Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
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11/25242   Private Andrew Thomas Booth
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Dated added: 30/12/2015   Last updated: 01/05/2020
Personal Details
Regiment/Service: 11th Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (British Army)
Date Of Birth: 25/12/1896
Died: 24/11/1916 (Killed in Action)
Age: 19
Summary      
Andrew Thomas Booth was the eldest son of Thomas and Margaret Booth. He was born on Christmas Day in 1896 in the Loop, Magherafelt. His father was a farmer. His mother was a house keeper. The family lived in Ballyriff, Loop, County Londonderry. On Friday night the 24th November 1916, the front line was heavily bombarded by the Germans. Pte Booth was asleep at the time in the dugout attached to his Lewis Gun post. The first or second shell landed right on top of the shelter and all the men in the dugout were killed instantaneously.
Private Andrew Thomas Booth
Further Information
Andrew Thomas Booth was the eldest son of Thomas and Margaret Booth. Thomas Booth married Margaret Henry on 7th June 1895 in the district of Cookstown.
Andrew was born on Christmas Day in 1896 in the Loop, Magherafelt. He was the oldest of five children, three surviving.
The 1901 census shows Andrew Tom to be 4 years old The family were living in Ballyriff, Loop, County Londonderry. His father was a farmer. His mother was a house keeper.
Known family: Thomas Booth, Maggie Booth, Andrew Thomas Booth (born 25th December 1896), James Booth (born 20th July 1903), Sarah Jane Booth (born 18th November 1904).
The 1911 census lists Andrew as 14, living with the family in Ballyriff, Loop, County Londonderry. Andrew was at school.
Andrew Booth was a member of Ballyronan Company, Ulster Volunteers and was an active member of Woods Church, Magherafelt.
Andrew Booth joined the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers on 2nd August 1915.
Medal card
While serving at the front he was trained as a Lewis gunner.
On Friday night the 24th November 1916, the front line was heavily bombarded by the Germans. Pte Booth was asleep at the time in the dugout attached to his Lewis Gun post. The first or second shell landed right on top of the shelter and all the men in the dugout were killed instantaneously.
Private Andrew Thomas Booth was serving with the 11th Battalion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers when he was killed in action on Friday 24th November 1916.
The bombardment was in the Spanbroek sector and started at 10.00pm. It lasted for an hour. Altogether that day the battalion lost nine men and a further twelve were wounded.
The five men killed in the dugout were those listed below. They are all buried together in plot F at Pond Farm Cemetery, Belgium.
bullet 16833 J. Bowes, of Enniskillen.- grave 9
bullet 15256 W. Nixon, of Enniskillen. – grave 10
bullet 25242 A.T. Booth, of Moneymore.- grave 11
bullet 27137 J. McGuckin of Desertmartin.- grave 12
bullet 18633 J. Averill of Co; Durham.- grave 13
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated Saturday 16 December 1916:
BOOTH – 24th November, somewhere in France, Private Andrew Thomas Booth, Ballyriff, Loop, Moneymore, killed in action.
'For ever with the Lord,
Amen so let it be,
Life from the dead is in that word,
Tis immortality'
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated Saturday 23rd December 1916: Private A T Booth
Private A T Booth, elder son of Mr Thomas Booth, Ballyriff, Moneymore, killed in action on 24th November 1916. He was in his 20th year, and joined the army on 2nd August 1915. He was a member of Ballyronan Company, U.V.F. and connected with Woods Church, Magherafelt. Rev Alexander Spence, chaplain, writing on 26th November to his father stated that on Friday night, 24th November, the front line was heavily bombarded by the Germans. Private Booth was asleep at the time in the dugout attached to his Lewis Gun post. The first or second shell landed right on top of the shelter and all the men in the dugout were instantaneously killed. He suffered no pain but passed into the presence of his Master in a moment of time. When the debris was cleared away the five men were found killed just as they lay.
‘When I conducted the service yesterday we prayed for you and all others who would grieve for the loss of loved ones and I am sure that God will not leave that prayer unanswered. Your son is buried in a little military cemetery not far from the firing line. His grave will be marked by a cross and carefully looked after by an old soldier who lives there for that purpose. If you would like a photograph I could get on taken for you. Your son was a first class soldier, ready for anything and as brave as a lion. He was a trained Lewis gunner and his officer tells me he was one of his best men. I knew him well and he always attended my services. I am sure he was well prepared to die.’
Lieutenant H P Fitzgerald Uniacke writing on the same day and expressing his sympathy with the deceased’s father add that Private Booth was one of the best Lewis gunners and a man on whom I could always rely. His place will be extremely difficult to fill.
Last Will and Testament of Private Andrew Thomas Booth
Andrew Thomas Booth : Handwritten Will
Andrew Thomas Booth : Will Information
In the event of my death, I give the whole of my property and effects to my father, Mr Thomas Booth, Ballyriff, Magherafelt, Co Derry, Ireland. Andrew T Booth. Private no 25242 11th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. 1st August 1916
Private Andrew Thomas Booth is buried in Pond Farm Cemetery, Belgium.
Private Andrew Booth is also commemorated at Woods Church, Ballyronan and Moneymore War Memorial.
The CWGC record Private A T Booth as the son of Thomas and Margaret Booth of Ballyriff, Magherafelt, County Londonderry.
Read more
Relevant Cookstown Area Locations
No Location Region Location Notes Longtitude Latitude
1 Ballyriff, Loop Loop-Ballyronan Census listings in Ballyriff 54.708476 -6.585804
References and Links
No Link Reference Map Doc
1 1901 Census lists Booth family 1901 census lists Andrew Tom as age 4 at house 35 in Ballyriff, Loop
2 1911 Census lists Booth family 1911 census lists Andrew T as age 14 at house 16 in Ballyriff, Loop
3 BillionGraves.com Photo of Private Andrew T Booth's grave
4 FindAGrave.com Photo of Private Andrew T Booth's grave
5 Magherafelt War Dead Also listed on Magherafelt War Dead
6 National Archives of Ireland Last Will and Testament of Andrew Thomas Booth
7 National Archives UK Medal card can be purchased here
8 War Graves Photographic Project Photo of Private Andrew T Booth's grave can be purchased here
Cookstown District's War Dead Acknowledgements 2010-2020