Stop 5: Jack Butler
You will notice that many non-Civil War veterans are buried on the edge of sections; the Civil War graves were planned in orderly sections, but once new graves were needed for later wars the cemetery caretakers placed new burials wherever there were empty plots available. Here you will notice an odd-row among the Civil War graves. This is known as the “fill row.” When more graves were needed in the early 1900s, the cemetery caretakers began filling in some of the avenues originally meant for visitor use. In this row lies the only soldier who did not serve in the United States military.
Born in Portsmouth, England in 1894, Jack Butler immigrated to the United States in 1907 and eventually moved to the Fredericksburg area. At the age of 19 Butler sailed back to England to serve in the 2nd Squadron of the Royal Flying Corps during World War I. He was wounded in August 1916 when his plane was shot down during a raid on German lines and during his convalescence he married Doris Tucker. After Jack was honorably discharged, the family moved back to Fredericksburg where Butler opened a garage. Jack died young, at the age of 35, of appendicitis. At the time of his death approval of his application for United States citizenship was expected shortly, which possibly explains his burial here in the National Cemetery. The ashes of his son, Roy Gordon Butler, a corporal in the US Air Force during WWII, were scattered over the grave after his death in 1986.