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Bolton’s War Dead

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,

Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.

They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,

They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning

We will remember them.

Laurence Binyon


Throughout the years, Bolton as a community has commemorated the 10 men who lost their lives in the two World Wars. With the passing of time, knowledge of the individuals had been lost and sadly they had become but names on the Rolls of Honour. With the approach of the Centenary Anniversary of the First World War, I felt that it was time to find out more about each of the ten men, and if successful to produce some form of permanent record.

Fortunately, in today’s world of technology the task was not as difficult as might have been faced by our predecessors. It is easy to access the Commonwealth War Graves Commission web site; but then difficult to decide which of the many men of the same name is the one you are looking for. Fortuitously, our local library hosted a major task where volunteers scanned the local newspapers of the time and produced lists of all those men reported to have died during the war. Again, a great help once you know which of the same names you are looking for. In some cases, the associated newspaper reports provided invaluable information – and some leads for the others that I was searching for.

My research started in earnest in September 2013 and thanks to several very helpful responses to letters asking for help in the Cumberland and Westmorland Herald, I was able to get off to a flying start. We know that the Cumberland and Westmorland Herald newspaper is widely read throughout the county; but it came as a big surprise to get very quick responses from distant parts of the country including Worcestershire and Shropshire.

Within a very short timescale I could get detailed information on 9 of the 10 men and was able at the Remembrance Service on 11th November 2013 to give the assembly much appreciated backgrounds surrounding their deaths.

Tracing the 10th – John Dixon - was a challenge. I had found an individual of the right name who lived in Bolton for a time and who had joined the Border Regiment, but there was no corresponding record of a death that fitted his details. A further letter in the Cumberland and Westmorland Herald resulted in offers of help from two ladies in Workington who in time became equally puzzled. Contact with the Borders Museum resulted in some disappointing news for my research – but good news for that John Dixon – that he had survived the war. Eventually, it came to light that another family of Dixons had lived in Bolton on two occasions and this then led to the tracing of the John Dixon listed in this document.

Clearly, there is no limit to the quantity of information that might be gleaned about each individual and their families. Hopefully, what follows will prove enough to keep memories of each individual alive and set the scene within which each of them lost their life and perhaps give other researchers a good starting point if they seek more information on our War Dead.

Derick Cotton

Glebe Byre


August 2014


Since production of the first document, produced for the Centenary Anniversary Remembrance Service on 11th November 2014, Bolton has continued to honour the memory of its fallen heroes by holding very well attended Remembrance Services in All Saints Church. Each service has included participation by children from Bolton Primary School who along with their chosen readings have also laid posies as each man’s name was read out.

I felt that it was important not to lose other information discovered during my research and this is now included in this expanded version of the document. I have also incorporated the previously issued separate document that included the report from 1923 when Bolton Memorial Hall was opened.

Derick Cotton

Glebe Byre


January 2017



Bolton Memorial Hall

Compiled to commemorate the Centenary Anniversary

of the 1914-18 World War

August 2014

(Revised and expanded January 2017)


Introduction     2

Contents      4

Bolton Scholars of 1904    5

Brass Plaques in All Saints Church  6

New Memorial Boards    7

Commemorative Painting   8

Memorial Hall Field    8

Roll of Honour     9

Honour Boards in Memorial Hall  10

Sydney Bennett     11

William Clark     19

John Dixon      24

John Lambert     27

Arthur Savage     35

Matthew Savage     43

John Stephenson     49

Robert Henry Wilson    66

James Hector Oliver    71

Donald Robinson     76

Timeline of World War 1    80

Report of Centenary Service   84

Opening of Memorial hall in 1923  85

To access  chapters 1 to 18      click here

  To access  chapters 19 to 42   click here

  To access  chapters 43 to 65   click here

  To access  chapters 66 to 91   click here