b. 21/04/1846 Carrington, Notts. d. 08/12/1899 Brierley Hill
Anthony Clarke Booth (1846-1899) was born on 21st April 1846 in Carrington, Nottingham. Little is known about his early life prior to his enlistment with the 80th Regiment of Foot (later South Staffordshire Regiment). By the time of his VC action (12th March 1879) he was serving in South Africa during the Zulu Wars, and had reached the rank of Sergeant. On the following day after the action in which he was awarded the VC, he was promoted to Colour-Sergeant to replace a fallen comrade.
On the 12th March 1879, on the Intombe River, Transvaal, a large group of Zulus launched an attack on the British position. Booth rallied the men on the south bank of the river and covered the retreat of 50 soldiers and others for a distance of three miles. Booth’s coolness under pressure ensured that all the men were accounted for, and saved their lives.
The gazetting of his Victoria Cross was actually delayed due to the fact that the surviving officer of the action, Lieutenant Henry Hollingworth Harward was court-martialled for cowardice. The trial commenced on 20th February 1880 and concluded a week later on 27th February. During the course of the trial, Booth’s award was confirmed and appeared in the London Gazette on 24th February.
Booth attended his investiture on 26th June 1880 at Windsor Castle receiving his medal from Queen Victoria. When Booth retired from the Army, he returned to England, and settled in Staffordshire. He died on 8th December 1899 at his home, 19 William Street in Brierley Hill. He was buried in the nearby St Michael’s Churchyard close to the grave of his father. His medals are held by the Staffordshire Regimental Museum, Whittington Barracks, Lichfield.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: STAFFORDSHIRE REGIMENT MUSEUM, LICHFIELD, STAFFS
BURIAL PLACE: ST MICHAEL'S CHURCHYARD, BRIERLEY HILL, STAFFS.
Anthony Booth's medals including his VC and Anglo-Zulu War campaign medal on display at the Staffordshire Regimental Museum, Whittington Barracks, Lichfield, Staffordshire (August 2014).
Named on family grave near his own (Gary Stapleton)