Albert Charles Butterfield Born 1915 Lambeth london, killed 10 April 1941, Tobruk

January 30, 2009

My uncle Albert Charles Butterfield was sent to Australia by Dr Barnardos, he was killed in Tobruk 10th April 1941, he was in 24th Anti Tank Coy, do you have any information when he was transported to Libya and what ship, we are desperate to get more information as he may have been responsible for killing Gen Von Prittwitz a German General on 10th April 1941.

Any information would be greatly appreciated.
Roy Butterfield.


The notes below are all I have gleaned.

From a report about Tobruk.

The first attempt against Tobruk Redline, 10th april, was leaded by gen. von Prittwitz who was shot dead by an a.t. shot. Troops: 8.th MG (Lt.Col. Ponath) and III. Group of 1st Articelere rgt, 8th battery 20mm., artillerymen employed as motorized infantry, against 2/24 Australian inf., 2/3 Australian Field Company and Bush Artillery. It was a defeat for the axis who didn't know anything about Tobruk defences.

It would seem that the 2/28th. Batallion sailed from Fremantle on January 3rd. 1941 in AQUITANIA, arriving in Colombo a wek later, they transshipped to the freighter New Zealand to disemark at El Kantara and go by train to El Majdal near Gazo arriving on the 2nd. of February 1941, and thence to Khassa.

On the 26th.March 1941 by train to the end of the line at Mersa Matruh, the next day by bus to Tobruk arriving on the 1st. of April 1941.

The German attack started on Good Friday the 10th. of April.

The above detail is from a report by Raymond Stewart Middleton.

At the National Library of Australia.

Indexes of personnel of specific sub units of the 24th Anti/Tank Company and of the 2/3 Anti Tank Regiment / complied [i.e. compiled] by Robert Darnley Raine
Bib ID  2618060
Format  Book
Author  Raine, Robert Darnley
Publisher  Bibra Lake, W.A. : Raine Educational & Research Services , 2003.
Description  1 v. (various pagings) ; 30 cm.
ISBN  1875950796 

WW2 Certificate from Australia.

Service  Australian Army
Date of Birth  23 January 1915
Place of Birth  LONDON, ENGLAND
Date of Enlistment  10 August 1940
Locality on Enlistment  COOMBERDALE, WA
Place of Enlistment  CLAREMONT, WA
Date of Death   April 1941
Posting on Death  24 Anti Tank Company

Memorial King's Park Perth

Symbolic Flame
2/28th Battalion & 24th Anti-Tank Company
Lovekin Drive, Kings Park, WA

This memorial is a symbolic flame
it perpetuates the memory of those members of
the 2/28th Battalion & 24th Anti-Tank Company
who made the supreme sacrifice
Second World War 1939 – 1945


Details from Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

2/28th Battalion

Western Australia’s 2/28th Infantry Battalion was raised in 1940, with the nucleus of the battalion coming together at Melville Camp, near Fremantle, on 17 July. The battalion was initially raised as part of the 24th Brigade of the 8th Division and was transferred to the newly formed 9th Division in December. In early January 1941 the 2/28th moved to Fremantle, where it joined a troopship convoy to the Middle East. The battalion arrived at Egypt at the end of the month. Disembarking at Port Tewfik in Suez, the battalion travelled by train to Palestine. Southern Palestine was being used as a base for the Australians where they could complete their training. The 2/28th went into camp at Khassa, north of Gaza.

By early 1941 the British advance in the Western Desert had reached El Agheila. In March the 9th Division was brought from Palestine to Libya to garrison the area east of Tobruk. The division did not have enough vehicles to bring all of its units forward towards Benghazi and the 24th Brigade (composed of the 2/28th, 2/43rd, and 2/32nd Battalions) remained in Tobruk.

This situation had quickly changed in April. The German Afrika Korps led the Axis counter-attack, pushing the British from El Agheila. The 9th Division withdrew to Tobruk and, with the 18th Brigade, defended the “fortress” for the next six months. The 2/28th participated in the usual pattern of defensive duties, manning parts of the Red Line, working on the Blue Line, and aggressively patrolling no man’s land. The Red Line was Tobruk’s outer line.

Book covering Australian troop convoys in WW2.

Across the Sea To War by Peter Plowman


Casualty Details
Initials:  A C
Nationality:  Australian
Rank:  Private
Regiment/Service:  Australian Infantry
Unit Text:  A.I.F. 24 A/Tk. Coy.
Age:  26
Date of Death:  10/04/1941
Service No:  WX7748
Additional information:  Son of George Henry and Maude Butterfield, of Rainham, Essex.
Casualty Type:  Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference:  3. G. 4.

I hope this is of some value for you.


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