Captain Worship Booker

 

 

Worship Booker was born on 12 January 1883 at Crossakiel, Kells, Co. Meath, a son of farmer George Booker and his wife Eliza (formerly Kiernan).

Booker served his apprenticeship as a watchmaker and optician. He enlisted in the North of Ireland Imperial Yeomanry on 22 February 1904 (No.386). By 1908 he had reached the rank of sergeant. He joined the newly-formed North Irish Horse on 6 July 1908 (No.38). A report in the Larne Times and Weekly Telegraph of 25 July 1908, referring to the annual camp at which the North of Ireland Imperial Yeomanry was disbanded and the North Irish Horse created, stated:

His many friends will be very pleased to learn that Sergeant Booker (Kells), who met with a nasty accident owing to his horse "coming back over" with him while jumping at the sports, has completely recovered, and is as keen on soldiering as ever. Sergt. Booker, who is always the life and soul of the camp, was the means of many men rejoining under the new conditions.

Booker served until 3 February 1912, when he purchased a discharge. He travelled to Canada, where he joined the 48th Highlanders.

Back in Ireland in 1914, Booker rejoined the North Irish Horse a week after the war began (No.992). He embarked for France with C Squadron on 21 August 1914. He was mentioned in despatches in the London Gazette of 22 June 1915 and commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant in the North Irish Horse on 21 July.

That month, at Le Touquet, he severely fractured his leg in an accident. He spent several months in hospital at Leicester before being allowed to return home for convalescence. Due to his injuries he spent most of the remainder of the war on light duties at North Irish Horse headquarters at Antrim. He was promoted to the rank of lieutenant on 16 January 1916.

Near the end of the war he was permitted to resume active service, joining the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment in the field on 8 September 1918. The following month he was made commanding officer of A Squadron with the rank of acting captain. He was awarded a Military Cross for his role in the fighting from September to November.

Booker was demobilized on 9 January 1919 and relinquished his commission in April 1920.

In June 1919 he wrote to the War Office seeking compensation for his injury:

When in France in 1915 I met with an accident which resulted in me been [sic] sent home to England … I was marked unfit for active service for over twelve months and although when I once declared myself fit and the Medical Board passed me fit my own Regimental Doctor would not pass me fit when my order came for overseas. I again at a medical board declared myself fit and went overseas in 1918 and took command of a Sqn of NIH and gained the MC altho my ankle troubled me as it does now.

Could not some little gratuity be given me to repay me for this accident and after affects. I always did my little best for my country, was the first volunteer from my county in France, therefore I think I deserve a little consideration.

On the outbreak of World War II, Booker applied for appointment to the Officers' Emergency Reserve.

He died at Crossakiel on 24 February 1962.

 

The group photo from which the image above was taken can be seen here. Another image of Booker can be seen here.