Private 17/1232, later 15/1232 The Leeds Pals

1895: Frank Bolton was born in Halifax in December of this year, the third of four surviving children born to Hugh John Bolton, a card grinder at a wire works, and Emily Jane Brazey. Frank had two older sisters, Olive and Phyllis, and a younger brother Arthur. (Find My Past 2015)

1906: Hugh Bolton died, age 46, and Emily became an office cleaner. (Free BMD 2015 & Find My Past 2015)

1911: Frank, now 15, was working as a spinning doffer, someone who removed full bobbins from the spinning frame.

1915: On 9th January Frank enlisted, giving his age as 19 years and 97 days, which advanced his birth date by two months, for no obvious reason. Possibly he was unsure, or the recruiting officer made a mistake. His height was measured as 5 ft 1.5 ins, making him a candidate for the Bantams – the 2nd Leeds Pals. He remained in the UK, training, for the next twelve months, during which time only one thing was noted, an appointment on 1st June as a drummer. (Find My Past 2015)

1916: On 30th January he was sent to France, and posted to A Company, 4th Platoon, No.2 Section. There he would have taken part in the various actions involving the Pals, including presumably the Battle of the Somme.

1918: On 25th May he received the only black mark on his conduct sheet. He was found gambling in his billet while on active service, in disobedience of orders, and was sentenced to 5 days’ CB. This was clearly not a very serious charge, his conduct on his Military History Sheet being given as ‘good’.

Finally, on 28th June, he suffered a gunshot wound to his right thigh, which caused a compound fracture to his femur, and he was sent back to England on 8th August.

1919: On 7th March, having recovered from his wound, he was assessed at Edmonton Military Surgical Hospital, London, and declared no longer physically fit for active service. As a result he was discharged from the army on 14th March, assessed as 30% disabled and awarded a pension of 8/3 a week, to be re-assessed after a year. He was also awarded the Victory Medal and the British War Medal. Having been wounded and therefore discharged early he was awarded the Silver War Badge and King’s Certificate as well. (Find My Past 2015)

He may possibly have married Florence Haigh in Halifax in September 1922. (Free BMD 2015)

Researcher: Peter Taylor

Please Note:

  • All opinions and inferences are the researcher’s own.
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