Harold Edward Butterworth was born in Rochdale in October 1888. His father, James Butterworth, was a successful manufacturer of eyelets and eyelet hooks.
Harold was the youngest son of James Butterworth and Ann Lees Myall. Harold also had four half brothers and sisters from his father’s first marriage to Martha Schofield.
By 1911 Harold was living with his mother and father at Laurel House, 149 Manchester Road, Rochdale and working in the family business as a traveling salesman. Also living with them was his sister Mary Lees Butterworth and his half brother William Mayall Butterworth along with two servants.
He was commissioned into the 1/9th Battalion Manchester Regiment on September 2, 1914 (as supernumary) along with several others. He joined the Battalion while they were at Chesham Fold Camp, Bury and sailed with them to Egypt in September 1914 serving with them there throughout their training and preparation for action. He landed with the 1/9th in Gallipoli on May 9, 1915 as a platoon commander in B Company.
2nd Lieutenant H.E. Butterworth was reported wounded on May 16th in the Divisional war diary and listed on the May 28, 1915 London Times Casualty List; the first Officer of the 1/9th Manchesters to make the list. According to a letter written by 2/Lt. A.H. Hudson, and published in the North Cheshire Herald, June 26th 1915, 2/Lt. Butterworth was shot in the leg while sitting with some other Officers playing cards.
The London Gazette notes that he was later appointed temporary Lieutenant with precedence from June 7, 1915. He is not referenced in the Battalion or Brigade war diaries in Gallipoli except to note that on September 6th he led a group of 50 Other Ranks as Guard to GHQ on Imbros and was subsequently invalided sick to hospital on September 25, 1915. In a letter published on October 9th, in the Ashton Reporter, he is mentioned as being only one of four Officers who joined the Battalion in Bury who was still present. It is likely that the letter was written before he was admitted to hospital.
He was promoted to Lieutenant on June 1, 1916 and the Battalion war diary next mentions him as arriving in Egypt from the UK on June 4, 1916. The implication being that he had been earlier repatriated to the UK from Gallipoli due to sickness and was, at this point, only now returning to join the Battalion.
He sailed with the 1/9th to France in March 1917 and is noted as being a platoon commander on April 22, 1917 when the Battalion was in Epehy. On June 3 he is noted as returning from leave in the UK and attended a week’s course of unspecified instruction in late June. In early August 1917 he attended a week’s bombing course at Divisional HQ. He is noted as commanding C Company on October 13 and later that month, on October 25, he proceeded to England on leave rejoining the Battalion on November 11th.
He was promoted to Captain on August 5, 1917 and finished his war service with the 3rd Battalion Manchester Regiment.
On September 10, 1924 he married Margaret Bessie Hitchon in Rochdale and on March 11, 1916 they had twin boys; Richard Mayall Butterworth and James H. Butterworth.
Captain Harold Edward Butterworth died in Rochdale on May 4, 1939. He was 50 years old.