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Islington Green memorial for Upper Holloway sergeant’s ‘extreme courage’ in First World War

PUBLISHED: 13:08 13 February 2017 | UPDATED: 17:25 13 February 2017

Frederick Booth, the Upper Holloway man who was awarded the Victoria Cross for bravery in February 1917. Picture: Imperial War Museum

Frederick Booth, the Upper Holloway man who was awarded the Victoria Cross for bravery in February 1917. Picture: Imperial War Museum

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The “conspicuous bravery” of an Upper Holloway sergeant in the First World War has been marked with a new memorial stone in Islington Green.

Cllrs Gary Poole and Una O'Halloran lay a wreath at the memorial paving stone for Frederick Booth in Islington Green. Picture: Islington CouncilCllrs Gary Poole and Una O'Halloran lay a wreath at the memorial paving stone for Frederick Booth in Islington Green. Picture: Islington Council

Frederick Booth was born in Davenant Road in 1890. While a sergeant in the South African Police in February 1917, he was involved in an attack on an enemy position in German East Africa [the former German colony that is now Burundi, Rwanda and part of Tanzania].

Under heavy rifle fire, he went forward alone to help a wounded comrade and brought him back. He also rallied troops from his regiment who had become disorganised, and brought them back into combat.

Yesterday was the 100th anniversary of his act of bravery, for which he was awarded a Victoria Cross. A new stone commemorating his actions has been laid by the Islington Green war memorial.

Cllr Gary Poole, Islington Council’s armed forces champion, laid a wreath and said: “This memorial stone is a lasting reminder of his extreme courage 100 years ago, which is still remembered today. We must also remember that young servicemen and servicewomen still put their lives on the line every day for this country.”

Sgt Booth was awarded a Distinguished Conduct Medal for further bravery in the First World War. He was later commissioned into the Middlesex Regiment and in 1939 served in the Auxiliary Military Pioneer Corps. He died aged 70 in Brighton in 1960.

His memorial stone is the second of five to be laid in Islington as part of the national Victoria Cross “paving stones” project. In 2015, a stone was laid in memory of Frederick Parslow, a civilian sailor who was awarded the Victoria Cross for helping save his ship from a U-boat attack. The three remaining stones will be laid by 2018.


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