Major-General Anthony Ward-Booth OBE DL

{ Tony }

18 Jul 1927 - 25 Aug 2002

  • OBE medal

John Anthony Ward-Booth was born on July 18, 1927 to Reverend J. Ward Booth and Mrs E.M. Ward-Booth of Worksop, Nottinghamshire. He was educated at Worksop College. 

Tony joined the army in 1945 as a cadet and was commissioned into the Worcestershire Regiment as a Second Lieutenant on April 28, 1946 whilst in India. In the immediate post-war years he also served in the Middle East. In 1948 he transferred to the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment and it was there that he progressed to the rank of Lieutenant on January 1, 1949. In 1952 he married Margaret Joan, with whom he would later have two sons and two daughters. On July 18, 1954 (his birthday) he became a Captain. In June 1958, his regiment merged with the 1st Battalion, the Essex Regiment to become the 3rd East Anglian Regiment. He became a Major on July 18, 1961 and served with the United Nations peacekeeping force in the Congo in 1962. 

On December 21, 1963, he transferred to the 3rd Battalion, the Parachute Regiment, retaining his rank. In 1964 he went with the Battalion to Radfan as part of the Aden Emergency. He was the OC of C Company and led them towards the village of Qudeishi, which was heavily fortified, on May 23. They came under a hail of fire so Tony called in air and artillery support. With the added firepower C Company was able to take the stoutly defended village, inflicting at least 30 casualties. Tony became CO of 3 PARA on 24 March, 1967 and a Lieutenant Colonel on June 30, 1967. While he was Commander the battalion enjoyed a 20-month tour of Malta during which Tony set up the Parachute Regiment's first polo team. His command of 3 PARA subsided on February, 9, 1969. He was awarded an OBE on June 14 of the same year. Then, in October 1970, Tony became the CO of the 16th Parachute Brigade. He was made a Brigadier two months later on the 31st of December, 1970. He remained CO of 16th Parachute Brigade until June 1973. In September 1974 he took the job of Deputy Adjutant General at Headquarters, British Army of the Rhine. He held this position until October 1975. 

On July 27, 1976, Tony was made Director of the Army Air Corps and an Acting Major General. He was made a Major General proper on November 15 of the same year. He remained Director until January 31, 1979, when he handed over to William N.J. Withall. A few days later on February 5 he became General Officer Commanding, Western District. This was an appointment he held until early 1982. At that time, he became Deputy Colonel of the Royal Anglian Regiment and simultaneously retired from active military service on April 26, 1982. His tenure as Deputy Colonel expired on February 10, 1987. Finally, he was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant for Hampshire in 1988. After that he worked as a consultant with Francis Graves and Partners. 

He died on August 25, 2002, at the age of 75. 


Compiled with information from:

Airborne Assault Archives (Box number 2.C.5 27/1/58)

Times of Malta article on Ward-Booth:

Times of Malta of September 12, 1970

King's College London Research Guide:  Africa

Army Commands, 1900-2011,

London Gazette 

Article written by Alex Walker

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Service History


Brigadier Ward Booth being presented with the Army Flying Badge by the retiring Director of AAC, 1976

Group photos_5

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