Buttrum Family
News Reports

Thanks to Hazel Richards for providing these historical reports on the Buttrum Family taken from the East Anglian Daily Times.

14 August 1879 [summarized]

... the brothers Josiah aged 26, Henry 22 and Ernest 17 borrowed a boat, the Caroline, and left the Boat Inn, Woodbridge, for a day's excursion. By the time they had reached Bawdsey Ferry the mast had broken away from the woodwork of the boat. They ran the boat aground near the Victoria Inn and disembarked and had some refreshment at the inn. The landlord was requested to undertake some repairs to the boat, which he did.

At about two o'clock the brothers set off for Woodbridge again and the landlord tried to give them some instruction, which they were reluctant to take, [the inference being that they were inexperienced and may also have had a little too much to drink]. Within half an hour the alarm was raised that a boat had been swamped and, on pulling it ashore, they discovered it was the Caroline.

All three brothers had perished. George should have been with them. Who knows what happened that he did not go but if he had, he too would almost certainly have perished.

18 August 1879 [extract]

At six o'clock on Saturday evening, two visitors were walking on Felixstowe beach near the East End when they discovered the body of one of the three young men who were drowned by their boat capsizing on Tuesday last. It has been identified as that of the youngest of the three brothers, Ernest John Buttrum, who was apprenticed to a Veterinary surgeon in Wickham Market.

20 August 1879 [extract]

The Woodbridge Cemetery witnessed a scene on Tuesday such as never before was beheld since the place was opened, viz, the interment of three bodies at one and the same time and those three being brothers. The three bodies were lodged in the cemetery and not taken to the house of Mr Buttrum where it was thought their presence would be more than heart and flesh could bear.

It was arranged that the interment would take place at 6.00 pm and at 5.00 pm the bell of the parish church commenced tolling, thus informing the inhabitants of the mournful proceedings about to take place. Hundreds of people flocked to the cemetery and in anticipation of the rush, policemen were stationed at the gates to keep out children and others who might do injury to the neatly kept graves in this place of sepulchre.

The mourners left the house about a quarter to six and entered the cemetery by the gate nearest Mr Grouts’ farm. The Rev H Andrews walked with the father, (Mr J Buttrum) and other members of the family followed, as well as Mr Turtle of Wickham Market to whom the youngest brother was articled.

Upon reaching the gates of the cemetery all three coffins were found placed in a row. During the day some kind ladies had made a number of wreaths and garlands of choice flowers which adorned the top of the coffins.

At the gate, the youngest surviving brother, George, about 16 yrs of age, stepped forward and placed a wreath upon each of the coffins, whilst the young lady to whom the eldest son was engaged to be married, performed a like act for her late betrothed.

The Foresters, of whose lodge the eldest was a member supplied the bearers for all three and over 70 brethren were present. There were likewise a number of Oddfellows present. The procession formed in the grounds, the three coffins carried in line, headed by Rev H Andrews and Mr Robert Hughes, surgeon to the family. It was intended had the weather been fine, to have gone straight to the grave, but as drizzling rain was falling at the time, it was decided to use the chapel. Rev Andrews conducted the service in the chapel after which he headed the procession back to the grave where, after a few words had been addressed to the bystanders, the proceedings were concluded. Before the party left the grave, Mr HW Collins, on behalf of the Foresters, read the usual oration over the remains of one of the brothers.

The youngest of the deceased was interred with a sister who died a few years since. The other two brothers were interred together at the head of their sister’s grave.

Unspecified date(s), September 1937

Death of Mr G Buttrum of Woodbridge

        recalls pathetic river tragedy.

There are very few of those picturesque windmills left about the district, and the death of another one of those millers occurred at Woodbridge on Saturday last, when there passed away Mr George Buttrum of the Mill, Burkitt Road. This mill is one of Woodbridge's landmarks and is in perfect working order.

Mr. Buttrum had reached the age of 72 and his death recalls a very pathetic tragedy which took place on the River Deben some 58 years back, when he was to have gone on an outing with three of his brothers in an open boat down to Bawdsey Ferry. These three young fellows whose ages were 26, 22 and 17 set out in an open boat named "Caroline" on the 12th August 1879. It was rigged with a boom and light sail, and they had travelled down the river to Bawdsey ferry and after going ashore, set off on their return trip to Woodbridge. About half an hour afterwards the landlord of the "Victoria" Inn was horrified when he observed the boat capsized, and the sail floating on the water. Their dog, which had accompanied them, swam ashore and was sitting on the beach. Notification was then put through to Woodbridge, and the father and young son (the deceased) then set off and brought back the pet, which would not leave the shore until they arrived.

Mr. Buttrum had not interested himself in the public affairs of Woodbridge, but had many friends to talk to, as he was an old inhabitant of the town, and through his trade had come into contact with many.

The Funeral

The funeral took place at Woodbridge Cemetery on Tuesday afternoon, when the Rev. R B Dand (Rector) and the assistant priest (Rev G R D Bennett) officiated. He was laid to rest in the grave of his wife, and near to that of his three brothers. The mourners were Miss Buttrum (cousin), Mr G F Clarke, Mr & Miss Cooper (Coventry), Miss Warren, Miss Whymark, Mr Cole, Mr Stone (London), Mr E G Hill, Mrs William Warren, Mrs Weatherley and Miss Weatherley, Mrs Brinkley, Mr & Mrs W Turtill, Mrs H Nunn, Mr A Cooper, Mr & Mrs Ford, Nurse Woodley.

Others who were present were Mr W W Everett, Mr H C Skerritt, Mr F Woodley, Mr H C Dobree, Mr P H Fairlcough (Ufford), Messrs W H Dean, R G Buxton, H Aldrich, W Playford, H Read (Ufford), E A Forsdike, A F Hunt, B Coleman, E Bye, E J Cottis, F E Gladwell, S Burrows (Creeting St Mary), R Buller, J Terry, C Abbott (representing Messrs Gross & Curjel), O Goldsmith, E W Dunnett, J Theobald, W J Cook (Grundisburgh), Mrs Middleton, Miss Howe, Miss Playford, Mrs Amos Goldsmith, Mr & Mrs Rous, Mrs J Tricker, Mrs J B Taylor, Miss Arche, Miss Girling, Mrs W Woods, Mrs H Marshall, Miss Morling.

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