Photo: Mark Stevenson

Mark’s History: Heroes of Upper and Lower Wortley Cemetery

10 November 2019

I’ve been taking a photo of all the World War One graves in West Leeds over the past week, writes Mark Stevenson.

I have done a separate article for these two men, who are buried in Upper & Lower Wortley Cemetery, mainly because they stand out because of the medals they won.

The first is Richard Buttery. He was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal (the only one higher is the Victoria Cross), which was the oldest award for gallantry started in 1854 until its discontinuation in 1993.

Richard Buttery was also awarded the Military Medal for acts of bravery. He was born in Farnley in 1891 and died in what is now St James Hospital.

Resting place: Wilfred Edwards. Photo: Mark Stevenson

The other is Wilfred Edwards, who was born in Norwich in 1893. He was awarded the VC for his actions at Langemarck, Belgium in 1917. As reported by The London Gazette at the time:

“When all the company officers were lost, Private Edwards, without hesitation and under heavy machine-gun and rifle fire from a strong concrete fort, dashed forward at great personal risk, bombed through the loopholes, surmounted the fort and waved to his company to advance.

“Three officers and 30 other ranks were taken prisoner by him in the fort. Later he did most valuable work as a runner and eventually guided most of the battalion out through very difficult ground.

“Throughout he set a splendid example and was utterly regardless of danger.”

He was also given the rank of Second Lieutenant.  In WW2 he rose to the rank of major. He died in 1972. 

Check out my coverage of Pudsey Cemetery,  St Thomas in StanningleySt Wilfrid’s in CalverleyKirkstall St Stephen’sFarsley BaptistsNew Wortley Cemetery, Upper and Lower Wortley Cemetery and Hill Top in Armley.

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Emily Simpson says:

Thank you for taking the time to write this article. Richard Buttery is my great great grandad. He did in fact make it back alive from the war but died later as a result. The information I have is that he single handedly managed to recapture a ‘Lewis gun’ from the enemy Saving some of his comrades and taking soldiers as prisoners. This was during the battle of hill 60. This is what he got one of the medals for. Many thanks
Emily Simpson

westleedslife says:

Thanks so much for the information Emily. You must be very proud of your great great granddad