Francis Gerald BOOTH
Rank: Private
Number: 39463
Date of Death: 21 November 1916
Age: 26
Cemetery: AIF Burial Ground, Flers, Somme, France

Almost nothing is known about Frank Booth, other than local records indicate he was born in the Heaton Norris area in 1890 and that, at the time of the Great War, his home was at 26 Toad Street. When he enlisted into the army at Stockport, he was assigned to the Monmouthshire Regiment. Whilst this was originally a Territorial Regiment, the distinctions between it and other Regiments had effectively disappeared by the time he went overseas, probably at the beginning of 1916. The reason for his transfer to the Borderers is not known but the Monmouths' 1/3rd Battalion was disbanded in France in August 1916 with its troops being dispersed to other units.

The Battle of the Somme officially ended on 19 November but, of course, fighting continued in the area for the remainder of the War. On the 21st, Frank and his mates were in trenches near the village of Lesboeufs. The earthworks were in a bad condition and not offering the usual protection and much work was needed to repair them. The Battalion's War Diary records that there was intermittent shelling by both sides throughout the day and there were a number of casualties. Unfortunately all the British casualties were caused shells from their own side falling short. Frank had been killed by what we today call "friendly fire".

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