Edward BOOTH
Rank: Sapper
Number: 186112
Unit: 300th Electircal & Mechanical Company ROYAL ENGINEERS
Date of Death: 14 July 1917
Age: 21
Cemetery: Baghdad North Gate War Cemetery, Iraq

Edward was the third child of Samuel and Emma Booth. Samuel originated from Romiley but, as a couple, he and his wife settled in the Newton area of Hyde where Emma came from. Their first child, Isaac (known as Isie) was born there. The family moved quite often living in Marple, Hyde and Godley before settling in Stockport. Edward had been born during the time spent in Hyde.

Shortly after the outbreak of War, British troops landed in Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq) with the intention of securing the oilfields from capture by Turkish troops. The invasion was successful and encouraged the British to advance further with the new plan of capturing Baghdad and throwing the Turks out of the country. It was to prove a costly mistake.

Supporting the infantry, were various support units including Edward's. The Company would be responsible for the provision of electrical power to headquarters buildings, etc. Apart from the dangers of battle, the conditions for the men were appalling. Disease was rampant brought on by poor diet, vermin, the extremes of heat, etc.

In 1915, the advancing British troops were defeated in battle and had no option but to rapidly retreat to the town of Kut-al.Amara. Here, they were besieged and forced to surrender five months later. However, by late 1916, a stronger force made headway and Baghdad was finally captured in March 1917. The city became the forward headquarters for the Army and Edward's Company will have been based there. He died of heatstroke in summer temperatures approaching 120F.

Shortly afterwards, the family arranged for an "In Memoriam" notice to be published in the local Stockport newspapers. It was from his parents, sister Eunice, and brothers Sam and Isie. It noted that Isie was "with the Canadian contingent in Kent". However, the Canadian National Archives has no record of a UK born soldier of this name serving with Canadian forces.

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