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Thomas Henry Booth (1891-1948)

Citation

“Thomas Henry Booth (1891-1948),” Wyndham History, accessed August 23, 2017, http://wyndhamhistory.net.au/items/show/2169.
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Title

Thomas Henry Booth (1891-1948)

Subject

Booth, Thomas Henry

Publisher

Wyndham City Libraries

Date

1916

Contributor

Bill Strong

Format

text

Language

eng

Type

Text

Biographical Text

No. 3113A  Private Thomas Henry Booth

Thomas' parents were Thomas Booth and Lavinia Beldam, and their children were:

  • Thomas Henry Booth - born 1891 at Poowong (A.I.F.)
  • William Robert Booth - born in 1893 at Poowong (A.I.F.) Died at Ypres in 1917.
  • Emily Louisa "Louie" Booth - born 1895 at Poowong
  • Edgar Jarvies Booth - born 1897 at Poowong
  • John Isaac "Jack" Booth - born 1899 at Poowong (A.I.F.)
  • Charles Beldam Booth - born 1902 at Benalla
  • Leslie Norman "Les" Booth - born 1904 at Benalla

Pre War

From about 1891, the Booth family lived at Poowong in Gippsland, before they moved to Benalla in 1902.  Then when the children were older, they moved to a farm at Mt Cotterell near Exford and Melton.  Between 1913 and 1915 Thomas Henry and his parents were on the Electoral Roll as farmers, living at Exford.  In 1916, William Robert Booth had reached voting age, and his name also appeared next to his parents, as farming at Exford.

In 1914, Thomas Booth became insolvent. The Assignee’s Right, Title, and Interest in and to his Allotment (No.18) on the Exford Estate at Melton was put up for sale.  It comprised of 206 acres held under a Conditional Purchase Lease, under the Closer Settlement Acts.  The Argus, 7 February 1914, p.5.

Thomas Henry Booth's embarkation record states that before he enlisted, he had previous military service with the 49th Infantry.

[13th Infantry Brigade comprised of the 46th (Brighton Rifles), 48th (Surrey Hills) Infantry, 49th (Prahran) Infantry, 51st (Albert Park) Infantry and the 52nd (Hobson's Bay) Infantry.]

War Service

Thomas Henry Booth took his Oath at Geelong on 17 November 1916, and went to camp for basic training.  This was completed at the Royal Park Camp on 9 December 1916, and he was appointed as a Private with the 8th Reinforcements for the 60th Battalion.

Private Booth embarked at Melbourne with the 60th Infantry Battalions 8th Reinforcements per HMAT Medic A7, on 16 December 1916.

Thomas embarked from Melbourne with No. 3112 Private Charles William Beard, a labourer from Werribee.  (They had consecutive Regimental Numbers.)

They disembarked at Plymouth in England on 18 February 1917, and marched in to the 15th Training Battalion at Hurdcott.  After about five weeks training, Private Booth was transferred to the 66th Training Battalion at the Windmill Hill Camp, Perham Downs, and remained there until 25 August 1917.

During his time at Perham Downs, Thomas was admitted to the 17th Field Ambulance Hospital for five days, to be treated for scabies - a skin condition cause by mite bites.

On 25 August 1917, Private Thomas Booth left England and proceeded to France via the Port of Southampton, as reinforcement for the 38th Battalion. He spent five days at the 3rd Australian Division Base Depot (A.D.B.D.) at Rouelles, before being taken on strength with the 38th Battalion on 2 September 1917.  The Battalion added an "A" suffix to his Regimental number, which then became 3113A.

A few weeks after joining the 38th Battalion, they fought successfully in a major battle at Polygon Wood, on 26 September 1917.  This called for all of the attacking Battalions to cross muddy ground strewn with shattered tree stumps.  Troops had to advance behind a heavy artillery barrage, with the aim of capturing numerous enemy defensive pill boxes and bunkers.  Once they had achieved their objectives the troops dug in, and held their gains, despite being subjected to a heavy enemy counter attack.

During October 1917, the 38th Battalion participated in the fighting around the village of Passchendaele, as part of the 3rd Battle at Ypres, in Belgium.  Thomas' brother, William Booth, was also fighting in the same battle with the 7th Battalion when he was killed on 4 October 1917, near Judah House and Springfield Farm.  The fighting continued until the Battalion was withdrawn from the line on 15 October 1917.

After a period of rest, the 38th Battalion relieved the Sherwood Foresters in the Warneton Sector, on 13 November of 1917. They remained in the line until 21 November 1917 when they were relieved, and became the reserve Battalion until 6 December 1917.  The Battalion then relocated to the Aldershot Camp until the end of December 1917.

During this time out of the line, Private Booth reported to hospital as sick.  He was suffering with Trench Feetand Trench Fever**, and required evacuation to England for medical treatment.  On 2 January 1918, he travelled on the Hospital Ship St Patrick, and was then admitted to the Pavilion General Hospital at Brighton.  

After three months at Brighton, he was transferred to the 3rd Auxiliary Hospital at Dartford for further treatment of his Trench Feet and also for deafness, and arrived there on 28 March 1918.  Three weeks later, on 18 April 1918, he was transferred to the 1st Australian Auxiliary Hospital at Harefield, and on 29 April he was transferred to the No. 3 Convalescent Depot at Hurdcott for a month.

Private Booth had recovered enough to begin his return to France, and on 4 June 1918 he marched-in to the Overseas Training Brigade at Longbridge Deverell.  One week later those plans were deferred, and Private Booth was transferred.  He marched-in to the 9th Training Battalion at Fovant on the Salisbury Plain on 10 June 1918.

He remained at the Training Camp until 22 October 1918, when he was reported as being absent without Leave (A.W.L.). He was absent for two months (during which time the Armistice was signed), and eventually reported back to Fovant on 23 December 1918.

There is no record of any punishment as a result of this offence, and the next entry on his service record is when he marched-in to the Concentration Depot at Codford, prior to his return to Australia, on 27 January 1919.

Thomas embarked at Devonport on 21 March 1919 per H.T. Kildonian Castle for his voyage to Australia, and disembarked at Melbourne on 7 May 1919.

Thomas Booth was formally discharged from the A.I.F. at the 3rd Military District on 5 July 1919.

Post War

On 28 July 1919, Thomas Henry Booth applied for a Qualification Certificate which would allow him to apply for a holding under the Discharged Soldiers' Settlement Acts.  Even though he gave his address as care of the Werribee Post Office, he stated a preference to have a mixed farm in the Heidelberg locality.  He qualified on 28 August 1919, and amended his preferred choice of lots to Werribee South.  They were Deutgam No.s 8H, 21H or 5H.

By 11 December 1919, Thomas Booth was allocated a Soldier Settlement Block at Werribee South.  His block was Allotment 5, Section H, and was over 9 acres in size. The capital value being £267/11/6.  Coincidentally, it was next to the one, which had been awarded to his brother John Isaac Booth (Allotment 4, Section H.)

The 1921 Electoral Roll records the Booth family as still residing at Exford.  They were Thomas and Lavinia Booth, and children Emily Louisa, John Isaac and Thomas Henry.

Both brothers had a continuous link with the north east of Melbourne, and in particular, Thompson Street in Northcote South.

  • When John Isaac Booth signed the acceptance certificate for his Soldier Settlement block in 1929, his signature was witnessed by D Bently of Gotch Street, Northcote South.
  • In the 1920's the family home of Grace Mildred Bentley (Thomas's future wife) was at 77 Thompson Street, Northcote South.
  • Thomas Booth's first preference for a Soldier Settlement block was in the Heidelberg area.
  • Thomas Henry Booth died at 77 Thompson Street, Northcote South.

Between 1926 and 1934, the Electoral Rolls show that Thomas Henry Booth was a farmer, living at Exford.

In 1934, his father Thomas Booth moved from Exford to Werribee and became a Caretaker.  In the same year, his future wife (Grace Mildred Bentley, spinster) was granted joint probate with her brother, on the estate of Grace Frances Bentley (her mother), late of 77 Thompson Street South Northcote.  The Argus, 15 May 1934, p.1.  This was to be the future home of Thomas Henry Booth, after they married.

Three years later, Thomas Henry Booth married Grace Mildred Bentley on 30 August 1937, and lived at 77 Thompson Street, South Northcote . (Ancestry.com & CD)

On 15 October 1942, Thomas Henry Booth of 83 Thompson Street, Northcote South, made the final payment on his Soldier Settlement block (Deutgam Allotment 5H).

His father, Thomas Booth, died at Werribee in 1943.  It is possible he is the Thomas Booth who was buried in the Springvale Botanical Cemetery on 19 June 1943. https://mgc.smct.org.au/deceasedsearch

Thomas Henry Booth died on 30 September 1948 in his home at 77 Thompson Street Northcote.  Death noticee were published in The Argus, 1 October 1948, p.10 and The Age, 1 October 1948, p.2.   A funeral notice was published in The Age, 1 October 1948, p.4.  Thomas was buried in the Heidelberg Cemetery.

Grace Mildred Booth later applied for probate on her deceased husband’s estate in February 1950.  He was listed as Thomas Henry Booth, a Draper, of 77 Thompson Street Northcote. The Argus, 28 January 1949, p.13.

Notes:

His name appears on the Werribee Shire Oak Board as “BOOTH, T. H.”

The names of the three brothers "Booth, Gunner, J.J.", "Booth, Lieut W.R., (Killed)", and "Booth, T.H.:, all from Mt Cotterall, first appeared in the Werribee Shire Banner’s Roll of Honor, 7 February 1918, p.1.

During WW2, a Thomas Henry Booth, V372466, DOB 3 May 1893, born in Northcote, enlisted at Westgarth. His Next of Kin was G. Booth , possibly his wife. (Ancestry.com) It is uncertain if this is the same man.

*Trench Feet – a medical condition caused by prolonged exposure of the feet to cold and wet conditions causing the feet to get cold, swollen, white, and painful.

**Trench Fever – A moderately serious disease, spread by body lice, also known as 5 day fever.

Medals & Entitlements:

  • British War Medal - July 1921
  • Victory Medal

Bibliography

Service History - http://www.naa.gov.au/
Embarkation List - https://www.awm.gov.au/
Federation Index Victoria 1889-1901 CD
Edwardian Index Victoria 1902-1913 CD
Marriage Index Victoria 1921-1942 CD
Ancestry.com

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