At this location in the heart of the Black Country, is the grave of Anthony Clarke Booth VC, the hero of the battle of Intombi in the Anglo Zulu War.
When entering the churchyard from the main road into Brierley Hill town, the grave is located on the left hand side of the path in the Roman Catholic section.
Anthony Clarke Booth, born 21/04/1846 in Carrington, Nottingham, England. Died 08/12/1899 in Brierley Hill.
The headstone was supposedly damaged by vandals in 2017. It was repaired in 2018 by the Victoria Cross Trust at a cost of £3000 and is now in a well tended condition.
When I visited on 3rd November 2023, I spoke to a local about the grave and the expected local outrage that the grave of a VC winner had been desecrated. He replied that there was a scrapemark of green paint on the stone which had been broken. The groundsmen who were using a green lawnmower at the time denied all knowledge of any collision!
Let us hope that this monument to a very brave and capable soldier remains well tended.
He married Lucy O'Brien in 1866 and four boys and two girls had arrived by the time he won his VC, sadly one of the girls had also departed aged about two years old. Two boys were added afterwards, both born in Ireland. All six boys lived long enough to serve in the Boer War although the youngest would have had to add a year or two to his age. Three also lived long enough to have served in WW1 and to have made a contribution to WW2. I wonder if any of them did? - now there is an evening's entertainment!
The 1891 census shows Anthony & Lucy and the younger members of their family living at 19 Hall St, Brierley Hill. Their occupations are difficult to decipher but Anthony's appears to read "Soldier's Regt Inspector". He is listed in the 1892 Kelly's Directory living in Hall St and occupation "Drill Instructor". His probate shows he left Lucy an estate of £98.