Name James (Jim) Butterworth Rank: Private
Battalion 2/22nd Infantry Battalion
Place of Birth Dumbalk 19 March 1908
Next of Kin Royal Butterworth, his brother. His parents were John William and Jane Lorina Butterworth.
Date and place of enlistment
11 July 1940 at Caulfield
Location on enlistment
Date and place of death 8 March 1942 at Gasmata, New Britain, Papua New Guinea
Location of grave or memorial
He has his name on the Rabaul Memorial Papua New Guinea
Relationship to Woorayl Shire
He lived all his life with his family in Dumbalk
Jim was placed in the 2/22nd Battalion and trained at Mt Martha before going to Trawool near Seymour. The battalion then marched on foot from Trawool to Bonegilla near Albury for further training. Bert was in A Company with many other men from Leongatha and district and his commanding officer was Major Bill Owen.
Soldiers of the 2/22nd Battalion were given a few days leave to see their families and friends before returning to Bonegilla and going away to the war. On 11 March a selection of men travelled to Sydney by train and then headed north by sea. They sailed into Rabaul on Anzac Day 1941.
The men continued training and found themselves in a waiting game. Would the Japanese attack? Bombing started in late 1941 and the situation became very serious. The undermanned force was in serious trouble. The Japanese landed with a large force and quickly over ran Rabaul on 23 January 1942. Jim together with five local men and others from A Company escaped into the jungle. The men were on the run until early March. We do not know how they became prisoners at Gasmata. Unfortunately, the men in this group were all executed by the Japanese on 8 March 1942.