CHARLES & BENJAMIN BOULT – The Boult Brothers of Ashley Clinton, Hawkes Bay.

MRNZ was offered the medals of 10/4056 Pte. Charles BOULT – 2nd Battalion, Wellington Infantry Regt., 11th Reinforcements, and 61506 Pte. Benjamin BOULT – Wellington Infantry Regt., 33rd Reinforcements, which became available as the result of a second-hand business liquidation.

Medals of 10/4056 Pte Charles Boult

Medals of 10/4056 Pte. Charles Boult

Medal of 61506 Pte. Benjamin Boult

Medal of 61506 Pte. Benjamin Boult

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three of the five Boult brothers from Ashley Clinton in Central Hawkes Bay were ‘Called to the Colours’ for service in WW1.  In descending order of age Benjamin, Charles and James Boult were enlisted into the Wellington Infantry Regiment to serve their country.  Charles Boult was the first brother to deploy and see action on the Western Front.  He was also the only brother not to return home – he died of multiple shrapnel wounds during the Battle of the Somme in October 1915, and is buried in the St. Sever Cemetery in Rouen. France.  Older brother Benjamin and younger brother James both left New Zealand together with the 33rd Reinforcements in  late 1917.  James was to serve as a medic in France whilst Benjamin was invalided back home from England after just six months.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My initial research indicated the Boult family had dispersed from the Ashley Clinton/Tikokino/Waipawa areas of the Hawkes Bay quite some years ago so useful contacts were meager.  Several family trees on Ancestry indicated a strong interest in the family’s descendant genealogy so I placed a post on Ancestry seeking contact and netted a response from Lynne McC. of Newcastle in Australia.  Lynne’s interest in the Boult family ancestry stemmed from her deceased mother who was one of nine Boult children.  As a 10 year old, Lynne’s mother had been adopted out of the widowed Boult family by a father unable to cope with the circumstances  he was confronted with – the death of his wife, and the privations and hardships of the Great Depression – not an uncommon occurrence I would suggest.  

Coincidentally, Lynne had recently visited the grave of Pte. Charles Boult in France and had wondered at the time what had happened to Charles’ medals ?   Lynne was slowly piecing together her mother’s family background and as a result had made contact with Wendi B-B. of Wellington, the great-granddaughter of the second eldest Boult brother, Thomas.   I telephoned a very surprised Wendi with the news of the medals and was soon talking to her 83 year old father and son of Thomas, Thomas Donald (Don) Boult, the eldest surviving nephew of Charles and Benjamin.

The medals will be on their way to a delighted Don and Wendi next week.   My grateful thanks to Lynne McC (a veteran of military logistic support service in Vietnam) for providing an essential piece of the puzzle that facilitated my contact with Wendi and Don.

Speak Your Mind

*