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Bolt, Herbert Thomas    Create Anzac Certificate
Place of Birth: Sydney, NSW, Australia

Service Number: 3009

Place of Enlistment: Sydney, NSW, Australia

Next of Kin: Bolt, Jennie (wife)



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Tribute to my Grandfather: Corporal Herbert Thomas Bolt 3009
Submitted by: Josephine Shelley
    

Herbert Thomas "Nutsy" Bolt was born in Newtown, Sydney, on the 10th September 1893, he was the 7th & youngest child for Frederick & Mary Bolt.  Herbert attended Newtown Public School.

When he left school he worked as a Brickmaker at Bedford Steam Brick Works, Newtown. He was also a great sportsman, loved all sports especially Rugby League.  He played no fewer than 52 matches for the Newtown Bluebags from 1912 to 1915, and represented NSW twice against Queensland in 1913, playing alongside men such as "Dally Messenger".

Herbert married Jennie Hughes in 1914, they had one baby daughter named Mary Monica, Herbert called her his "Little Mona".  He enlisted with the AIF on the 7th September 1915, just three days before his 22nd birthday. On the 23rd December 1915, Herbert sailed from Sydney Harbour on board H.M.A.T. "Suevic"  bound for Egypt, leaving behind his young wife and baby daughter, just 10 months old.

; Herbert arrived in Egypt on 21st January 1916 and was stationed at the camp called "The Aerodrome Heliopolis", he spent 5 months training there, & was transferred from the 17th Battalion to the 5th Aust. Division 55th Battalion, sadly one of the Battalions which would write it's name in blood in France on that dreadful July day soon to come. He was also promoted to Corporal on 31st May and proudly donned his 2 stripes!

Herbert sailed from Alexandria on board "S.S. Caledonia" on 22nd June and arrived in France on 30th June. Just 3 weeks later on 20th July, Herbert Thomas Bolt was killed in action.

His great mate Francis (Frank) Johnston, No: 3098,  was with him when he was killed, this is Frank's detailed description to the Red Cross on Herbert's death.  "I knew Bolt well, he and I were mates. We enlisted and left Australia together in the 7th Reinforcements to the 17th Battalion, his initials were H.T. and he was called "Nutsy", his number was 3009. We joined the 55th Battalion at Tel-el-Kebir.

On the morning of the 20-7-1916, at about 5am, at Fleurbaix, in the communication trench near the first line of German trenches, as we were retiring from the 3rd line of German trenches, he and I were close to one another, when we were attacked by the Germans.  He got more than six of them with his bayonet and the butt of his rifle, when he got a bullet through his head. He fell instantly, being killed outright.

He was as game as any man and was a well known Newtown footballer". Frank was also badly wounded on that horrific morning, he was shot twice after "Nutsy" was killed, one bullet in his Lung and the other in his heart, fortunately a small bible in his breast pocket saved him, and although he suffered horrific injuries, he managed to drag himself and another wounded soldier to safety.

"Nutsy" Bolt was just 22 years old and left behind his young wife and his "Little Mona" ( my mother) just 17 months of age.Herbert laid for 94 years in a mass grave at Fromelles, his name is on the wall in the beautiful cemetery at Villers Bretonneux.

In 2010, Lambis Englezos who had so stubbornly persisted there were soldiers buried in a mass grave at Fromelles was vindicated when the bodies of Soldiers buried there were discovered, Herbert was one of those soldiers identified and I will be forever grateful to Lambis for giving Herbert back to us.

In 2010 I was fortunate to travel to Fromelles with my husband and 9 of our family to attend the  beautiful Dedication Ceremony on 19th July.  What an emotional day it was for us to be part of this and then to see a video of Herbert's  played on the big screen there was just beautiful although rather heartbreaking as well.   How comforting it was for us to see Herbert finally Resting in Peace in his own Grave on Hallowed Ground.

In 2012 we were again so very fortunate to be able to take our entire family back to Fromelles for our family to visit his Grave. We had our 5 children & their Spouses, 13 Grandchildren, plus my sister and 2 of our Grandchildren's friends,  there were 28 of us in total, it was amazing. I'm sure Herbert would have been so proud to see us all there together paying our respects, it was so very beautiful to have my entire family with me to visit their Great and Great Great Grandfather, and to have my sister who is Herbert's eldest Grandchild and my baby Granddaughter, Serena, who was just 6 months old and Herbert's youngest Great Great Grandchild was just so wonderful, having his eldest and youngest descendant there as we all paid our respects to this brave young man, it was a beautiful, emotional and amazing journey which none of us will ever forget. 

Herbert will always have a very special place in all our hearts and we will make sure future generations will be told the story of their very brave ancestor and his fellow soldier mates....they will never be forgotten.

"Rest in Peace Grandfather"

Your Granddaughter, Josephine Shelley.

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© Commonwealth of Australia (National Archives of Australia) 2013.


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