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joseph boothJoseph Booth was born in Farnworth in 1886. He was the son of Isaac Booth b.1847, a mechanic in a cotton mill, and Sarah Booth née Turner b.1847.

Joseph’s father died in 1887 and by the 1891 Census Joseph was living at 146 Longcauseway, Farnworth with his mother and siblings Robert b.1871, Susannah b.1873, Ellen b.1874, William b.1876, James b.1877, Rachael b.1879, Catherine b.1882, Isaac b.1884 and Nathaniel b.1884. The eldest 6 children were all working in the cotton industry.

In 1901 Joseph was living at 13 Thomas Street, Farnworth, in the household of his brother Robert and working in the raising room at a cotton weaving mill.

He married Alice Hurst b.1881 on 29 February 1908 at St Stephen’s Church, Kearsley.

In 1911 they were living at 26 Piggott Street Farnworth with their son Norman b.1908. Another child was recorded as having died by 1911. Joseph was working as a cotton yarn bleacher.

His Army medical examination on enlisting described him as being 5′ 7½” tall, weighing 126 lbs with grey eyes, a fresh complexion and light brown hair.

He sailed for Egypt from Avonmouth, Bristol aboard HMT Braemar Castle on 15th June 1915 and was killed in action at Chunuk Bair on 10th August 1915.

The official despatch states;

“The two battalions of the New Army chosen to hold Chunuk Bair were the 6th Loyal North Lancashire Regiment. The first of these arrived in good time and occupied the trenches. Even in the darkness their commanding officer, Lieut-Colonel H.G. Levinge, recognized how dangerously these trenches were sited, and he began at once to dig observation posts on the actual crest and to strengthen the defences where he could; but he had not time given him to do much.

The second battalion, the Wiltshires, were delayed by the intricate country; they did not reach the edge of the entrenchment until 4am, and were then told to lie down in what was believed, erroneously, to be a covered position. At daybreak on Tuesday 10th August, the Turks delivered a grand attack from the Chunuk Bair Hill-Q against these two battalions, already weakened in numbers, though not in spirit, by previous fighting.

First our men were shelled by every enemy gun, and then, at 5.30am, were assaulted by a huge column consisting of no less than a full division, plus a regiment of three battalions.

The Loyal North Lancashire men were simply overwhelmed in their shallow trenches by sheer weight in numbers, whilst the Wiltshires who were caught in the open, were literally almost annihilated. The ponderous mass of enemy swept over the crest, turned the right flank of our line below, swarmed round the Hampshires and General Baldwin’s column, which had to which had to give ground and were only extricated with great difficulty and very heavy losses.

Towards this supreme struggle the absolute last two battalions from our general reserve were now hurried, but by 10am, the effort of the enemy was spent. Soon their shattered remnants began to trickle back, leaving a track of corpses behind them, and by nightfall, except prisoners or wounded, no live Turk was left upon our side of the slope.”

Joseph was 29 years old. His name appears on both the Helles Memorial and Farnworth War Memorial.

HELLES MEMORIAL

THE HELLES MEMORIAL

Rank: Private
Service No: 12193
Date of Death: 10/08/1915
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 6th Bn.
Memorial: HELLES MEMORIAL

Additional information

A brother not mentioned on the censuses was 49349 Gunner James Booth of the Royal Garrison Artillery. He was killed in action 21/05/1917 aged 39. Older brother Robert also served with the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment.

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DBBC

This article has been reproduced with kind permission from the DBBC young roots heritage project. The young people identified and researched the the servicemen pictured in a 1916 Bolton Journal and Guardian supplement who were killed at Gallipoli. You can visit their website by clicking on the DBBC logo.
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