Butters, Frances

Service number:
2818056
Nationality:
British (1801-present, Kingdom)

Biography

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Private
Unit:
The Seaforth Highlanders
Awarded on:
December 2nd, 1941
His interview with M.I.9 on 23 Jul. 1941

'I was captured on 12 Jun 40, 6 kms from St. Valery-en-Caux. We were marched to Rouen (16 Jun), Bethune (19 Jun), Seclin (21 Jun), Tournai (24 Jun) and Alost (29 Jun)

On 29 June I escaped 10kms. from Alost along with Pte. Farrell and Pte. Temperley, 4 Seaforths. They were with me for ten days, when we got separated outside Lille.

My route after escape was : Tournai (3 Jul), Lille (8 Jul), Seclin (15 Jul), Amiens (10 Aug), Bourges (22 Aug),. I walked most of the way with occasional lifts, and lived at farmhouses. I crossed the line of demarcation on 22 Aug, 13 kms. East of Bourges.

I was arrested at Chateauroux and put in the guardroom, but escaped on 28 Aug. and got s far as Montlucon, where I was again arrested by Police ive or six days later.

After a week's detention I stole a bicycle, and in company with Cpl. Wadsley, 1 Black Watch, went to Tulle, Figac, Montauban, Tarbes, Lourdes, and Argeles. We crossed the Pyrenees and were arrested at Jaca, 60 kms. across the frontier, at the end of Oct. We were sent back to France and interned in a concentration camp at Gurs, near Olornon, Bassees Pyrenees (30 Oct).

On 15 Nov I was removed to Fort St. Jean and remained there until 24 Nov when I went to the docks at Marseilles. Next day Pte. Farrell and I stowed away on a French cargo steamer bound for Casablanca. ten hours before we passed Gibraltar we were discovered and put ashore at Oran to be sent back to Marseilles, where I served a sentence of 92 days in a civil prison.

On being liberated I was sent to St. Hippolyte (23 Feb 41) from which I escaped on 20 May. I went to Marseilles and took the train to the Spanish frontier which I crossed on 25 May. I reached Madrid on 28 May.
Military Medal (MM)
With "PALESTINE" clasp.
General Service Medal 1918-1962

Sources

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