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Frederick Booth Tucker

Frederick St George De Lautour Tucker was born at Monghyr, India, on 21 March 1853. He was the son of William Thornhill Tucker, deputy commissioner with the Indian Civil Service and author of an English-Persian dictionary.

 

Frederick and Emma revitalised the American Salvation Army

Early Years

Frederick went to school in Britain and in 1875 was deeply affected by the London campaign of the American evangelists Dwight Moddy and Ira Sankey. He returned to India and served in the Indian Civil Service from 1876. He married Louisa Mary Bode, a temperance campaigner, the following year in the Anglican church in Amritsar. In 1881 he joined The Salvation Army in London and the following year, having left the Civil Service, led a group of pioneer Officers to India, where he adopted Indian dress and adopted the Indian name of ‘Fakir Singh.’ After Louisa’s death from cholera in 1887, he married William Booth’s daughter Emma at The Salvation Army’s Clapton Congress Hall on 10 April 1888. As with Booth’s other son-in-laws, Frederick added Emma’s surname to his own and they became ‘Booth-Tucker.’ Emma took the Indian name Raheeman.

Revitalising America

After several years of Salvation Army work in India, Emma’s health began to fail and they returned to London in 1891. Frederick and Emma took up positions as Commissioners for Foreign Affairs at International Headquarters until 1896 when they went to take command of the Salvation Army in America, where the national leaders, Emma’s brother Ballington and his wife Maud, had recently broken away and formed The Volunteers of America. Frederick and Emma revitalised the American Salvation Army, with a programme of social welfare reforms including the establishment of farm colonies. Emma was tragically killed in a train crash on 28 October 1903 at Dean Lake, Missouri.

Return to London

Frederick returned to International Headquarters in London and the post of Foreign Secretary. In 1906 he married his third wife, Lt-Colonel Mary Reid (1864-1934). He later worked as Special Commissioner for India & Ceylon and as Travelling Commissioner until his retirement in 1924. He was awarded the Order of the Founder in 1920 for his work in India. His published works include books about Catherine Booth (The Life of Catherine Booth, 1893), Emma (The Consul, 1903) and The Salvation Army in India (Darkest India, 1891 & Muktifauj, 1923).

In the year before his death on 17 July 1929, Frederick was active among those Salvation Army Commissioners whose desire for reform led to the 1929 High Council that deposed Bramwell Booth as General.