Sunday, 25 January 2015

Lorne Boulton (1897 - 1967)


Robert "Lorne" Boulton was another nephew to Randy's great grandmother, Ann Boulton. A relative in Ontario (who was a wife to a nephew of Lorne's) had sent the above photo to Russell years ago and he recently passed it on to me. The entire service records of soldiers from World War One are in the process of being digitized and are online at Library and Archives Canada. Using that information and other online documentation, I have written his biography as follows. Further information is welcome through the comments below or to my email at ssimms@escape.ca.

Lorne was 4 years younger than Ernest, a subject of an earlier blog post.  Ernest signed up as a member of the Canadian Expeditionary force in February of 1916 and was killed in France in September of 1917. That must have been such a sad time for the family: father Thomas, mother Margaret and their 11 remaining children. It would have surely been a traumatic time when third youngest child, Robert Lorne, was drafted in June of 1918.

Lorne had been born on October 11, 1987 in Brockville, making him 20 years old when he was drafted.  His regimental number is 3323488.

This brother seems to spell his name with the "u" as we do, unlike Ernest, whose documentation all spells it "Bolton".  Lorne's service file indicates that he was 5 feet 7 and a half inches tall with light complexion, blue eyes and brown hair. 

Lorne arrived in Birkenhead, England on August 15, 1918.  Training notes in his online file indicate he participated in training in Musketry, Bombing, Rifle Bombing, Anti-Gas and Rapid Wiring in October and November of 1918.  Perhaps fortunately, he would only serve 1 year, 2 months, 3 days on active duty however as in January of 1919, Lorne was admitted to hospital, diagnosed with influenza and later pneumonia.  He would spend the next 5 months in and out of hospitals including one in Eastborne, England.  As an interesting "small world" moment, this was the birthplace of his cousin Thomas' wife Elsie Bushby who had come to Canada before the war, not that he knew that of course.  

Many medical reports are in his service file over this time as his condition was not getting better and at one point his health was described as "dangerously ill"  Even after he left hospital, the aftereffects gave him general weakness and inability to carry on regular duties.  He saw no theatre of war service due to the illness.  It appears he was not given pension benefits at his time as they did not consider his injuries due to battle. Lorne was demobilized - discharged from active service -  and arrived home to Canada July 21, 1919.  He was officially discharged on August 21, 1919.

Lorne is found on the 1921 Canadian census living at Front of Yonge Township in Leeds, Ontario with his mother Margaret, brother Gordon and sisters Edna and Edith.  This was their farm near Graham Lake, northeast of Lyn.  He went on to marry Elma Kirkland (1900-1953) and live in the Lyn area until he passed away in 1967.

Lorne and Elma Boulton


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