- Name: William Boynton BUTLER
- D.O.B: 20th Nov, 1894
- D.O.A: 6th Aug, 1917
- D.O.D: 25th Mar, 1972
- Award: Victoria Cross
- Occupation at time of action: Private, 17th Battalion The Prince of Wales’s Own (West Yorkshire Regiment) attached 106th Trench Mortar Battery
- Book: The Complete History - Volume 2
East of Lempire, France 6 August 1917
6 August 1917
The First World War 1917
Private W B Butler, 17th Battalion The West Yorkshire Regiment, was in charge of a mortar on the British Line east of Lempire, between Cambrai and St Quentin, about sixty miles to the south of the Third Battle of Ypres.
For most conspicuous bravery when in charge of a Stokes gun in trenches which were being heavily shelled. Suddenly one of the fly-off levers of a Stokes shell came off and fired the shell in the emplacement. Private Butler picked up the shell and jumped to the entrance of the emplacement, which at that moment a party of infantry were passing. He shouted to them to hurry past as the shell was going off, and turning round, placed himself between the party of men and the live shell and so held it till they were out of danger. He then threw the shell on to the parados, and took cover in the bottom of the trench. The shell exploded almost on leaving his hand, greatly damaging the trench. By extreme good luck Private Butler was contused only. Undoubtedly his great presence of mind and disregard of his own life saved the lives of the officer and men in the emplacement and the party which was passing at the time.