The Australian Boer War Memorial
Anzac Parade Canberra

Private George Boulton

Ancestor Details

Ancestor's Name: George James Boulton

Ancestor's date of birth: 05/05/1867

Ancestor's date of death: 1936

Cause of Death: Fell off a ladder

Service and Life Before the Boer War: He lived in the Parramatta area and was a painter by trade. He was a long time member of the Volunteer Infantry company at Parramatta as such he was a member (no 118) of the Sudan Contingent in 1885 departing 3 March 1885 on the SS Iberia and returning on 23 June 1885 on the SS Arab. At the time of his enlistment his unit was 'H' Company 3rd Infantry Regiment (based at Parramatta).

Service Number: 25

Colony or State of enlistment: NSW, Place of Enlistment: Parramatta

Unit: NSW Infantry Company/'E' Squadron 1 NSWMR

Rank attained in Boer War: PTE, Date Effective: 03/03/1885

Highest Rank attained (if served after war): No evidence of post Boer War promotion.

Murray Page: 39

Contingent: First New South Wales

Ship: SS Aberdeen, Date of Sailing: 04/11/1999

Memorial details: Detail not provided.

Awards/Decorations/Commendations: Queen's South Africa Medal with Cape Colony and Orange Free State clasps.

Personal Characteristics: A patriotic Australian

Reasons to go and fight: A professional reservist

Details of service in war: Served from December 1899 when the infantry company was converted to mounted infantry in northern Cape Colony, Free State and Transvaal.

The following articles are from the Cumberland Argus:

Return of Private Boulton.

Private George Boulton, of Parramatta, returned from the war on Sunday last. A reporter belonging to The Argus waited upon him on Tuesday morning and had a few minutes' chat with him with reference to his experiences. Boulton left this colony in November last and shortly after their arrival at, and march to Grasspan from Enslin, he, and the rest of the men in his corps, were turned into 'the mounted foot.' They first saw real fighting in the Colesburg district at Windmill Camp, where, when serving under Major Butcher, they had - under shell fire - to escort two guns to an advanced position. Their guns were of inferior range, however; and after seven hours spent in just holding their new position, they were called upon to retire. That was when General Clements had his skeleton army in front of the Boer force invading the western part of Cape Colony. Boulton was with the rest of his corps at the front when poor Sam Aitchson, of Beecroft, was killed. The division he belonged to left Bloemfontein in May 1st under General Hutton, They joined Lord Roberts' main army at Brandfort, and were the first division to enter Pretoria. One of their officers, Lieutenant Wilson, (actually Watson) was the first officer to enter Pretoria, and as such he was mentioned in despatches. He belonged to C Squadron, and left here with the second NSW contingent. Boulton was enabled to see poor Ben Harkus in the hospital the day before he died, and he had to go again the next day to see him. When he could get away from his work, of grazing horses, he went to the hospital, but the stricken lancer had passed away in the meantime. The worst fighting the NSW men belonging to Boulton's own corps saw was at Diamond Hill. As to Les Hill's death the NSW men at the front heard nothing of it till they got their letters from Australia. With reference to his privations Boulton says little. All had hard work in the Colesburg district; but real privations were not suffered till the men entered the Orange Free State, where a biscuit a day, and five grams of tea, and 14 grams of sugar was the daily ration for each. Raw meat was served, but there was no fuel to cook it with, so the meat had to be thrown away. Boulton was in the hospital at Kroonstadt and Capetown. Speaking of the reverse of the Suffolks in the Colesburg district, Boulton tells how all the Boer soldiers and civilians in the district knew of the projected assault upon Grassy Hill hours before it was delivered by that regiment. All the people in Colesburg were up, waiting for the first shot, so well-informed were the Boers of the British movements. It was small wonder that the affair was not a success.

The following letter which we have received from Captain Guyot, of Private Boulton's home Company, explains itself:

Headquarters, H Company, 3rd Infantry Regiment, 22 October 1900.
"The Editor, Cumberland Argus.
Dear Sir,
I desire to inform you that a member of the above Company, Private G Boulton, returned on Saturday last from active service in South Africa. As he sustained a serious loss some time ago through the death of his wife, the present is not deemed a fit time to entertain him in a social manner, but at a future date his comrades intend honoring him in a suitable way. I have considered it proper to make this statement lest the townspeople of Paramatta should think that the members of the Parramatta Infantry Company had been remiss in their respect for their returned comrade.
Yours faithfully,
James E. Guyot."

He was invalided home suffering enteric fever arriving 21 October 1900.

Service and life after the Boer War: Whilst away his wife and two of his children were killed in an accident. His family reports that that changed him and he became a much harder person. He painted commercially etc in particular hotels but may also have been involved in Morts Dock at one point. He remained a supporter of the volunteer movement and patriotic issues.

Descendant Details

Name of Descendant: Robyn Heather, Summerland Point NSW
Relationship to Ancestor: Great Grand Daughter


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