Topic: Henry Jackson Parkin Booth (1830-1864)
Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Jackson Parkin Booth (1830-1864) was a key figure in the Battle of Gate Pā (Pukehinahina) on 29 April 1864. Leading the attack, he received gunshot wounds to the spine and right arm, injuries that he was to die of the following day.
Henry Jackson Parkin Booth was born in Yorkshire on 19 July 1830. His parents were Lieutenant Colonel Henry and Mary Ann Booth (nee Monkhouse).
Booth was in command of the 43rd (Monmouthshire) Light Infantry.
As he led the assault at the Battle of Gate Pā on 29 April 1864, Booth received gunshot wounds to the spine and right arm. He is said to have told Dr Manley that a Māori woman who spoke English gave him water as he lay in no-man’s land. It is thought that this information is inaccurate and that it was more likely to have been Henare Wiremu Taratoa whose kind act is remembered on both a memorial window in the private chapel of Bishop Selwyn’s Lichfield Cathedral in England and a white marble frieze on the obelisk to Rawiri Tuaia Puhirake in Tauranga's Mission Cemetery. Puhirake is standing over Booth and gesturing to his men to bring water, whilst Taratoa can be seen in the distance carrying a calabash of water towards them.
Booth died the following day, on April 30th.
The Daily Southern Cross believed Booth to be only wounded when it reported on 3 May 1864:
Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Jackson Parkin Booth entered the army, as an ensign, on the 11th June, 1847. He became a lieutenant on the 9th August, 1850; a captain on the 29th July, 1853; a major on the 3rd April, 1857; and lieutenant-colonel on the 11th February, 1862. He served with the 43rd in the Kaffir war of 1851-53, for which he received a medal. He was in command of the detachment of the 43rd, which arrived by the 'Lady Jocelyn', and, until embarking for Tauranga, was in command of some of the military posts between this and Waikato.
A memorial to Booth hangs in All Saints, the parish church of Northallerton in Yorkshire. It reads:
Sacred to the memory of Henry Jackson Parkin BOOTH, Lieutenant Colonel of the 43rd Light Infantry the second son of Lieutenant Colonel Henry BOOTH, K.H., of the same regiment and Mary Ann his wife and grand son of William Booth, Esqr, of Brush House in the parish of Ecclesfield in this county. Born July 19th 1830. Died April 30th 1864. His military life like that of his fathers was passed in the 43rd Regiment in which he became Ensign, June 11th 1847 and Lieutenant Colonel, February 11th 1862. He served his country in Africa during the Kaffir Wars of 1851, 1852 and 1853; in India; and in the New Zealand in the rebellion in 1864 where he was mortally wounded at the head of his men while leading the attack in storming of a fortification at Tauranga, April 29th 1864. His services where acknowledged by a memorandum from the War Office dated November 3rd 1864 that had he survived he would have been recommended to her Majesty for the Distinction of Companion of the Military Division of the Order of the Bath.
Booth was buried in Tauranga's Mission Cemetery (Otamataha Pā).
Daily Southern Cross (3 May 1864, p. 3).
McCauley, Debbie (5 August 2011). Identity and the Battle of Gate Pa (Pukehinahina), 29 April 1864 (Tauranga Memories: Battle of Gate Pa, 1864 kete).