Billy Butlin – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Sir William Heygate Edmund Colborne “Billy” Butlin, (29 September 1899 – 12 June 1980), was a British, South Africa-born entrepreneur whose name is synonymous with the British holiday camp.

In 1915, during World War I, Butlin volunteered somewhat reluctantly for service in the Canadian Army. Knowing that the army already had a full quota of despatch riders, Butlin intended to volunteer for service in that category in the knowledge that although his application would be declined he would still receive an “I volunteered” badge for his actions without actually having to serve. While applying, however, Butlin forgot to tell the recruiter of this intention, and was consequently allocated to the Canadian Expeditionary Force which was taking part in the fighting along the Western Front. He was subsequently posted to the 170th (Mississauga Horse) Battalion on 29 December 1915. His attestation papers give his date of birth as 1898 (rather than the actual 1899), allowing him to enlist although only 15 at the time; the papers give his occupation at that time as a “suitcase maker”. The papers also show, as Butlin himself later stated, that he had been selected to serve as a bugler. Before his deployment to Europe, Butlin transferred to the 216th (Bantams) Battalion, with which he was sent to England. Once in England, he was stationed at Sandgate near Folkestone before being deployed to France. In France, the 216th became part of the 3rd Canadian Division which took part in the second battle of Vimy Ridge, as well the battles at Ypres and Arras, and the second battle of Cambrai; while in France, Butlin served as a stretcher-bearer.

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About Pat Lockley

I helped to develop this site's structure and elements of the theme. I worked to develop a series of visualisations and open data resources for this site and to help approach World War One from new perspectives More examples of my work exist on my website
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