Frederick William Butcher was born in London in August 1896. He came up to Grafton House in September 1909 and stayed for nearly six years. He was Head of House and a School Prefect and was in charge of Grafton when his former Housemaster, Francis Norbury was killed in January 1915. The School Archive has a letter written by Norbury to Freddie’s mother in October 1914, explaining that he had decided to join up. Freddie’s elder brother, Alfred was also in Grafton, and was in the XV in 1913. He went on to serve with the Indian army and the Durham Light Infantry, being wounded but surviving the War.
After Oundle, Freddie joined the Inns of Court OTC but failed to gain a commission owing to heart trouble. He enlisted in the London Rifles in December 1916 and was then attached to the Royal Irish Rifles and was fighting with them when he was killed, three days shy of his 21st birthday on 9th August 1917. He died at Frezenberg, north-east of Ypres. His body was never recovered and his name is inscribed on the Menin Gate.
His Chaplain wrote of him: “He was a good soldier and was spoken of in the highest terms by his comrades. He lived a noble life and died a heroic death.”