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Percy Booth

Private Percy Booth, 3132831, 5th Battalion (formerly Royal Scots Fusiliers), Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders.

Percy Booth was born in the Dewsbury area on the 3rd October 1917, the fourth child, and only son of Herbert Booth (born January 1881) and Emma Haigh (born 1880), who married in the Wakefield area in late 1911. Earlier in that year, Wakefield born Herbert Booth was a boarder at 47, Queen Street, Wakefield and wasworking as a wool washer in a local mill. The origins and whereabouts of Emma Haigh are less certain, but she was probably born in the Huddersfield area and in 1901 she was living with her widowed mother and siblings at Kirkburton, near Huddesfield, where she was working as worsted twister.

The couple, who married in their early thirties, had four children between 1911 and 1917. In 1939, Percy was living with his parents and three siblings at 14, Teall’s Yard, Teall Street, Ossett. Percy was 21 years of age and working as a cloth finisher in a woollen mill. His father, Herbert, was a labourer in an iron foundry.

Percy Booth died in the Battle of Wadi-Akarit, Tunisia on the 6/7th April 1943, aged 25 years and is buried at Sfax War Cemetery, Tunisia. The town of Sfax is approximately 270 kilometres south of Tunis and can now be reached by autoroute from Tunis. The War Cemetery is located about 2 kilometres south of the town centre on the road to Gabes.

In May 1943, the war in North Africa came to an end in Tunisia with the defeat of the Axis powers by a combined Allied force. In the south, the Axis forces defeated in Egypt at El Alamein withdrew into Tunisia along the coast through Libya, pursued by the Allied Eighth Army.

Most of those buried in Sfax War Cemetery died in attacks on successive Axis positions at Medenine, the Marith Line and Wadi Akarit, in March and April 1943.

The cemetery contains 1,253 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War, 52 of them unidentified. The single First World War grave in Sfax War Cemetery was brought in from Bizerta Sidi Saleru Moslem Cemetery in March 1983. There is also 1 Greek soldier of the 1939-45 war buried here.


1. Commonwealth War Graves Commission web site