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Robert James Booth

Portrait of Sgt R J Booth 48673 in uniform. Image kindly provided by the Booth family (January 2018). Image may be subject to copyright restrictions.

Portrait of Sgt R J Booth 48673 in uniform. Image kindly provided by the Booth family (January 2018) …

Identity

  • Title
  • Forenames
    Robert James AWMM
  • Surname
    Booth AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    Jayforce 48673 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    13 February 1921 AWMM OpotikiBay of Plenty AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    • WW2 Pre 1943 AWMM Windsor Rd., Opotiki AWMM
    • Jayforce Pre 1946-1948 AWMM Windsor Rd., Opotiki AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    • WW2 Mrs. M.R. Booth, Ford St., Opotiki (w) AWMM
    • Jayforce Mrs. M.R. Booth, Ford St., Opotiki (w) AWMM
  • Relationship status

Service

Wars and conflicts

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Military decorations

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  • Medals and Awards
    Military Medal (MM) AWMM
    10 May 1945 AWMM
    'On 22 September 1944 Sergeant Booth was attached C Company, 21 NZ Battalion, for the attack on CELLE, Italy, Starting at 0600 hours, the attack was mounted under very heavy shelling, mortar and small arms fire. At approximately 1000 hours Sergeant Booth in his Honey tank was driving his Company Commander through an area which had not been mopped up. An enemy strongpoint was contacted which opened up on the tank with machine-gun and bazooka fire. Sergeant Booth replied with fire from his own machine-gun but after a few rounds the gun jammed. Without hesitation he jumped off his tank and killed two of the enemy with his pistol, the other two surrendering. At 1300 hours on the same day tanks and infantry were held up at Viserba. Alone and on foot Sergeant Booth proceeded some 400 yards ahead and owing to intervening buildings no covering fire was available for him. As he came round the back of a factory building he encountered one of the enemy who surrendered after a burst of Tommy-gun fire had been directed at him. As he was disarming his prisoner Sergeant Booth heard a movement in nearby reeds, fired in the direction and wounded a German soldier who was then carried out by yet another of the enemy both of them promptly surrendering. Taking his prisoners with him, Sergeant Booth proceeded forward and discovered the bridge intact although the area still contained obvious elements of enemy infantry. He attempted a return by the same route but because of his wounded prisoner chose an easier way and in doing so came under the fire of our own infantry. In spite of this he brought the prisoners safely back and the information he had gained played a great part in the success of the subsequent attack. During all that day the attack went forward against stubborn enemy resistance and Sergeant Booth’s bravery and absolute disregard of personal safety played a great part in the ultimate success of the operation.'. (Source: The National Archives. Recommendation for Award for Booth, Robert James. (Ref. WO 373/11/602). Military Medal. AWMM

Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
  • Occupation before enlistment
  • Age on enlistment

Embarkations

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Prisoner of war

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  • Capture details
  • Days interned
  • Liberation date
  • Liberation Repatriation
  • POW liberation details
  • POW serial number

Medical history

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  • Medical notes

Last known rank

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  • Last rank

Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Lieutenant R. J. Booth, MM; Opotiki; born Opotiki, 13 Feb 1921; clerk; wounded 24 Sep 1944. (Source: Cody, J.F. 21 Battalion. p.375.)

    'C Company carried on without much difficulty, although dispersed over a lot of country. Major Hawkesby enlisted the services of a Honey tank driven by Sergeant Booth and roamed about like a sheepdog behind a scattered flock. They encountered a post that had been overlooked in the skirmishing and went after it, although Honeys are supposed to be purely reconnaissance vehicles. When his Browning jammed, Booth jumped down and killed two Germans and captured the other two. By this time the forward elements of C Company were half a mile past the Fossa Turchetta, and the Honey departed on its own affairs. Hawkesby rejoined his headquarters, where a signal had been received that an enemy force was moving towards him. There was a stretch of country between his right and the sea, and, with A Company not up, his left flank was also in the air, so he decided to concentrate 13 Platoon (Second-Lieutenant Weir) and 15 Platoon (Second-Lieutenant Dempsey) in the Casa Martignoni.' (Source: Cody, J.F. 21 Battalion. p. 375.) AWMM
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Death

About death

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  • Death
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference

Memorials

Memorial

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  • Memorial name

Roll of Honour

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Sources

Sources

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  • External links
    • 'The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the following awards in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in Italy.' (London Gazette, 10 May 1945, p.2455.). Military Medal.
      http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/37072/supplements/2455
      Further Reference
    • 'On 22 September 1944 Sergeant Booth was attached C Company, 21 NZ Battalion, for the attack on CELLE, Italy, Starting at 0600 hours, the attack was mounted under very heavy shelling, mortar and small arms fire. At approximately 1000 hours Sergeant Booth in his Honey tank was driving his Company Commander through an area which had not been mopped up. An enemy strongpoint was contacted which opened up on the tank with machine-gun and bazooka fire. Sergeant Booth replied with fire from his own machine-gun but after a few rounds the gun jammed. Without hesitation he jumped off his tank and killed two of the enemy with his pistol, the other two surrendering. At 1300 hours on the same day tanks and infantry were held up at Viserba. Alone and on foot Sergeant Booth proceeded some 400 yards ahead and owing to intervening buildings no covering fire was available for him. As he came round the back of a factory building he encountered one of the enemy who surrendered after a burst of Tommy-gun fire had been directed at him. As he was disarming his prisoner Sergeant Booth heard a movement in nearby reeds, fired in the direction and wounded a German soldier who was then carried out by yet another of the enemy both of them promptly surrendering. Taking his prisoners with him, Sergeant Booth proceeded forward and discovered the bridge intact although the area still contained obvious elements of enemy infantry. He attempted a return by the same route but because of his wounded prisoner chose an easier way and in doing so came under the fire of our own infantry. In spite of this he brought the prisoners safely back and the information he had gained played a great part in the success of the subsequent attack. During all that day the attack went forward against stubborn enemy resistance and Sergeant Booth’s bravery and absolute disregard of personal safety played a great part in the ultimate success of the operation.'. (Source: The National Archives. Recommendation for Award for Booth, Robert James. (Ref. WO 373/11/602). Military Medal.
      http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Details?uri=D7353892
      Further Reference
  • References
    • 21 Battalion (Official history of New Zealand in the Second World War 1939-45) AWMM
      p.375. AWMM
    • Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force. (1945). Nominal Roll Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force No. 12 (Embarkations from 1st July, 1943 to 31st December, 1943). Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
      p.19 AWMM
    • Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force. (1950). Nominal Roll Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force No. 16 (Embarkations from 1st January, 1946 to 30th June, 1948). Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
      p.13 AWMM
    • Information kindly provided by family AWMM
    • Brocklebank, L.W. (1997). Jayforce : New Zealand and the military occupation of Japan, 1945-48. Auckland, N.Z.: Oxford University Press. AWMM
    • Dawson, W. (1961). 18 Battalion and Armoured Regiment. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM

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