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Butterton becomes a Thankful Village

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: March 30, 2014

By Leslie Jackson

  • The 15 men from Butterton who served in the First World War are pictured with vicar Reverend RJ Crump and church warden AJ Hambleton. Back row left to right, R Salt, W Henshall, AJ Hambleton, Reverend R J Crump. Middle row left to right, T Wheeldon, H Millward, S Salt, A Poyser, C Birch, J Salt, P Denham, W Millward. Front row left to right, J Goldstraw, J Millward, Lt. C Crump, J T Titterton and R Mellor.

  • Pictured next to the village's stone remembrance poppy, installed eight years ago, are Maurice Woodward, Charlie Mollatt, Maggie Risby, Sarah Stone, Barbara Woodward and Pete Tomlinson, all members of Butterton History Group.

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A COMMUNITY has become the first in Staffordshire to become part of a list of Thankful Villages across the country.

The popular history group at Butterton has proved that all 15 men, including three Millward brothers, who went to serve in the First World War, all returned home safely.

The village has now become the 53rd Thankful Village in the UK and the first in Staffordshire.

Thankful Villages, also known as Blessed Villages, are settlements in both England and Wales from which all their then members of the armed forces survived the Great War.

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It comes as the nation prepares to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of the conflict.

Maggie Risky is the chairman of Butterton History Group.

She said: "We have done a lot research and have now been accepted as a Thankful Village.

"It is a bit of a coup for us to be the first in Staffordshire.

"We got all the information together then it had to be verified by the organisers. They agreed with us and gave us the accreditation.

"It is good for the community and has helped to put us on the map.

"We are now organising an event on October 11 in St Bartholomew's Church entitled Butterton and World War 1.

"There will be cooking from 100 years ago, where you have a ration book to collect your refreshments, an artist, poetry from the war and also how animals were used in the war years.

"We are hoping the event will also attract people who travel around the country visiting Thankful Villages."

Treasurer of the history group, Charlie Mollatt said:: "Finding out all this information is down to Maggie's research.

"It is good for the village. It was also excellent news at the time for all the families.

"To celebrate the event I am going to do cooking for our event in October like it was 100 years ago."

Barbara Woodward, who has lived in the village for many years said: "It is unusual to have three brothers go and serve in the war and then all come back. It is good for the village to be recognised in this way."

Resident Sarah Stone said: "Fifteen men from a small village to go to war was a lot. It is brilliant to be one of the UK's Thankful Villages."

Secretary of the history group, Pete Tomlinson, said he had joined the history group to help out.

He said: "There has been a lot of work in researching the past.

"However, it has created a lot of interest in the village and has brought out a lot of memories concerning the community."

Maurice Woodward has lived in the community for 40 years.

He said: "We have a good team of researchers. The group's research has brought people back to the village who had left.

"It is also excellent news that has helped to put the village on the map."

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