They returned to neither a hero's welcome nor financial security. After months of searching, Michael did find a job in Portsmouth Dockyard, but his health gave out and he died prematurely. By now Nell's frostbitten arm had withered, but she gamely took in sewing to supplement the 2s (lOp) a week outdoor poor relief. The committee of the national Patriotic Fund, established to assist war widows and families, ruled that 'there is not sufficient evidence to show that Private Butler died from the effects

of the Russian War'. Made of stern stuff, Nell did not give up and actively joined others in pressing for justice. At length, Parliament agreed that surviving war widows should receive 5s (25p) a week. When Nell was nearly 80, even that was taken away from her. A month before she died, she wrote: T often dream and awake frightened, having seen Michael twice the last month. He was calling me, saying "Nell, Nell, come away or they'll break thy heart".' In 1909, aged 79, she passed away and was buried in her home town with military honours. The coffin bore a brass plate: 'Ellen Butler, Crimean Veteran'.