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Salvation Army Leader Catherine Bramwell-Booth

October 04, 1987

Catherine Bramwell-Booth, granddaughter of the founder of the Salvation Army and a leading figure in the evangelical and social service organization for most of her life, died Saturday near London at the age of 104. She had suffered from diabetes since she was 96.

Miss Bramwell-Booth died peacefully at her home in Finchampstead, 20 miles west of London, a Salvation Army spokesman said.

In her later years, Miss Bramwell-Booth became a television personality, charming talk show hosts and audiences with her wit and sprightly remarks. She gave her last television interview in 1986 in the United States.

Miss Bramwell-Booth was the eldest child of Bramwell Booth, the Salvation Army's second general who took over after the death of his father, William Booth. William Booth founded the Salvation Army in 1865 in London.

Add Father's First Name

Miss Bramwell-Booth added her father's first name to her surname in his honor.

She became an officer in the Salvation Army when she was 20, and before World War I she was preaching at secret meetings in Russia.

In 1927 she was appointed commissioner--the highest rank below general--and retained the rank to her death.

British columnist Malcolm Muggeridge, who met Miss Bramwell-Booth in the 1950s, said after learning of her death, "From the outset I found her quite an enchanting person combining, as she did, a highly intelligent and delightfully skeptical mind with a beautifully simple and unshakable Christian faith."

At the age of 95 she was acclaimed Speaker of the Year by the Guild of Professional Toastmasters and she said, "People took me more seriously after I was 90."

In later years, asked why she had never married, she said: "No one ever asked me."

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