Reported in the News Letter on January 16, 1929: Leader of the Salvation Army refuses to retire

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General Bramwell Booth, in his reply to the Salvation Army High Council, flatly refuses to retire from the leadership of the organisation.

After an all-day sitting, the High Council adjourned at 7 o’clock last night, and will resume this morning the drafting of the “adjudicating resolution” in the light of the General’s statement and the report of the deputation of seven who waited upon him.

“Why should I retire?” demands the General in his statement. “My leadership at the moment may not be what it was but what guarantee have I that I should be replaced by one who would maintain the principles of the Army? I am responsible before God for the well-being of this great organisation, to which I have devoted my life.”

He concludes: “I feel I should be less than a man if I agreed to the request at a time when, as I understand, there is agitation to change the foundation upon which the Army rests.”

The report of the deputation represents the General during their visit as looking “frail and extremely weak. His eyes had little animation; his hands were feeble and it was quite evident he had not much ability to turn in his bed.”

[Bramwell Booth was the oldest child of the Salvation Army’s founder, William Booth. On February 13, 1929, the Salvation Army High Council voted to end Bramwell’s term of office and he was replaced. He died on June 16, 1929, aged 73.]