The broth­ers who went off to war

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

The sto­ries of Charles and Kenneth Boulton didn’t come easy to Al­lan Dod­son, but his sleuthing paid off. The Plim­mer­ton his­to­rian has mined pri­mary and sec­ondary sources aplenty to un­earth a trove of sto­ries re­lat­ing to the men and women from the sub­urb who served in World War I.

He has re­cently ex­panded his purview to look into sto­ries of some of the more than 100 who served from other parts of Porirua.

The Boulton fam­ily is a name that goes back a way in Porirua, with Ed­ward Boulton whal­ing in Mana in 1837.

With the dec­la­ra­tion of war in 1914, Charles and younger brother Kenneth, liv­ing in the Golden Gate area of Pare­mata, were quick to en­list.

Charles be­come an ar­tillery gun­ner and Kenneth joined the Otago reg­i­ment. Both served at Gal­lipoli in 1915.

The photo of the two is one of the clear­est Dod­son has seen.

‘‘That shot is from a glass neg­a­tive and they’re bril­liant for people like me, who are do­ing re­search,’’ he said. ‘‘You can blow them up very clearly and see shoul­der flashes, mil­i­tary in­signia on uni­forms and other tell­tale things.’’

Kenneth was killed at Gal­lipoli on about May 5, 1915, Dod­son said, dur­ing a dis­as­trous day­light at­tack on a hill above An­zac Cove.

Charles was evac­u­ated from Gal­lipoli in the July with se­vere dysen­tery. His story had many more threads, Dod­son said.

‘‘At some point dur­ing his re­cov­ery from dysen­tery, he was in Canada and I’m guess- ing that’s where he meet Lot­tie.

‘‘I was able to track her back to her work in a Cana­dian hospi­tal. They were mar­ried at St Al­ban’s church in Pau­ata­hanui the day af­ter Ar­mistice Day, 1918 – whether by good luck or not you can’t be sure – but I’m sure it led to a dou­ble cel­e­bra­tion.’’

Charles worked on Pau­ata­hanui farms from 1916 till 1918 but af­ter that the trail runs cold. It’s not known how long he and his wife were in Pare­mata but a ser­vice medal was un­claimed, be­fore an ad­dress emerged for Charles in Los Angeles.

Dod­son said about 110 people from Porirua served in World War I, but ad­mit­ted there could be more he had not found out about. ‘‘The list just keeps on grow­ing.’’ Many of the sto­ries will make up an ex­hi­bi­tion at Pataka Mu­seum next year to com­mem­o­rate the 100th an­niver­sary of the Gal­lipoli land­ings.

Porirua Li­brary had been a fan­tas­tic re­source, Dod­son said.

Dod­son has writ­ten up the story of the Boul­tons, and many oth­ers, on plim­mer­ton.org.nz.

Photo: PORIRUA LI­BRARY

Call to arms: Kenneth Boulton, left, and older brother Charles, be­fore they shipped out in 1915.

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