PRIVATE CHARLES JAMES BOLTON
ROYAL ARMY MEDICAL CORPS
4TH NOVEMBER 1918 AGE 37
BURIED: LA VALLEE-MULATRE COMMUNAL CEMETERY EXTENSION, FRANCE
It is unusual to see an inscription like this, this questioning of whether death is in fact the end or whether there is something that comes afterwards. It is far more usual to see families express the firm belief that they will all meet again: 'Thinking of you 'til we meet again', 'God will bind the golden chain closer when we meet again', and one of the most popular of all inscriptions, 'Until the day dawns and the shadows flee away'. But Private Bolton's wife, Eva, was not so sure - 'Is this the end?'
Charles James Bolton was a house painter from Norwich, one of the four sons and seven daughters of Alfred and Sarah Bolton, also of Norwich. He married Eva Lawton in 1908 and the couple had one son, Sidney George.
Bolton's medal card indicates that he didn't enter a war zone until 1916. He was a married man with a wife and child and it wasn't until May 1916 that married were conscripted. He served in the Royal Army Medical Corps, as a stretcher bearer with the 2nd Field Ambulance, part of the 1st Division. On 4 November the Division took part in the attack on the Sambre Oise Canal. Bolton was shot by a sniper.
'Is this the end?'