Mark BOOTH
Rank: Private
Number: 71222
Unit: 10th Battalion SHERWOOD FORESTERS
Date of Death: 29 March 1918
Age: 22
Cemetery: Meaulte Military Cemetery, Somme, France

Mark was born in Ludworth, near Compstall and almost certainly spent all his life in the area until he travelled to Buxton to enlist into the local Regiment. His parents, Joseph and Elizabeth, were both born in Werneth but had lived at Compstall Road for many years. The 1901 Census records they had eight children ranging from Frank, then aged 21 to Elizabeth, just 1.

On 21 March, the German Army launched an expected offensive. What was unexpected was the strength and ferocity with which it was launched. Within hours, the British front line had been overrun. Many were dead. Many more were prisoner and the Tommies were in full-scale retreat. Over the course of the coming days, the British lost all the ground gained in the previous two years of fighting in France.

Mark and his comrades were not involved on the first day and seem to have had a relatively easy time of the retreat. On the evening of the 27th, the Battalion received orders to move up and take over a section of the new front line, near the village of Bouzencourt. The next day, the Germans attacked neighbouring units on the right but were repulsed. Their overall advance was coming to end as they found their supply lines over-extended. The Battalion's War Diary makes no mention of casualties on the day Mark was killed, recording only "Quiet day. Battn. relieved by 10 Lancashire Fusiliers at 10pm". He had probably been killed by shellfire - an event so common it was often not recorded.

   
           
   
     
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