Hume MP Angus Taylor reflects on Bolton family and Great War

admin post on September 16th, 2018
Posted in 苏州美甲美睫培训学校

Time for reflection: Fred Bolton (back row, second from right) in Egypt before sailing to Gallipoli. Annette Murphy, great-niece of Fred Bolton, with Angus Taylor.

As we approach the centenary of the Anzac landings at Gallipoli, it is a good time to stop and reflect on Australia’s courageous contribution to the Great War. One hundred and twenty thousand men from NSW enlisted in WWI. Twenty-one thousand were killed. A further 50,000 were wounded. In a series of short stories about Hume and the First World War, Hume MP Angus Taylor will be reminding us all of the indelible impacts of the war on local families, the regional economy and our national identity.

PART of my own family’s story of the Great War is the pain of one brother dying while the other survived.

My grandfather William Hudson (1896-1978) served on the Western Front when he was 17 and was badly injured in a bayonet attack at Bullecourt. He always had a limp.

My great-uncle Athol, his brother, was killed.

It was a tragedy many families experienced.

At the age of 25, when Private George Frederic ‘‘Fred’’ Bolton from Young enlisted in October 1914, he was already an experienced horseman.

He was attached to the Light Horse regiment as were many young farmers because they could ride and shoot.

Fred grew up on the family property, Spring Farm, off Monteagle Road. He was one of seven children of Agatha and George Bolton.

Fred missed the Gallipoli landing by three weeks but remained in Gallipoli and Palestine for the duration of the war.

His younger brother Harry, inspired by his brother’s efforts, enlisted in Cootamundra in 1916 at the age of 21.

Harry Bolton

Harry was attached to the 20th Battalion, 14th Reinforcements and served for two months in England before proceeding to Etaples in northern France.

Both brothers were fighting — in different parts of the world — when Harry was killed in 1917.

He died as a result of his generosity: he had offered to carry food rations to men in the trenches and was hit by a shell.

Fred Bolton

Fred, aged almost 30, returned home to Young on Boxing Day 1918. He took up farming again at Little Vale in Woodhouselee, just outside of Goulburn, where he remained until his death in 1957, aged 69.

Like the Boltons, many families struggled for generations with the sacrifice of one brother over another.

My great-uncle was a sniper. I have his army-issue sniper binoculars in a leather case, engraved with his initials — all the more treasured because they were returned to his family by the Germans after the war.

As we approach the centenary of the Gallipoli landings, I will be writing about other Hume families and the broader involvement of our district in the Great War.

Fred Bolton (front row, second from right) outside Young flour mill before he enlisted.

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