Friday, December 9, 2016

William Douglas Booth

badgeaifww1Serial Number and Rank:  365, CPL
Birth:  Leichardt Sydney 1893/19812
Parents:  Edwin Booth and Annie Nissen
Enlisted:  4 Jan 1916
Next of Kin: F. Edwin Booth of East Milton
Service: 33rd Battalion, B Company. RTA 22 August 1919
Honour Rolls:  Milton Church of England (MM)
RSL Honour Roll (MM)
Milton Town Memorial (MM)
Milton Primary School (no MM noted)
Burrill School
Military Medal: Source: Commonwealth Gazette No. 109. Date: 15 September 1919

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during operations near BRAY on 22nd August, 21918. Lance Corporal BOOTH was a No. 1 Lewis gunner. During the advance the right flank of his Company was held up by an enemy machine gun. Acting on his own initiative, this N.C.O. rushed the enemy post and, firing his lewis gun from the hip, he captured the machine gun and crew. Throughout he did most excellent work, particularly during the enemy counter attack. His prompt and accurate fire inflicted severe casualties on the enemy. He displayed splendid initiative and the greatest daring at all times.

 William Douglas Booth was born 26 October 1894 in Sydney, the eldest son  of Edwin Booth and his wife Annie nee Nissen.   William completed his enlistment application on 3 December 1915 at Armidale at the age of 22 years, at the time of his enlistment his Motor car driver at Barraba NSW and had a tattoo anchor on his right arm.

After attending training camp he was assigned to the 33rd Battalion in March 1916 as a private. William’s name is listed on the following local honour rolls: Milton Town Memorial, Milton Ulladulla RSL Honour Roll, Milton Primary School, Milton Church of England and Burrill School. So what is his local connection?

His grandfather was John Booth the founder of the township of Milton. William grew up at East Milton.  His mother Annie died from child birth in 1911 at East Milton.

William embarked for overseas service on the transport ship HMAT Marathon for training in Egypt via Albany in Western Australia in May 1916. The 33rd Battalion arrived at Steenwerck, France in November 1916 and fought in the trenches at Armentieres. William reported sick on February 2, 1917 and was treated by the 10th Field Ambulance for scabies then discharged to the Divisional Rest Station, where he stayed for two weeks.

He re-joined the 33rd Battalion at the front line at Houplines. William was promoted to Lance Corporal on April 13, 1917 and in June he was promoted to Temporary Corporal and underwent a course of instruction, then re-joined his Battalion on July 5, 1917.

William was wounded in action on July 19, 1917 with a gunshot wound to the buttock and evacuated to 1st London General Hospital. William arrived back in France rejoining his battalion once again at Le Touquet sector, north of Armentieres William was with the Battalion during the battles at Hangard Wood and the defence of Villers-Bretonneux.

During the attack on the Bray Ridge on August 22, 1918 William carried an act of gallantly for which he was awarded the Military Medal for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during operations. Lance Corporal Booth was a No. 1 Lewis gunner. During the advance the right flank of his Company was held up by an enemy machine gun. Acting on his own initiative, this N.C.O. rushed the enemy post and, firing his lewis gun from the hip, he captured the machine gun and crew. Throughout he did most excellent work, particularly during the enemy counter attack. His prompt and accurate fire inflicted severe casualties on the enemy. He displayed splendid initiative and the greatest daring at all times.

After some short leave in England, and back with his battalion on October 28, 1918, by this time the battalion were in billets at Citerne France, for there was no more fighting, as the Australian Prime Minister William Hughes, had ordered  all Australian Division had to be withdrawn from all front line duties .

Once back in England William became part of the Non Military Employment under the post war Education and Training Scheme for 3 months.  He returned home to Australia in August 1919 and discharged on January 5, 1920, and returned to the New England region. William also served in WW2.

 

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