Stroud's VCs

Stroud's VCs

A new foyer based display tells the story of Lieutenant (later Captain) John (Jack) Butler and Lieutenant Eugene Bennett both awarded the VC during World War One.

 

14.10.2016

The latest display in the Museum's WWI Commemoration Programme sees us present objects that represent the First World War stories of two men who were awarded the Victoria Cross and came from the Stroud district.

Lieutenant (later Captain) Butler was born at Berkeley in 1888, and won his Victoria Cross for action in East Africa in November 1914.

Lieutenant (later Captain) Bennett was born at Cainscross in 1892,and won his Victoria Cross for action at the Somme in November 1916.

Alexia Clark, Collections Officer commented that 'Whilst the two stories are very contrasting, and took place on different fronts of the First World War they both exemplify the bravery that was exhibited by many thousands of individuals involved in the First World War.'

Both are commemorated here thanks to loans from their respective regimental museums:

The 'Stroud District VCs' display is on until 4th December 2016.  From the 13th October until the beginning of November the display will also feature Lieutenant Bennett's Commemorative Paving Stone, on loan from Cainscross Parish Council before it is laid in Victory Park.

John (Jack) Butler was born on 20th December 1888 at Berkeley in Gloucestershire. He won the Victoria Cross early on in the War in November 1914. Apart from the VC and Distinguished Service Order, he was mentioned in despatches 3 times.  On the 4th September 1916 his company was advancing along a road to the east of Matombo Mission Station in East Africa (now Tanzania) when it came under heavy German machine gun fire. In seeking to dislodge the enemy, Butler was mortally wounded, dying on the following day, 5th September 1916, aged 27.

Eugene Paul Bennett was born on 4th June 1892 in Cainscross, Stroud.  He went to the western front in October 1914. In July of 1916 he also survived the first day of the Somme. At the start of November 1916 Paul Bennett was  with his regiment at Transloy, ready to take part in General Rawlinson’s attack to capture ground at Lesboeufs. Despite being wounded several times Paul recovered sufficiently from the war to lead a relatively normal life—being called to the Bar in 1923 and serving for many years both as a barrister and later as a magistrate. He died in Italy in 1970.

For more on the Museum's First World War Commemorative Programme please visit here.

 

 

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