BOLTON, Samuel James
(Service number 15/110)

Aliases Known as Sam
First Rank Captain Last Rank Major


Date 19 April 1873 Place of Birth Hull, Yorkshire, England

Enlistment Information

Date 24 October 1914 Age 41 years
Address at Enlistment 6 Silverston Terrace, Wellington
Occupation Postal clerk (NZ Government)
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status Married. Two children
Next of Kin (1) Mrs S. J. BOLTON (wife), care of T. C. HOBBS-JONES, Postal Department, Auckland; (2) Mrs Alice Hobbs Jones BOLTON (wife), care of Mr T. C. HOBBS-JONES, Postal Clerk, Chief Post-office, Auckland
Religion Anglican
Medical Information

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation (1) 2nd Reinforcements; (2) New Zealand Expeditionary Force
Unit, Squadron, or Ship (1) Army Pay Department; (2) 13th Reinforcements, Divisional Headquarters
Date (1) 14 December 1914; (2) 27 May 1916
Transport (1) Verdala or Willochra or Knight of the Garter; (2) Willochra or Tofua
Embarked From (1) Wellington; (2) Wellington Destination
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With

Military Awards

Campaigns Egyptian (1914-1915); Western European (1917-1918-1919)
Service Medals 1914-1915 Star; British War Medal; Victory Medal; Colonial Auxiliary Forces Long Service Medal; New Zealand Long and Efficient Service Medal; New Zealand Volunteer Service Medal
Military Awards Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) (Military)

Award Circumstances and Date

London Gazette, 12 December 1919

Prisoner of War Information

Date of Capture
Where Captured and by Whom
Actions Prior to Capture
PoW Serial Number
PoW Camps
Days Interned
Liberation Date


Date Reason

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

Post-war Occupations


Date 28 July 1928 Age 55 years
Place of Death Dannevirke
Notices Auckland Star, 30 July 1928; New Zealand Herald, 30 July 1928
Memorial or Cemetery Maungatera Cemetery, Dannevirke
Memorial Reference Block Z Plot 20
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

Samuel James Bolton was born on 19 April 1873 at Hull, Yorkshire, England, the eldest child and only son of George and Eleanor Maria (née Carroll) Bolton. George and Eleanor Bolton came to New Zealand with their young son in about 1875. Here they had three daughters, the eldest of whom (Harriet) started at Temuka School in 1881, the second daughter (Emily) in 1886. It was at the Temuka District High School that Sam received his education. Master Sam Bolton featured in an entertainment given by St Saviour’s Band of Hope at Temuks in early March 1886, giving a recitation which was well rendered. On leaving school, Samuel received an appointment in the Post and Telegraph Department and quickly rose through the ranks.

In the mid-1890s George and Eleanor moved to Oamaru, where they were living when Samuel married Alice Hobs Jones on 6 May 1897 at her mother’s Napier residence. Sam was a telegraphist at Napier in 1896. Samuel and Alice had two children – Daisy and George Victor (known as Victor). He took a keen interest in military matters and was connected with the Volunteers and Territorials for many years. He was a member successively of the Napier Battery, the Wanganui Rifles, and the New Zealand Post and Telegraph Corps, in which he ranked as major, his appointment having been gazetted in February 1913. He was also prominent in athletic circles at Woodville, Wellington, where he interested himself in Rugby football.

Samuel enlisted with the New Zealand Forces for service in World War One on 24 October 1914. He was a clerk with the General Post Office, where he had been employed since 1 March 1890, and was then serving with the NZ Post & Telegraph Corps. Giving his address as 6 Silverston Terrace, Wellington, he nominated his wife as next-of-kin – Mrs S. J. Bolton, care of T. C. Hobbs-Jones, Postal Department, Auckland. T. C. Hobbs-Jones was Alice’s brother. Capatin S. J. Bolton embarked with the Army Pay Department of the 2nd Reinforcements, departing from Wellington on 14 December 1914. On arrival in Egypt he took up his position in the Army Pay Department of Divisional Headquarters at the base in Zeitoun, where he served for several months.

Captain S. Boulton returned by the Willochra which was due at Port Chalmers at the end of January 1916, bringing a large number of invalided soldiers. Mr G. Bolton, of Waimate, went south to meet his son. Mr and Mrs Bolton had moved to Waimate in about 1909, for Mr Bolton’s health. Both Mrs and Mr Bolton died at Waimate while their son was serving overseas – Eleanor in 1915 and George in 1917. Captain Bolton’s return to New Zealand was due to an attack of enteric. He became an in-patient at Waikato Hospital.

Come late April 1916 and Captain S. J. Bolton reported for duty at Featherston Pay Camp Office. He was transferred from the Camp Paymaster’s Office to the Quartermaster-General’s Office at Featherston. On 27 May 1916 Captain Bolton again embarked, this time departing from Wellington with Divisional Headquarters of the 13th Reinforcements. On 7 February 1917 he was in London where he was part of the New Zealand section of the Mounted Imperial Escort to His Majesty the King at the opening of Parliament. He was afterwards presented to their Majesties at Buckingham Palace. In March 1918, Major S. J. Bolton, P. and T. Corps and New Zealand Engineers was awarded the Colonial Auxiliary Forces Long Service Medal, in recognition of twenty-one years’ service in the New Zealand Forces. Majr Bolton was given charge of the N.Z.E.F. Post Office in London. He had been responsible for examining clais and settling accounts in connection with the troops while in Egypt, France and the United Kingdom. It was in England in 1920 that the Order of the British Empire (Military) was conferred on Major Bolton. The award was for bravery in the damger zone.

As of May 1920, Major S. J. Bolton, O.B.E, Army Pay Corps, was compelled to stay in London for many months, as there were many claims against New Zealand funds to be settled and adjustments made. The London Headquarters of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force had virtually closed by 8 July, but the Staff-Paymaster, Major S. J. Bolton would remain in London for two or three months “to square up a number of financial matters”.

The New Zealand Shipping Company’s Ruahine sailed from Southampton on 2 December 1920. “Major S. J. Bolton, who has been in charge of affairs in connection with the New Zealand Expeditionary Forces since Colonel Hall left England, has completed his militarv work and returns to the Post and Telegraph Department, Wellington.” [Otago Witness. 25 January 1921.] Samuel James Bolton gave 6 years and 156 days of service, 5 years and 282 days being overseas. Mr Sam Bolton spent a weekend in Waimate in February 1921. On his return, Samuel Bolton was appointed postmaster at Geraldine, only to be promoted to postmaster at Featherston seven months later. In about 1925, he was transferred to Dannevirke, where he died on 28 July 1928, aged 55 years. He was survived by his wife, son and daughter, and by his three sisters (two of Waimate and one of Methven). The funeral of Lieutenant-Colonel Samuel James Bolton “was of a military character. Returned soldiers were in attendance as a body. A firing party was present, and the “Last Post” was sounded . . . . .” [Manawatu Standard. 31 July 1928.] Alice died in 1955 and was buried at Napier where she had resided for many years.


Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [17 May 2022]; England Birth Registration (Free BDM) [17 May 2022]; Temuka Leader, 6 March 1886, 4 August 1928, Hawke’s Bay Herald, 8 May 1897, 27 July 1900, Waimate Daily Advertiser, 28 January 1916, 31 March 1917, 1 September 1917, 14 February 1921, 30 July 1928, Auckland Star, 29 January 1916, 30 July 1928, Evening Post, 22 March 1918, 20 February 1920, 1 April 1920, Dominion, 22 March 1918, Manawatu Standard, 30 March 1920, 31 July 1928, Sun, 3 April 1920, Press, 26 May 1920, 23 August 1920, Otago Witness, 5 October 1920, 25 January 1921, NZ Herald, 30 July 1928, Timaru Herald, 2 August 1928 (Papers Past) [17 & 18 May 2022]; Who’s who in New Zealand, 1925 (per [17 May 2022]; Mangatera Cemetery, Dannevirke, record (NZSG cemetery transcriptions) [17 May 2022]

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Researched and Written by

Teresa Scott, SC branch NZSG

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