LEST WE FORGET

Leading Stoker Sydney William BUTCHER

Service No: 23734 (Royal Australian Navy)
Born: Kurri Kurri NSW, 11 December 1920
Enlisted in the RAN: 14 November 1939
Unit: HMAS Kuttabul
Died: Naval Operations: Sydney Harbour, 1 June 1942, Aged 21 Years
Buried: South Maitland (Kurri Kurri) Cemetery MSW
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Sydney William Thomas Butcher and Anrue Elsie Butcher, husband of Violet Beryl Butcher, of Weston
Roll of Honour: Weston NSW
Remembered: Panel 3, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: HMAS Kuttabul Memorial, Potts Point NSW

An underwater explosion wrecked Kuttabul, and caused a number of casualties in her. It was subsequently discovered that this was caused by one of two torpedoes which, fired at Chicago by
Midget Submarine A from the direction of Bradley’s Head, passed under the Dutch submarine K9, and struck the harbour bed beneath Kuttabul, where it exploded. The other torpedo ran on shore on Garden Island and failed to explode. Possibly the blacking out of the graving dock floodlights just prior to Midget A’s attack was responsible for the cruiser’s escape.

Extract from Gill, G.H. (G. Hermon) Royal Australian Navy 1942-1945, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1968 – Page 70

The crew members of HMAS Kuttabul killed were:

Stoker Second Class John Samuel Asher (PA1913)
Able Seaman Leslie William Bland (S4023)
Stoker William Richard Boundy (23893)
Leading Stoker Sydney William Butcher (23734)
Stoker Second Class Leslie Joseph Dennison (W2277)
Stoker Arthur William Francis (16076)
Stoker John Edward Thomas Gannon (S5161)
Stoker Jack Albert Gardner (W1418)
Stoker Frederick Arthur Glanford (B3414)
Engine Room Artificer Fourth Class Walter George Gordon (PM3354)
Petty Officer Leonard Walter Howroyd (19667)
Stoker Second Class Lester Richard Jamieson (W2264)
Stoker Second Class Kenneth Francis Killeen (25753)
Stoker Jack Edmund Numan (23807)
Stoker Second Class Norman Leslie Robson (S5654)
Ordinary Seaman Arthur James Smith (F3222)
Stoker Second Class Herbert Arthur Smith (S6131)
Ordinary Seaman Raymond Owen Venning (S6116)
Stoker Thomas Joseph Watson (S5511)

References:

Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A6770, BUTCHER S W
Register of War Memorials in New South Wales On-Line

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