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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Lieut. Peter Swinton Boult, M.C., Royal Garrison Artillery, T.F.

Valentine Thomson

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Having done some research on Lieut. Peter Swinton Boult, Royal Garrison Artillery, T.F., a few years back, a couple of questions remain that I hope the members of GWF may be able to help me with.

First, some background on the man in question. Peter Swinton Boult, born 16 May 1890 in Wavertree, Liverpool, Lancashire. Attended Dunchurch Hall Prep School, followed by Winchester College. On 12 June 1915, he signed his contract of Imperial & General Service Obligation to serve outside the UK, and the LG of the same date records his commission as a 2nd Lieut. in the RGA. On 8 August 1916, his brother, Reginal Herbert Swinton Boult, a subaltern with 1/6th Liverpool Regt., died on the Somme. Peter Swinton Boult embarked at Southampton with 115th Anti-Aircraft Section, RGA, on 1 June 1917. On 28 April 1918 he was posted to “R” Anti-Aircraft Battery. He appears to have stayed with “R” battery until he was demobilized in January of 1919. On 1 January 1919 the London Gazette recorded a New Year’s Honours award of the MC: “Lt. Peter Swinton Boult, R.G.A., T.F., attd “R” A-A By.” Boult reached the rank of Acting Lt.-Col. in the Cheshire Home Guard in WW2, but also sadly lost a son, Reginald Herbert “Rex” Boult, during the fall of Singapore. Peter Swinton Boult died in 1955 and was a distant cousin of Sir Adrian Boult.

Now for my questions:

1. There is a photographic portrait of Peter Swinton Boult in the Imperial War Museum’s BOND OF SACRIFICE – FIRST WORLD WAR PORTRAITS COLLECTION (HU 114115). I had always believed that this collection was solely for fallen officers – does anyone have any ideas as to why he should be in this collection? My first thought was that they had confused him with his deceased brother, but the portrait of P. S. Boult clearly shows he is a territorial artillery officer and there is a note on the back “Photograph purchased from Messrs. Lafyette Ltd. February, 1918” which ties in nicely with his service record.

2. I have downloaded the War Diary of 2nd Army Anti-Aircraft Defences, 1918 Feb – 1918 Nov (WO 95/327/7) to try to get some idea of what Lt. Boult was doing in the last year of the war that would win him a New Year’s honour, but apart from seeing that the “R” Battery spent most of their time around Ypres, I’m really none the wiser. Are there any artillery experts out there who might have a better idea of what Lt. Boult and his unit were doing (and have I even got the correct War Diary?!!!), and why this might result in a Military Cross? Is there another avenue of research I can explore?

I did go to the National Archives before lockdown and was able to photograph this chap’s Officers’ Papers (WO 374/7864). I’ve attached some copies of the pictures. I don’t think they’re much help with the MC question, but I may have missed something. Any help gratefully received.








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Hi Charlie962,

Thanks for your reply.

I did read that about "those who have won distiction" in the IWM description, although Bond of Sacrifice seems an ominous name for a collection relating to men who recieved an award and managed to survive the War. Perhaps the IWM collection has no connection with the two published volumes of Bond of Sacrifice, which only covered officers who had died between Aug 1914 and June 1915. Possibly that is where my confusion lies.


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