No.1771 Gunner John Isaac "Jack" Booth
John’s parents were Thomas Booth and Lavinia Beldam, and their children were:
- Thomas Henry Booth - born 1891 at Poowong (A.I.F.)
- William Robert Booth - born in 1893 at Poowong (A.I.F.) Died at Ypres in 1917.
- Emily Louisa "Louie" Booth - born 1895 at Poowong
- Edgar Jarvies Booth - born 1897 at Poowong
- John Isaac "Jack" Booth - born 1899 at Poowong (A.I.F.)
- Charles Beldam Booth - born 1902 at Benalla
- Leslie Norman "Les" Booth - born 1904 at Benalla
From about 1891, the Booth family lived at Poowong in Gippsland, before they moved to Benalla in 1902. When the children were older, they moved to a farm at Mt Cottrell near Melton and Exford. Between 1913 and 1915, Thomas Henry Booth and his parents were on the Electoral Roll as farmers, living at Exford. In 1916, William Robert Booth had reached voting age, and his name also appeared as farming at Exford.
In 1914, Mr Thomas Booth became insolvent. The Assignee’s Right, Title, and Interest in and to his Allotment (No.18) on the Exford Estate at Melton was put up for sale. It comprised of 206 acres held under a Conditional Purchase Lease, under the Closer Settlement Acts.
The Argus, 7 February 1914, p.5.
On 4 October 1917 (before John enlisted) his elder brother William was killed in action while fighting at Ypres in Belgium.
Even though he enlisted in the Australian Defence Service during the Great War, John Isaac Booth didn’t serve overseas.
The only information available on his service history is what he supplied on his application for a Soldier Settlement block, after the war, in 1919.
In approximately January 1918, John joined the Queenscliff R.A.G.A. (Royal Australian Garrison Artillery), and served with them for the remainder of the war.
He stated that he had served as a Gunner with the Siege Brigade Reinforcements at Queenscliff for one year and 187 days, and was discharged on 15 July 1919, after the termination of his period of service.
At a Welcome Home Celebration for Tarneit Soldiers, held in the Werribee Mechanics Hall on 17 September 1919, Gunner J. Booth was one of ten former soldiers to be presented with a gift.
Werribee Shire Banner, 18 September 1919, p.3
The 1919 Electoral Roll records that John Isaac Booth was living at "Mt Cotterill", with his occupation listed as Farmer. His brother Edgar Jarvis Booth also had the same address and occupation.
In December 1919, John Booth applied to the Committee of the Discharged Soldiers' Settlement Act for a block of land at Werribee South. He stated that he had been living in Werribee for the past year, was 20 years old, held a certificate for mixed farming, had previously lived in the Mt Cottrell District, and had seen the land that he applied for. He also asked for one of his three nominated blocks.
John further stated that he had spent one and a half years on active service, and was not suffering any injury because of his service.
Conditions on the grant of land were that he would have to live on his allotment for a minimum of eight months per year, it couldn’t be sold for at least six years, he would nominate the design of the house to be built on the allotment, and the land was to be paid off in instalments.
On 31 December 1919, John was granted nine acres in the Deutgam Allotment No 4, Section H., and the land was valued at £279-0-0.
Between 1921 and 1922, John Isaac Booth continued to be recorded as a farmer living at "Mt Cotteril", and his sister Emily Louisa Booth was enrolled at the same address.
In 1923, John Isaac Booth married Hazel Victoria Troup in Victoria. She was a daughter of William John Troup and Ada Amelia Allen, of Werribee. According to the Electoral Roll she remained living in Werribee after the marriage, while her husband continued living on the farm at Exford.
John Isaac Booth of Duncan’s Road advertised in the Werribee Shire Banner, 29 May 1924, p.2 that he intended to apply for a licence to conduct a Hide and Skin business in the district. There is no record of a licence actually being granted.
Three years later, in 1927, John Booth sold his Soldier’s Settlement block to Ellen Ryan of Werribee for an undisclosed amount, and possibly left the district.
The Werribee Shire Banner, 15 November 1928, p.7 reported that Mr J. Booth, who was a well-known local shearing contractor, was about to leave the district. He and his wife and family were moving to Bonnie Doon [with all that serenity] where he would take over the management of a large station.
By 1936, John and Hazel Booth had left Victoria, and moved to Queensland. They were living at 12 Church St in Toowong (inner Brisbane), and he had now become a "wool expert". Hazel Victoria Booth was listed in the Electoral Roll as Home Duties.
In the Electoral Roll of 1937, the couple had moved to Noble Street in Clayfield (North Brisbane) and John was working as a wool classer. Hazel Victoria Booth was with him as Home Duties. This was the last Electoral Roll in which they were living together.
The Electoral roll of 1943 shows that Hazel Victoria Booth was living alone at 81 Adamson St, Wooloowin, with an occupation of Home Duties. This was the last time her name appeared on the rolls. She died as Hazel Victoria Burton, nee Troup, in Queensland in 1963.
1949 saw John Isaac Booth living at the Bishop’s House in Stanley Street, Townsville. He was working there as a caretaker.
In 1963 the Electoral Roll shows that John Isaac Booth had moved to Railway St, Talwood (Goondiwindi), and was working as a shearing contractor. Living with him was Elizabeth Janet Booth, Home Duties. By 1968 the couple were living at Bungaban South, Wandoan in Queensland. John would have been about 70 years of age, and was not working. Elizabeth Janet Booth was recorded as Home Duties.
This is the last public record of the couple. There is no public record of his death or burial.
Medals & Entitlements:
His name appears on the Werribee Shire Oak Board as "BOOTH, J. I."
The names of the three brothers "Booth, Gunner, J.J.", "Booth, Lieut W.R., (Killed), and "Booth, T.H.", all from Mt Cotterall, first appeared in the Werribee Shire Banner’s Roll of Honor, 7 February 1918, p.1.
Both brothers had a continuous link with the north east of Melbourne, and in particular, Thompson Street in Northcote South.
- When John Isaac Booth signed the acceptance certificate for his Soldier Settlement block in 1929, his signature was witnessed by D Bently of Gotch Street, Northcote South.
- In the 1920's the family home of Grace Mildred Bentley (Thomas's future wife) was at 77 Thompson Street, Northcote South.
- Thomas Booth's first preference for a Soldier Settlement block was in the Heidelberg area.
- Thomas Henry Booth died at 77 Thompson Street, Northcote South.
Service History / Soldier Settlement - http://soldiersettlement.prov.vic.gov.au/
Marriage Index Victoria 1921-1942 CD
Notes : A function to augment the fund for comforts for the Australian Heavy Siege Brigade in France was held in the Queenscliff Town Hall.
Geelong Advertiser, 9 September 1916, p.7
Fourteen members of the Queenscliff R.A.G.A. are to proceed to the Front with the 15th Reinforcements to the Siege Brigade.
Queenscliff Sentinal, 1 September 1917, p.2
During the war the Royal Australian Garrison Artillery (R.A.G.A.) was the source from which reinforcements for the Australian Siege Brigade were drawn. Men desirous of joining the Siege Brigade were compelled (during the whole time hostilities were in progress) to enlist first in the R.A.G.A.
The Age, 13 January 1919, p.5.