-Permanent Active Militia who, between the 4th August, 1914, and the 11th November, 1918, actually served overseas or signed a written agreement to serve overseas on Military Service, shall reckon two-fold as qualifying service all such service in the ranks on the Active list given between the 4th August, 1914, and 1st January, 1921, whether such service was in the Canadian Expeditionary Force, Royal Navy, Regular Army, Royal Air Force or other Dominion or Colonial Forces.

7.     An Officer who has served in the ranks of the Non-Permanent Active Militia or … of the Auxiliary Forces of a Dominion … but who is not qualified for the Colonial Auxiliary Forces Officers' Decoration, shall, on completing 20 years service in all, be eligible to receive the Medal.

In early 1924, Butler had achieved the 20 year requirement included at paragraph "7." for an officer to receive this medal normally awarded to N.C.O.'s and soldiers.

Butler continued to be engaged with veterans organizations, including the one formed for the 1st Canadian Infantry Battalion. On 26 Jun 1924, The London Evening Free Press announced to formation of an expanded association reaching the battalion's veterans:

"Unite Veterans of Old Regiment

"Enlarge Scope of First Battalion Association is Aim.
"At Chatham Reunion
"London Veterans Going Under Major Chester Butler.

"Formation of an enlarged First Battalion Association will be one of the main efforts of assembled veterans of the senior infantry unit of the C.E.F. at their reunion in Chatham on Dominion Day. The movement to effect a permanent association. under which the holding of annual reunions at different Western Ontario cities would be held, will be launched in the Griffin Theater at a general meeting to be called at 10.30 a. m. on Dominion Day.

"Major-Gen. F.W. Hill, C.M.G., D.S.O., and other veterans will deliver addresses. The First Battalion visitors will be welcomed by the Mayor of Chatham at this assembly.

"The program for the day sent out by Secretary Donald Dough shows that the headquarters of the reunion, which will be stationed in the market building, will open at 8 a.m. on July 1. A baseball game will be held in the city's athletic park at 10 a.m., while the general assembly, as mentioned, will be held in the Griffin Theater at 10.30.

"At 2.30 p.m. another baseball game will be played in the athletic park and horse races will be the feature at Agriculture Park. A football game will conclude the day's sport activities. The parade, however, begins promptly at 1.30 p. m,, led by the Essex Regiment and followed by veterans of the 33rd Battalion and other units, At 7 p.m. there will be a military tattoo and trooping of the colors by the Essex Fusiliers.

"In the evening a dance at the armories will begin at 5 o'clock, and information from Chatham is to the effect that the building will be one mass of flowers and bunting for the occasion.

"London's First Battalion contingent will go down, with Major Chester Butler of the Western Ontario Regiment."

On 2 Jul 1924, The London Evening Free Press reported that the reinvigorated 1st Battalion Veterans' Association had elected its executive. The London representative elected to the executive committee was Major Chester Butler. The reunion ended with a tentative proposal for another reunion in London in 1925.

Having recently received the Colonial Auxiliary Forces Long Service Medal, it is a curiosity that Butler's service would qualify him four months later to receive the complementary officer's long service award, the Colonial Auxiliary Forces Officers' Decoration. The Free Press, London, Ont., carried the news for its readers on 7 Jul 1924:

"Decoration for Maj. W.C. Butler
"Popular W.O.R. Officer Awarded Auxiliary Force Medal.
"Make Other Awards.
"N.C.O.'s and Men of R.C.R. and W.O.R. Honored.

"Major W.C. Butler, of the Western Ontario Regiment. and its former adjutant, has been awarded the Colonial Auxiliary Forces' officers' decoration for long service. The investiture will take place on Armistice Day, probably, at an early parade of the Western Ontario Regiment next fall.

"District national defense orders also announcement that Q.M. Sergt. Instructor Flansberg, D.C.M., the Royal Canadian Regiment, has been awarded the long service and good conduct medal, and Ptes. A. McDonald, R. Whitton and F. Young, of the Western Ontario Regiment, have been nominated for the Colonial Auxiliary long service medal.

"To-day's list of honors for local officers and men of the permanent and non-permanent militia is the longest since the war.

In the Canada Gazette of 19 Jul 1924, just four months after the publication of his Long Service Medal, Butler's name appeared in General Order 94, which identified recipients of the Colonial Auxiliary Forces Officer's Decoration. Relevant passages from the General Order for Butler's decoration are (paragraph numbering matches source document):

1.     The Decoration may be awarded to an officer of the Non-Permanent Active Militia, who has completed 20 years' commissioned service or its equivalent as laid down in these regulations.

2.     Service in the ranks of the Non-Permanent Active Militia shall reckon as half-time towards qualifying service for the award subject to the regulations contained in Para. 5.

3.     An Officer of the Non-Permanent Active Militia, who between the 4th of August, 1914, and the 11th November, 1918, served Overseas as an officer in the Canadian Expeditionary Force, … shall count such service as an officer two-fold.

13.     An Officer, who is in possession of the Colonial Auxiliary Forces Long Service Medal and is subsequently awarded the Decoration, may retain both the Medal and Decoration, but may not wear both unless full qualifying service for both the Medal and Decoration has been served. Service reckoned partly as qualifying service for the Medal and partly for the Decoration would not entitle an Officer to wear both Medal and Decoration.

As noted at paragraph 13, Butler was entitled to be in possession of both the Long Service Medal and the Officers' Decoration, he just couldn't wear them at the same time until his time served met the requirements for both with no overlap. Once the officer's Decoration was awarded, it would replace the Long Service medal in his medal group. In order to wear both awards, Butler would have to serve until 1944.

Shortly after receiving his Decoration, another project of Butler's came to fruition. On 6 Aug 1924, The London Evening Free Press, announced the change of title of the Western Ontario Regiment, restoring the historic designation of "Fusiliers" to the regiment. The pronouncement also reinforces the connections of perpetuation in the active and reserve battalions of the regiment, and it offered a glimpse of news to come regarding Battle Honours:

"Western Ontario Regiment Renamed

"Now Titled "The Canadian Fusiliers (City of London Regiment.)"
"Prefix Of "Royal" May Follow In Due Course.
"Famous C.E.F. Units Perpetuated In Its Three Battalions.

"Success has crowned the efforts of the Western Ontario Regiment to have its name changed to one that would at the same connect it with its former title of "The 7th Fusiliers," and with its headquarters stationed in this city. The regiment's new name is "The Canadian Fusiliers (City of London Regiment.)"

"It is very likely, also, that the prefix "Royal" will be added as soon as battle honors for units that served in the Canadian Expeditionary Forces have been awarded.

"As now organized, The Canadian Fusiliers have in their first battalion the organization of the old First Battalion, C.E.F.; in the unorganized Second Battalion, the 33rd Battalion, C.E.F., is perpetuated. And in the also unorganized Third Battalion, the 142nd Battalion, C.E.F., is held in regimental memory.

"Battle Honors.

"The battle honor already borne by The Canadian Fusiliers is "The Northwest Rebellion, 1885." That solitary claim of military distinction, however, will be widely extended in the new awards which will include Second Ypres, Vimy Ridge and Passchendaele to mention only the more outstanding engagements in which the regiment played a heroic and, in some instances, a decisive part.

"Lieut.-Col. George Little, M.V.O. M.C., has the honor of being the first commander of The Canadian Fusiliers by virtue of the fact that he was the last commander of the old Western Ontario Regiment, and it is believed to be largely due to his efforts and Major. Chester Butler's that the new name has been obtained so expeditiously.

"Major A.H. Murphy is second in command of The Canadian Fusiliers with Capt. M.W. Minhinnick, M.M., as the regiment's adjutant."

It would not be until 1929, with the publication of General Order 110, that the Battle Honours of the 1st Canadian Infantry Battalion would be promulgated:

"1st Bn C.E.F. - "Ypres, 1915, '17, Gravenstafel, St Julien, Festubert, 1915, Mount Sorrel, Somme, 1916, Pozieres, Flers-Courcelette, Ancre Heights, Arras, 1917, '18, Vimy, 1917, Arleux, Scarpe, 1917, '18, Hill 70, Passchendaele, Amiens, Drocourt-Queant, Hindenburg Line, Canal du Nord, Pursuit to Mons, France and Flanders, 1915-18" (G.O. 110 of 1929)"

Butler received his Officer's Decoration at a regimental parade on 2 Oct 1924. The Free Press published an outline of the evening's event in that day's paper:

"Present Medals at City Armory

"Brilliant Function Planned By the Canadian Fusiliers.
"Badges For Marksmen.
"Cups Won By Militiamen To Be Presented Also.

"To-night's presentation of cups, medals and badges as well as prize money to members of the Canadian Fusiliers (City of London Regiment) at the armories will one of the most brilliant military functions of the season.

"Brig.-Gen, King, C.M.G., D.S.O., and staff, as well the regimental staff of the Fusiliers, headed by Lieut.-Col. Little, M.V.O,, M.C., will be in attendance in dress service uniform. Ladies of the regiment and the 7th Regiment Chapter of the I.O.D.E. will lend grace to the occasion.

"The first part of the program will be given over to the formal presentation of medals to members of the corps. Major Chester Butler will receive the officers' decoration of the Colonial Auxiliary Forces.

"During that ceremony as well as during the presentation of prizes for marksmanship, the band of the Canadian Fusiliers will play. At the conclusion of the ceremonies refreshments will be served by the ladies of the 7th Regiment Chapter. Mrs. F.H. Butler, regent of that chapter, will also present their trophy which was won by Capt. G. M. Galbraith.

"Other winners include Sergt. W.P. McBean, to whom the Smith cup will be presented; C.Q.M.S. Less, D.R.A. medal, Pte. C. Gibbs, cup."

"Sergt. W.P. McBean will also be presented with the first-class marksman's badge, and marksmen's badges go to C.Q.M.S. Less, Pte Allen, Sergt. Michie, Pte. Gibbs, C.Q.M.S. Manship and C.Q.M.S Smith."

Butler appears in the lengthy guest list at a military ball held at Wolseley Barracks on 19 Dec 1924 to celebrate the 41st birthday of The Royal Canadian Regiment. The introductory remarks in the social column of The Free Press edition of 20 Dec 1924 set the scene:

"The military ball, at which the 41st birthday of the Royal Canadian Regiment was last night celebrated, was one of the smartest events of the holiday season. The officers' mess at Wolseley Barracks, with the anteroom, used for dancing, were attractive with flags and bunting and the regimental colors, holly wreaths and starry clusters of mistletoe adding a holiday touch. Hosts and hostesses of the evening were the officers of the regiment and their wives, who welcomed the guests at the entrance to the mess. Sitting-out rooms were arranged cozily upstairs, and a buffet supper was served during an intermission in the delightful program of dance music, provided by the R.C.R. orchestra. Receiving were Col. Edward Seeley-Smith and Mrs. Seeley-Smith …"

The Fusiliers started their annual drill schedule for 1925 on the 18th of March. As the unit organized its personnel for the coming year, Butler was named chairman of rifle committee.

As reported in the Free Press the following day, Butler was present at a dinner reunion of 1885 veterans of the 7th Regiment on 7 Apr 1925. The dinner was held at Tecumseh House and 42 of the 275 men of the regiment who went to the Northwest were in attendance, including Butler's father, Mr. F.H. Butler. Among the toasts made during the dinner was one to the Canadian Fusiliers. This was responded to by Lieut.-Col. W. Little, and Maj. Chester Butler followed him with "an account of the regiment of to-day with its struggle against differing conditions to retain the prestige and tradition which their predecessors had built up. That every effort is being made to keep up the standard of the regiment in the personnel of its officers and men, they assured the former rankers of the Fusiliers."

Tecumseh House Hotel was located in London, Ont., at the southwest corner of corner of Richmond and York Streets. Opened in 1859 with 160 guest rooms, it was the largest hotel in British North America and remained London's largest hotel for almost 75 years. The Tecumseh ceased operations in 1929.

On 11 Jun 1925, The Free Press shared the news that Butler was one of the successful local candidates who passed examinations on the technical phases of the militia staff course. That achievement made him eligible to attend the practical portion of the course to be held in Lennoxville, Quebec, at the end of June. Successful completion of the course would make Butler eligible for future appointments as a brigade major or colonel.

The Canada Gazette issue dated 22 Aug 1925 included General Order 88 titled "Colonial Auxiliary Forces Officer Decoration–Royal Warrant and Regulations Governing Award–Amendments." The amendment added a new sub-paragraph (13a.) to the Royal Warrant (G.O. 146 of 1922), which read: "The award of the Colonial Auxiliary Forces Officer Decoration shall not confer any individual precedence but shall entitle the recipient to the addition after his name of the letters V.D."

Major Chester Butler was identified in a Free Press article on 29 Aug 1925 as a member of the executive of the Dominion Rifle Association. He was also named to accompany a Canadian team of shooters to an international match being held at Camp Perry, Ohio, on Saturday, 5 Sep 1925.

On 31 Dec 1927, a further amendment to the Royal Warrant (G.O. 146 of 1922) for the Colonial Auxiliary Forces Officer Decoration was published in The Canada Gazette, under "Royal Warrant and Regulations Governing Award–Amendments." The amendment cancelled the second rule and ordinance in the Warrant, replacing it with: "Secondly: It is ordained that the Decoration shall be worn after all British War Medals suspended from the left breast by a green riband of one inch and a quarter in width, from a silver brooch." [This reduced the suspending ribbon by one-quarter of an inch in width.] The amendment also authorized the wear of a miniature version of the decoration when appropriate.

The Militia General Orders dated 4 Sep 1928, published in the Canada Gazette, announced that Maj. W.C. Butler, V.D., Can. Fus., was to be appointed the Brigade Major of the 1st Infantry Brigade, effective 1 May 1928. For this appointment, the orders showed that Butler was seconded from the "2nd Reserve Battalion," indicating that he was no longer serving in the active battalion of the Fusiliers.

On 9 May 1931, the Canada Gazette reported that, effective 30 Apr 1931, Maj. W.C. Butler, V.D., Can. Fus., had vacated the appointment of Brigade Major of the 1st Infantry Brigade.

On 1 Jun 1932, at the age of 45, Chester Butler surrendered his status of bachelor after a decade of enjoying life as an eligible bachelor on London's social circuit since the war. On that date, at East York, Ontario, he married Florence Isabel Grange (nee Cowan), a 33-year-old widow. Prior to the union, Florence had been living at 639 Talbot St., London, Ont.

The Butlers' marriage was also recorded in the 1933 edition of The Slogan, the yearbook of Branksome Hall. An independent school for girls founded in 1903, Branksome Hall is located in the Toronto neighbourhood of Rosedale. A graduate of the Class of 1917 at Branksome, the 1918 issue of The Slogan shows that Isabel went on to study at Macdonald Hall, Guelph.

Butler also moved into the corporate world in the early 1930s. By November, 1934, he is identified in the papers as Secretary of the Brewing Corporation of Canada. In 1936 he also appears as Secretary of the Grant's Spring Brewery Company, Limited, but whether these positions are concurrent in unclear.

When the Canadian Corps Association (in Ontario) elected new officers on 5 May 1936, Butler was one of eight officers named to the Finance Committee.

An article in The Globe and Mail edition of 14 Apr 1942 identified that Mrs. W.C. Butler had been elected President of the Blue Goose Ontario Pond Ladies Auxiliary. The article noted that Mrs. Butler reported on work for the Christie Street Hospital, including the donation of six radios and the hosting of numerous parties and picnics. (The Honorable Order of the Blue Goose is a fraternal organization of individuals who work in the insurance related industry, which probably indicates that nature of Butler's employment at the time.)

Mrs. Butler again appeared in The Globe and Mail on 30 Oct 1943. The Active Service Canteen on Adelaide Street east was in its fifth year of service and launching a midnight coffee bar service for Saturdays. To be known as the "swing shift" the new service would have Mrs. Chester Butler as one of its supervisors.

Butler's interest in the military and supporting the military and veteran community never waned throughout his life. The Globe and Mail, on 2 Feb 1944, reported that Butler was appointed as a director of the Canadian Military Institute. Two years later, the paper reported on 7 Feb 1946 that he would remain a director for a further term.

In 1945, Butler is listed in the annual report of the Canadian Breweries Limited as the organization's Secretary. On 17 Aug 1951, The Globe and Mail named William E. Drewey as the new secretary for the Ontario Brewers' Association. Drewey replaced "W.C. Butler, retired."

Chester Butler died on 23 Dec 1963. The day after his funeral in London on 26 Dec, The Globe and Mail printed this obituary item:

"Walter C. Butler
Brewing Firm Officer Active Bowler, Curler

"Funeral services were held in London, Ont., yesterday for Walter Chester Butler, 77, of Douglas Dr., a retired executive of Canadian Breweries Ltd., who died at the Toronto General Hospital on Monday.

"A native of London, Ont.. Mr. Butler had been associated with the Brading Brewery in Windsor, until the formation of Canadian Breweries Ltd. He was secretary of the company until his retirement in 1951.

"He served overseas in the First World War with the Canadian Signals, 7th Battalion (sic), and was wounded in 1915. He was a member of the Granite Club, and a former member of Rosedale Bowling Club.

"He leaves his wife, the former Isabel Cowan; and a sister, Mrs, Leta Waller and nephew Peter, of London, Ont."

On 27 Dec 1963, The Ottawa Journal published the following death notice:

"London, Ontario–Walter Chester Butler, 77, former secretary of Canadian Breweries Limited who retired in 1951."

Isabel survived Chester by another eight years. On 22 Nov 1971, The Globe and Mail carried her obituary notice:

"BUTLER, Isabel Florence — At Cedars of Lebanon Hospital, Miami, Florida on Saturday, November 20, 1971, Isabel Cowan of 93 Douglas Dr., Toronto, beloved wife of the late Chester Butler, survived by one sister Kathleen Jackson of Simcoe, Ontario and several nieces and nephews, Friends may call at the Geo. E. Logan and Sons Funeral Home 371 Dundas St., London. Funeral service will be held in the chapel on Tuesday at 3 p.m, with Rev. D. Glenn Campbell D.D. officiating, Interment Mount Pleasant Cemetery, London."

Pro Patria

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