Herbert BOOTH
Rank: Private
Number: 5089
Date of Death: 19 October 1918
Age: 31
Cemetery: Le Cateau Military Cemetery, Nord, France

Born in Hulme, Manchester in 1887, Herbert was one of the eight children of John and Jane Booth. Information received from one of his descendents indicates he married Nellie Hankinson in 1910, living first in Levenshulme and, by the time of the war, Heaton Norris. They had three children – Annie, May and William. He had earned his living as a sawyer.

Although it is difficult to be certain, Herbert’s service number appears to be an early one associated with the Regiment’s 13th Battalion. He almost certainly enlisted in September 1914. The Battalion was disbanded in August 1918 and its soldiers were transferred to the 9th Battalion. Herbert’s medal entitlement records at the National Archives record that he was killed on 22 October, but the usually more accurate records of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission records it as above

The War had less than month left on the day Herbert was killed and the British Army was back at Le Cateau – scene of fierce fighting in the second major engagement of the fighting on 26 August 1914. The previous day, the Manchesters had relieved a battalion of Lancashire Fusiliers on high ground east of the town.

From the early hours of the 9th, the Battalion’s positions were subjected to enemy machine gun fire. German snipers were also very active. At dawn, an outpost position was attacked by a German patrol and only one man was able to run away and escape. Later in the day, German artillery shelled the positions with high explosive and gas shells. Herbert and John Neenan (from Gorton) had been killed during the day.

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