25th County of London Cyclist Battalion
The London Regiment


Charles Edward (Eddie) BOLTON


My father, C E Bolton, No 267471 (known as Eddie Bolton) joined the 1/25th on April 16th 1915 and on June 24th he joined the 1st Battalion at Lowestoft. 

He sailed for India from Devonport on February 6th 1916 and arrived in Bombay on 26th February. From that point he kept a movements diary, partly in code until his eventual return to England and demob. I discovered the code, and deciphered it and found that he was with the Battalion until October 16th 1917 when he was detailed for draft to the 1/9th Middlesex. On November 19th they sailed on SS Egra for Mesapotamia. He went through the campaign there until 22nd September when he left the Battalion for Baqubah refugee camp and on arrival was attached to 16 Section B Area. In March 1919 he left there for return home but in Karachi on April 18th demob was cancelled due to Punjab riot. He went to Rawalpindi With No 4 Battalion then via Khber Pass to Landri Kotal and Dakka. Joined 1st Yorks on 4th July and was at Battle of Girdi on 23rd July. He noted 5 killed 14 wounded. He left Dakka July 30th for Bombay and left there on SS Kasgar on August 11th, arriving in Plymouth for demob on Sept 1st. 
At some point during his time in the East he was mentioned in despatches and I have the Certificate and his medals with the oak leaf insignia.

Eddie's Diary

Eddie Bolton was born 23rd March 1886, his parents being Charles Thomas Bolton, a stone mason, and Ellen Marion (nee Smith). His full name was Charles Edward but he was known to everyone as Eddie throughout his life. He was the oldest of five children and his father sadly died when Eddie was aged 12. The 1901 Census shows his mother as head of the household and a shopkeeper and he is shown as aged 15 and an apprentice mason. Whether or not he continued in the trade is at present unclear. He became a keen cyclist and joined the University Cycling Club (unconnected to any university) and was a lifelong member, in his later years being President of the Club. He married Mary Elizabeth Edwards on the 10 October 1911 at the East London Tabernacle, Mile End Old Town. They had two sons before he joined the Army and a third after his return. In 1915, along with many other club cyclists he joined the ranks of the 25th London Cyclist Battallion at Fulham.   His war service took him to India, Pakistan and Mesopotamia. His diary of his movements is shown elsewhere. At some point whilst in Mesopotamia he was awarded a Mention in Despatches, but I have been unable to find out  what this was about. Following his return home in September 1919 I believe he worked as a foreman of a road works gang for a while but later joined the Civil Service as a clerk in the Home Office. His wife Mary died in 1926 leaving him with 3 boys to bring up, but in the following year he married my mother, Amy Lovatt, and subsequently they had two children, myself and my sister.  He remained at the Home Office until he retired, remaining in London throughout the Second World War, retiring in 1952. He retained his interest in cycling, being involved in various clubs and particularly the Eastern Counties Cycling Association, for which he was Secretary for 25 years.   He died aged 79 in1965.

by Alan Bolton.

More photos of Eddie's, includes some named soldiers.


There is also a mention of Eddie in the Battalion magazine "The Londoner" V3-1 [Aug-Sep 1918] pg.17 :-
"E. Bolton of "B" and Thorn are now Lance Jacks." [Lance Jacks being a Lance Corporal]



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