The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of Second Lieutenant Norman Waterhouse Booth, 18 Battalion (Infantry), First World War

Accession Number PAFU2013/137.01
Collection type Film
Object type Last Post film
Physical description 16:9
Maker Australian War Memorial
Place made Australia: Australian Capital Territory, Canberra, Campbell
Date made 21 November 2013
Access Open
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918
Copyright Item copyright: © Australian War Memorial
Creative Commons License This item is licensed under CC BY-NC
Copying Provisions Copy provided for personal non-commercial use

The Last Post Ceremony is presented in the Commemorative area of the Australian War Memorial each day. The ceremony commemorates more than 102,000 Australians who have given their lives in war and other operations and whose names are recorded on the Roll of Honour. At each ceremony the story behind one of the names on the Roll of Honour is told. Hosted by Troy Clayton, the story for this day was on Second Lieutenant Norman Waterhouse Booth, 18 Battalion (Infantry), First World War.

Speech transcript

Second Lieutenant Norman Waterhouse Booth, 18th Battalion
KIA 6 November 1916
No photograph in collection

Story delivered 21 November 2013

Today we remember and pay tribute to Lieutenant Norman Waterhouse Booth.

Norman Booth was the third son of Samuel and Emma Booth, born at Parramatta. An active player of cricket and lacrosse, he regularly conducted services and taught Sunday School at Anglican churches in Enmore, Chatswood, and Mosman and spent the rest of his spare time in service of the church and charitable institutions. He was 39 years old when he enlisted in June 1915 and, although a qualified accountant, had been studying for the Anglican ministry to formalise his church participation.

He chose to join the infantry rather than pursue a role as a military chaplain and applied for and was granted a commission into the 18th Battalion. Although too late to participate in the ANZAC operation at Gallipoli, he was sent to Egypt for a short time in charge of a company, and then went on to France. The 18th Battalion was involved in fighting around the French village of Pozières in July 1916. Here Lieutenant Booth was severely wounded by a gunshot to the head and neck. He spent a number of months in England to recuperate from this and a mild attack of appendicitis, but recovered completely.

As a result he was sent back to his battalion in France just as they were preparing to attack another village on the Somme, Flers. This time he would not return. He was killed in the course of the operation and was buried in a small scattering of graves near the battlefield.

A memorial window depicting the Good Shepherd was erected in St Clement's Church in Mosman with the inscription:
To the Glory of God and in lasting memory of Lieutenant Norman W Booth of the 19th Battalion who was killed in action in France on November 6th 1916. An indefatigable worker in this Parish. Erected by friends who mourn his loss.

Booth's grave was later moved to the AIF Burial Ground near Flers. His mother wrote that she was very pleased to hear that "this much loved son and brother is not very forgotten in his far away resting place".

His name is listed on the Roll of Honour on your left, along with around more than 60,000 others from the First World War.

This is but one of the many stories of courage and sacrifice told here at the Australian War Memorial. We now remember Second Lieutenant Norman Waterhouse Booth, and all of those Australians who have given their lives in service of our nation.

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