Salvation Army personal papers collections: Commissioner Catherine Bramwell-Booth

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

These are the papers of Commissioner Catherine Bramwell-Booth (1883-1987) and family. The collection, broadly speaking, comprises three groups of material: her own personal papers, Booth family papers, and collected papers from a variety of sources.

The majority of the personal papers concern Catherine Bramwell-Booth's life following retirement from Salvation Army officership; a small number of letters, personal papers and an address relate to her earlier life and work.

The papers of the wider Booth family include correspondence, mainly between Catherine's parents (Bramwell and Florence Booth) and grandparents (William and Catherine Booth) and their family members and friends, as well as manuscripts, photographs, diaries and personal effects. The Booth family papers are contained in two series: CBB/5 Family albums and CBB/8 Booth family papers.

The collected papers include correspondence sent by Catherine Bramwell-Booth and other collected material relating to her life, work and achievements.

The composite nature of this accrued collection means that there was no 'original order' so a logical structure was imposed.

The records are arranged as follows:

  • CBB/1 Correspondence (1894-1987)
  • CBB/2 Personal papers (1909-1932)
  • CBB/3 Writings (c1930s-1970s)
  • CBB/4 Special events (1948-1983)
  • CBB/5 Family albums (c1860s-1960s)
  • CBB/6 Press cuttings (1939-1984)
  • CBB/7 Promotion to Glory (1987)
  • CBB/8 Booth family papers (1880-1987)
  • CBB/9 Bible (1948 [1952])

The Booth family papers in series CBB/8 comprise:

CBB/8/1 Correspondence (/0 William Booth correspondence; /1 Catherine Booth (née Mumford) correspondence; /2 Florence Booth (née Soper) correspondence; /3 Soper family correspondence; /4 Bramwell Booth correspondence; /5 Letters responding to 'The Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon' and the Eliza Armstrong case)

CBB/8/2 Manuscripts (/1 Catherine Booth's Reminiscences; /2 Unidentified manuscript re William Booth's tours; /3 Notes by William Booth; /4 'The Story of My Life' by Lucy Booth-Hellberg; /5 State Regulation of Vice [Catherine Booth?]; /6 Poetry by Catherine Bramwell-Booth)

CBB/8/3 Diaries of Florence Booth (/1 Official diary 1885; /2 Official diary 1886; /3 Official diary 1887; /4 Loose pages from official diaries 1898-1912)

CBB/8/4 Photographs

CBB/8/5 Miscellaneous (/1 Invitation to Bandmasters', Deputy-Bandmasters' and Songster Leaders' Council, London; /2 Dutch commemorative plate for the 70th birthday of Bramwell Booth; /3 Telemessage from Queen Elizabeth II on the death of Catherine Bramwell-Booth)

Administrative / Biographical History

The daughter of Bramwell and Florence Booth, and granddaughter of Salvation Army founders William and Catherine Booth, Catherine Booth was born in 1883. She adopted the double-barrelled surname Bramwell-Booth in honour of her father after his death in 1929.

Catherine trained to become a Salvation Army officer in 1903. Her earliest appointments were to 'corps' (churches) in the British Field but in 1907 she was added to the staff of The Salvation Army's International Training Garrison in Clapton where she remained until 1917. For the next five years she acted as Under Secretary for Europe at International Headquarters before being appointed leader of Women's Social Work with the rank of Colonel in 1926. She remained in this post until 1940. During the early 1940s she was engaged in literary work. In her lifetime, she authored several books including biographies of her father and grandmother. Her final appointment was as International Secretary for Europe from 1946 until her retirement in 1948.

During retirement Catherine made a number of notable television and radio appearances which made her known to a wider public, and she was awarded a CBE in 1971 and was named Speaker of the Year in 1978 by the Guild of Professional Toastmasters. She died aged 104 at her home in Finchampstead on 3 October 1987.

Conditions Governing Access

Open for research. The reading room of The Salvation Army International Heritage Centre is open Tue-Fri 9.30-4.00. It is advisable to make an appointment. Tel: 0207 326 7800; email: heritage@salvationarmy.org.uk.

The family albums in this collection (CBB/5) are fragile. Public access may be withheld and is granted only at the discretion of the archivist.

Other Finding Aids

A multi-level description of this collection can be accessed in the International Heritage Centre's online catalogue: http://www.calmview.eu/SalvationArmy/CalmView/ . A paper catalogue is available in the reading room of the International Heritage Centre.