They followed their hearts
Charles (Charlie) Daryl Boulton
Born on 20th October 1891 in Johnsonville, Wellington[i] Charles was the third child, and second son, of Edward and Matilda Boulton.
The Boulton family was well established in the Paremata/Pauatahanui area with Charles’ grandfather Edward Boulton whaling in the Mana area as early as 1837.[ii] Charles (Charlie) was raised with six siblings at Golden Gate, Paremata.
Gunner Charles (Charlie) Daryl Boulton
Private Kenneth (Ken) Henry Boulton
(Photo from Pataka Museum, Porirua P2-207)
With the declaration of war Charles, like his younger brother Kenneth[iii], was quick to sign up, enlisting on 20 August 1914. He indicated on his enlistment form previous military training with the 5th (Wellington) Regiment but had resigned when he moved into an exempt area of employment, that of a carpenter working for G E Odlin in Brooklyn in Wellington. Charles’ normal residence is listed as with his parents at Golden Gate, Paremata.[iv]
On 16th October 1914, 2/289 Gunner Boulton, 1st Battery New Zealand Field Artillery (NZFA) sailed with the main body of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force for Egypt. Following training in Egypt on the 12th April 1915 Gunner Boulton sailed for the Dardanelles and landed late on 25th April 1915 at ANZAC Cove. The 1st Battery was quickly into action to support the troops already landed.
Gunner Boulton was at Gallipoli until July 1915 when he was evacuated to Malta with dysentery. From Malta, Gunner Boulton was transferred to England being admitted on 3rd September 1915 to the 5th South General Hospital at Portsmouth. After two weeks Gunner Boulton was transferred to the Castle Hospital, Isle of Wright which had been set up to deal with Enteric (dysentery) cases.[v] On 4th November 1915, once his condition had been stabilised, Gunner Boulton transferred to the Canadian Convalescent Hospital at Woodcote Park, Epsom, Surrey.
“The Canadian Convalescent Hospital opened on 5th September 1915, staffed by the Canadian Army Medical Corps. Initially the Hospital had 500 beds, but these were soon increased to 1000. The first patients to arrive, however, were ANZAC troops who had been wounded in Gallipoli. They were later joined by British servicemen.
Not all had received gun or shrapnel wounds, many were sick (like Gunner Boulton) as disease was rife in the army. The patients who wore the Saxe blue uniforms of the convalescent hospitals, had been discharged from acute hospitals and stayed for a period of six weeks until they were well enough to return to their fighting units. During their convalescence, they received physiotherapy from masseuses, while a staff of trained Sergeant-Instructors provided physical training and the discipline of graduated route marches. All sports were encouraged to get them back into a fit condition, and the patients regularly played baseball (previously unknown in England), as well as cricket and football against the local teams.”[vi]
On 2nd October 1915 Gunner Boulton was granted two weeks furlough which he spent at the Waterman’s Arm on the Isle of Wright before returning to Woodcote Park. It is possible that Charles met his future wife, a Canadian, either on the Isle of Wright or at the Canadian Convalescent Hospital.
Gunner Boulton was discharged from the Canadian Convalescent Hospital on 23rd November 1915, to ‘Longlead’ Warminster in Wiltshire. In January 1916 Gunner Boulton began assessments at Hornchurch and it was decided that he was not fit for active service and should be returned to New Zealand.
“At present he has severe attack of sciatica in right leg which makes him almost incapable. He can only walk with a limp and has constant pain.” [vii]
Gunner Boulton returned to New Zealand on SS Marawa and was re-assessed in July 1916 at Trentham, where he was found to still be suffering from sciatica, a pre-existing condition that was aggravated by service at Gallipoli and he was discharged from the New Zealand Expeditionary Force.[viii] Charles Boulton returned to the family home at Paremata and worked on farms in the Pauatahanui area.
On 12th October 1918 the Union Steam Ship Company vessel the RMS Niagara arrived in Auckland from Vancouver and San Francisco. The ship was rumoured to have brought not only its passengers but the new influenza, ‘Spanish Flu’ to New Zealand. This rumour has now been discounted with research showing that the flu was already established in Auckland prior to the arrival of the RMS Niagara.[ix]
RMS Niagara berthed at Auckland
(Photo Alexander Turnbull Library ¼-08386-G)
|The passengers, in the first saloon RMS Niagara, included Prime Minister William Massey and his deputy Joseph Ward with their staff returning from visiting New Zealand troops on the Western Front, France, and an Imperial Conference in London. Travelling in the second saloon was Mrs S and Miss Lottie May Trimbee. Miss Trimbee was a 20 year old spinster who lived in Toronto, Canada.|
Lottie May Trimbee c1918
(photo supplied by her grand-daughter)
It may have been organised or a matter of good timing, but on the 12th of November 1918 Lottie May Trimbee married Charles Daryl Boulton at St Alban’s Pauatahanui [x] the first wedding after the signing of the Armistice that brought peace after four years of war, making it a double celebration for those attending.
The witnesses at the wedding were Charles’ younger brother Noel and a family friend from Pauatahanui. Gladys Galloway.[xi]
The couple had left Paremata early in 1919 as Gunner Boulton is not listed in the Evening Post, 2nd August 1919 as one of the Pahatanui residents returning from active service who were presented with ‘a gold Albert chain and Maltese cross suitably inscribed.’[xii] Their only child, a son Edward, was born in Montreal, Canada in 1919.
Charles, Lottie and their son made a number of trips back to New Zealand[xiii] and Charles on one of them supplied the New Zealand Defence Department with his United States of America address and his New Zealand medals were released to him.
Charles and Lottie lived in Los Angles with Charles being employed as a carpenter, and both are buried in the USA.
Many thanks to Lottie and Charles’ grand-daughter Vicky (USA) and cousin Paul London (NZ) who supplied the information on the Boultons from 1919.
Allan Dodson – July / August 2014
The modern spelling of Pauatahanui is used unless quoting from papers of the time where Pahatanui is used.
Charles & Kenneth Boulton 1914: Pataka Museum, Porirua P2-207
RMS Niagara: Photo Alexander Turnbull Library 1 / 4 -08386-G
Lottie May Trimbee: Boulton Family
Pauatahanui a local history: Helen Reilly
The No1 New Zealand General Hospital: southernlife.org.uk/nzstaff
2/289 Charles Daryl Boulton: Militart Records – Archives New Zealand
[i] 2/289 Gunner Charles Daryl Boulton: Military Records – Archives New Zealand
[ii] Boulton family: pg 230-231, Appendix One- Pauatahanui Families / Pauatahanui A local History-Helen Reilly-
[iii] 8/809 Private Kenneth Henry Boulton: Military Records – Archives New Zealand
[iv] 2/289 Gunner Charles Daryl Boulton: Military Records – Archives New Zealand
[v] Isle of Wright Hospitals: iowhospitals.org.nz/military
[vi] Canadian Convalescent Hospital, Woodcote Park, Epsom, Surrey: Lost Hospitals of London
[vii] Report by Capt Hugh Short, NZMC: Military Records – Archives New Zealand
[viii] 2/289 Gunner Charles Daryl Boulton: Military Records – Archives New Zealand
[ix] RMS Niagara-the 1918 infuenza pandemic: NZ History Online
[x] Marriage Trimbee – Boulton: NZ Marriage Certificate
[xi] Original marriage register - Trimbee / Boulton: Boulton family records.
[xii] Eight Residents of Pahatanui: Evening Post 02/08/1919
[xiii] Shipping records held by Paul London