Radcliffe on Trent WWI Letters
Cecil Arthur Reginald Bolton
Cecil was born in 1898 in Leeds. In 1911 he was at school in Radcliffe on Trent and living on Lorne Grove with father Joe, clerk of works, County Council, mother Sarah and his siblings. He was killed in action March 21st 1918 and is remembered on Pozieres Memorial, Panel 76 and 77, Pozieres, Departement de la Somme, Picardie, France.
Cecil sailed to Melbourne, Australia from London Tilbury on the ship ‘Port Macquarie’ in March 1914. His occupation was given on the passenger list as farm student. According to a letter written by his mother to the Officer in Charge, Royal Irish Fusiliers, dated 21.10.20, Cecil embarked on the transport ‘Hororata’ which left Australia on 27th Sept 1915, to enlist in England. He was transferred from the West Yorkshire Regiment to the Royal Irish Fusiliers before embarking for France. He was later missing in action during an attack at Seracourt involving the Royal Irish Fusiliers, 21st March 1918. Cecil’s service records include letters from his mother Sarah appealing to the Australian Red Cross and to the Officer in Charge of the Royal Irish Barracks in the hope of finding her missing son.
Letter confirming Cecil Bolton’s death with copy of original handwritten letter below.
The following letter was sent to Mrs Bolton from the Australian Red Cross on 17th April 1919.
Letters regarding Pension and War Gratuity
On the 21st October 1920 Mrs Bolton, by now having had confirmation that Cecil was killed in action, appealed to the Officer in Charge, Victoria Barracks, Belfast about the level of pension and allowance she had been granted: (see below for copy of original letters)
Letter from Army Pay Office, Dublin
On the 1st December 1920 a letter was sent to Mrs Bolton from the Army Pay Office, Dublin, advising her that full particulars of her late son’s account had been sent by to the War Office, to whom she should address any further communication regarding pay, allowances or pension. The letter also states that ‘the Officer in charge of Records, Dublin, will no doubt deal with any decorations to which you may be entitled’.
In Cecil’s 1916 military attestation papers, he gave his address as 11 Otter Street, Kirkstall Rd, Leeds (his sister Mrs Elsie Knapton’s address), although he gave his next of kin as his mother Mrs Sarah Bolton. This may have led to confusion on the part of the authorities regarding the payment of allowances and war gratuity as the following letter from the Regimental Paymaster, Dublin to the War Office dated 1.1.20 shows:
Cecil’s British War and Victory medals were sent to his mother in November 1922 and she received her son’s Memorial Scroll on 18th August 1920. There is no record of whether she received any further allowances or pension.