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William Leslie Booth

Captain William Leslie Booth served with the 6th Battalion of the London Regiment, the City of London Rifles. He was killed in action on 28 May.

After School he went into partnership with his brother in the firm of W L Booth & Booth, chartered accountants, of Finchley, and also of 125 High Holborn.

He was a keen football man and was for several years hon. secretary of the Finchley Manor Football Club.

He was captain and adjutant of the King’s Royal Rifle Cadet Corps, and on the outbreak of war was transferred to the City of London Rifles and proceeded to France about two months before his death.

The war diaries recall that “on 22 May 1915 the Germans began shelling the breastworks of the 6th at 5.30 in the morning and kept up the bombardment until 4.30 in the afternoon.Canadian wounded kept coming in from the trench in front, and the stretcher-bearers of the 6th were allowed no rest. Captain Booth and Lieutenant Garrod of the 6th were killed that day.”

A rifleman in the Battalion recalled “The death of our Captain [Booth] caused deep regret amongst the company. Always known to be a man who at the most dangerous and exciting moments remained cool and collected it seemed impossible for him to get flurried. I remember the last night he lived. We were expecting an attack by the Germans. He was sitting on a firing platform, calmly smoking a cigarette, and giving out orders to his officers and NCOs. His perfect demeanour gave his men confidence in him ; he always had a cheerful word for the man on the look out ; and his untimely death was a big blow to all.” (The fighting Territorials (Volume 2) – Hurd, Percy)

He was the son of Edwin and Henrietta Booth of Finchley, London and the husband of Daisey M Booth and lived in Bushey, Herts.

He was initiated into Sir Francis Burdett Lodge No 1503 in 1910.