8/809 Private Kenneth (Ken) Henry Boulton

Local district family and Plimmerton School Old Boy.


The Boulton family are a well known early family from the Porirua District.  Edward Boulton arrived in New Zealand in 1837 and was engaged in whaling on Kapiti Island before settling in Pauatahanui. In 1852 Edward Boulton is recorded as a stockholder[i] from Pauatahanui and lived in the area up to his death in 1897. Edward Boulton had six sons and seven daughters, and one of his sons, also named Edward Boulton, established a home at Golden Gate, Paremata.



1904 The Boulton family home, Golden Gate, Paremata[ii]

Edward Boulton (jnr) and his wife Matilda would have seven children, three girls and four boys. Two of the boys are listed as attending Plimmerton School - Kenneth Henry Boulton in 1904 and Noel Gordon Boulton ten years later in 1914.[iii]


Plimmerton School about 1904. [iv]

After Plimmerton School, Kenneth Henry Boulton went to Wellington Technical College where he received certificates in engineering in 1909, 1910 and 1911[v] before moving into employment.

The declaration of war on 4 August 1914 saw the two Boulton brothers who were of military service age enlist. Kenneth enlisted first on 14 August 1914, employed at the time as a storeman for S & W Mackay - a large company specialising in bookselling and stationery based in Wellington[vi].

The enlistment notes show Kenneth Boulton had compulsory military training with the 5th (Wellington) Regiment for three years, and then transferred to the Field Artillery D (Wellington Mountain) Battery in August 1914 prior to posting. However he was attached to the 14th South Otago Company, which would be part of the Otago Infantry Battalion as part of the main body of the New Zealand Expeditionary Forces[vii]. It was as a private that Kenneth Boulton sailed from Port Chalmers.




Private Kenneth Harold Boulton prior to embarkation with cap badge and shoulder flashes of the 14th South Otago Company.[viii]

Charles Daryl Boulton, Kenneth’s older brother, enlisted 18 August 1914. Charles (Charlie) is listed as a carpenter working for G E Odlin, like his brother he has also been attached to the 5th (Wellington) Regiment as part of compulsory military training but later obtained an exemption because of his work. On enlistment Charles was attached to New Zealand Field Artillery and Driver Charles Boulton departed for overseas service, from Wellington, with the Main Body of the NZEF, 16 October 1914.[ix]

Both brothers landed at Gallipoli, ANZAC Cove, 25 / 26 April 1915.

Initially the Otago Infantry were held in reserve then moved to defensive lines but the key to the ANZAC position was a hill, Baby 700,  and to capture this position would force the Turks back onto Third Ridge and give the besieged in ANZAC Cove much needed breathing space and allow them to go on the offensive.[x]  The Otagos were part of the forces committed but due to a number of delays they ended up attacking in daylight against prepared Turkish forces. The result was a disaster for the Otagos as they and other Allied troops were forced back from Baby 700 to their original positions. ‘No complete account exists of the losses suffered by Otago in this attack. The War Diary records five officers wounded, eight missing, 11 men killed, 174 wounded and 208 missing, leaving a strength of 365 out of 800 who went into the attack. But in truth the Otagos never knew how many were lost.’[xi] Private Boulton was one of the missing and his family in Paremata would have received a telegram from the government to this effect. Later on 19 May 1915, Turkish forces attacked in the same area against alerted ANZAC forces, the results were a disaster for the Turks with 10,000 casualties, 3,000 of them killed. The number of casualties in the area resulted in an armistice day, 24 May 1915, to enable the dead to be buried. Private Boulton’s service record lists that he was missing between 1 and 23 May 1915 and it was not until a Court of Enquiry was held in Egypt in 20 January 1916 that Private Boulton and many other from the Otago Infantry were declared ‘missing believed to be killed.’[xii]



Kenneth Henry Boulton is remembered on the Pauatahanui War Memorial, the Lone Pine Memorial at Gallipoli and on the grave of his parents at the Pauatahanui Public Burial Grounds,  Pauatahanui. 




Updated March 2015 Allan Dodson


The historic spelling of Pauahatanui is used when quoted in articles


Boulton family home - Golden Gate: Pataka

Class of 1st Plimmerton School: Pataka

Private Kenneth (Ken) Harold Boulton: cropped from Pataka P-2-207

Pauatahanui War Memorial: Allan Dodson 2011

Boulton family grave: Allan Dodson 2015


Archway Archives New Zealand - Military Records: 8/809 Private Kenneth Harold Boulton



[i] Papers Past – New Zealand Spectator & Cook Straight Guardian, 4 April 1852

[ii] Alexander Turnbull Library – Boulton family house at Golden Gate, Paremata – 1 / 2-084864F

[iii] Plimmerton School – Seventy-Five Years 1904 – 1979 Plimmerton School and its Environment

[iv] Plimmerton School – 100 Years 1904 – 2004

[v] Papers Past – Evening Post 1909/10 Wellington Technical College prize lists

[vi] Archives New Zealand – Kenneth Henry Boulton, Service Record 1919.

[vii] Auckland Cenotaph Database – Kenneth Henry Boulton Nominal Roll 1919

[viii] Auckland Cenotaph Database – Kenneth Henry Boulton original photo Auckland News 1915

[ix] Archives New Zealand – Charles Daryl Boulton, service record

[x] Pg 173 Gallipoli – The New Zealand Story; Christopher Puglsley

[xi] Pg 183 Gallipoli – The New Zealand Story; Christopher Pugsley

[xii] Archives New Zealand – Kenneth Henry Boulton, service record.


Last Updated: 04/03/2015 1:24am