Sapper Leo William Booth

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Service No. 152 6th Battalion and 2302 Aust. Light Rail Operating Company.

Sapper Leo William BOOTH enlisted twice. The first time in Melbourne on 17 Aug 1914.

Photographed with his brother Vincent Paul BOOTH. He worked for the railways as an Engine Cleaner prior to enlisting. Leo was born at Crossover on Dec 5th, 1894 the 3rd son of Charles and Margaret Selina BOOTH(nee Serong).

He embarked for overseas service from Melbourne on 19th Oct, 1914. Severely wounded by gunshot fracturing his right thigh at Gallipoli on 1st May 1915 he was admitted to No.5 Indian Hospital. He was not taken off the dangerously ill list until 15 Sept 1915, some four months after being wounded. He was invalided to Wandsworth Hospital in the UK per “Goorhka” and eventually returned to Australia per “Euripedes’ n 24 June 1916.

He re-enlisted at Broadmeadows on 19 Oct 1917 and proceeded overseas again serving in France and England before returning to Aus. on the “Karmala” being discharged on September 10th 1919.

In civilian life he rejoined the railways working at Pinnaroo, Ultimo and Rutherglen before his death in June 1953. He is buried at Carlyle Cemetery, Wagunyah, Victoria.

Courtesy - Ann Bullen cousin

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Gunner Francis Henry ROGERS, 8th Field Artillery

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Born 30 July 1898 at Camberwell to Henry Edward and Caroline Rogers(nee Booth).

He was an apprentice carpenter when he enlisted on Dec 29th, 1915 in Melbourne, claiming to be 18 years. He was only 17 and 5 months.

He embarked for Plymoth on May 20 1916, 2 months prior to his 18th birthday. In Dec 1916 he was posted to France and on 20 April 1918 suffered severe gunshot wounds to the head, arm and hand. Listed in a dangerously ill condition with a compound fracture to the skull, he was evacuated to England 3 weeks later on the “Essequibo” and later returned to Australia in August 1918 on the “Wiltshire” for discharge on November 11th 1918 at the age of 20 yrs.

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AIF Sapper 928.- Robert Booth 1st Mining Corps

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Robert Booth was born in 1870 at Laang, Victoria

The 7th son of James and Julia Booth. He had travelled to Boulder, Westen Australia and was employed as a miner.

A highly skilled marksman and in the Citizens Military Forces he spent many years with the Boulder Rifle Club and represented WA in competition shooting. He was 45 on enlistment at Blackboy Hill, WA, single and with both parents already deceased, he nominated his older brother Thomas in Victoria as his next of kin.

Embarking for France on the ‘Ulysses’ on 20 Feb 1916.

He was transferred to the 3rd Tunnelling Co. before being wounded in action on 1 April 1917, he was transferred to Weymouth, UK.

His medical report in October 1917 lists fibrosis of the lungs and overage as reasons for his repatriation home. He returned to Australia on the ‘Benalla’ and was subsequently discharged. In 1922 unable to work any longer he was admitted to “The Edward Milne” repat hospital in Victoria Park where he subsequently of Tuberculosis in November 1922. He was buried in a public grave in Karrakatta Cemetry. Despite dying in a repat hospital and his attestation form listing Thomas as NOK, his death certificate lists no next of kin. Sadly his grave has also now been redeveloped.

Many thanks for acknowledging him somewhere, his GG neice Ann Bullen.

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Lance Corporal, Vincent Paul BOOTH

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Born at Clifton Hill on 30 June 1892, the second son of Charles and Margaret Selina BOOTH (nee Serong). A sawmill hand at ‘Mississipi’ Saw Mill at Warburton, he enlisted at Surrey Hills on 24 Aug 1914, one week after his younger brother Leo had enlisted. Service records show Warburton as his middle name. This is not correct, it was the place where he worked.

He fought at Gallipoli and was shot in the leg at Cape Helles on 16 May 1915 not rejoining his unit until 22 July 1915. He was transferred to the ANZAC Provost Police Corp on 16 Sep 1916 attached to the 1st Artilliary Battalion.

On Oct 31st 1917, he was awarded the Military Medal for Service in France.

On Aug 6th,1918 he was injured when he fell from a moving train transporting soldiers and horses. He was lucky to be dragged from the train line by witnesses just avoiding being run over by another train. He rejoined the 8th Batt. from the Provost Corp and on 8 Oct 1918 was granted special leave and returned to Australia. He served in Alexandria, Gallipoli, Zeitoun, Marseilles and Belgium.

He returned to the sawmill for a few years before finding his way to South Australia a troubled soul, changing his name to Vincent ‘de’ Paul BOOTH and dying in South Australia at the age of 35 with ‘no next of kin’ listed despite his mother, 2 sisters and younger brother Leo still alive and living in Victoria.

It is thought that it is Vincent on the right and his brother Leo on the left.

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Gunnner Robert Booth - 14th Battalion

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Born 22 May 1893 at Panmure, Vic

Second son of John and Jane Booth (nee Chick)

A Banker prior to enlistment on 14th Sept 1914 at Camperdown.

He served in the Dardanelles campaign and was shot in the shoulder on 2 May 1915 at Gallipoli. Evacuated to Heliopolis after 11 weeks recouperating, he was posted to the Quarter Masters at Cairo where he was again hospitalised in Sept 1915 with Malaria. He saw further service in Alexandria with 24th Howitzer Brigade before being transferred in January 1917 to the 10th Field Artillary Brigade in France. A gunshot wound on 29th May 1917 fractured both his Tibia and Fibia, evacuated to England his leg was amputated below the knee and he was repatriated home on the “Ulysses” and discharged on 18 Feb 1818.

He led a long life in public service before dying in 1980 at the age of 87.

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Henry (Harry) David O’Connell

I live in Wellington, New Zealand.

You have a soldier listed, ‘Henry (Harry) David O’Connell’ No 1971 who died, I believe at Bullecourt in France in 1917.

He was a great uncle of mine.

His sister Violet O’Connell was my grandmother. Violet married in Wellington and settled in Port Chalmers in the South Island.

Harry’s brother, Vincent O’Connell came to live in, Port Chalmers, New Zealand with his sister Violet O’Connell.

Vincent O’Connell joined up with the New Zealand Expeditionary Force and also went to France. He was wounded while fighting in the New Zealand army in France and repatriated back to Australia.

Violet, Harry and Vincent were all Australian citizens.

I came across these facts while researching my family history. It shows, I believe, the Anzac spirit.

Unfortunately Harry was first reported wounded on April 11 1917 when Violet made enquiries about him from New Zealand, and his death was not confirmed until July. I found copies of six telegrams online regarding the enquiries.

Violet married a scottish merchant seaman, Murdoch Ross, who served on the NZ troopship, SS Tahiti and made nine trips to Egypt.

Violet died in 1938 in New Zealand. One of her three children, John O’Connell Ross, became a Rear Admiral of the Royal New Zealand Navy.

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