Henry George Boles
Serial No. 4800
1st Pioneer Battalion & 4th Pioneer Battalion
Henry George Boles - Information
When the war began, Henry George Boles was living with his Aunt, Emmie Potters in Robertson near Moss Vale. Henry was born in Camden, and sadly his father passed away in 1902. Shortly afterwards his mother then left the family. In Robertson, Henry supported himself working as a mail driver. On the 13th of August 1917, he enlisted in the AIF in Moss Vale. He had previous military experience with the cadet force, and commenced training at the Royal Showground Camp in Sydney and at the M & D Depot in Liverpool. He was then posted as a Private to the 14th Reinforcements, 1st Pioneer Battalion at the end of November. Receiving his travel orders, he was shipped out onboard the HMAT Ulysses, which departed Sydney on the 19th of December 1917.
Henry first landed in Port Said, Egypt before sailing into Southampton Harbour in mid February 1918. Henry stepped off the ship, and was marched into the Training Battalion at Sutton Veny. Here, Henry was transferred to the 4th Pioneer Battalion in May and transported to France the following month. He met his unit in June, in the rush of changing lines and territory. The Pioneers were pushed to breaking point constructing roads, trenches, waterways and dugouts as troop positions were constantly shifting. Under strength infantry units also meant that many had to pick up a rifle and assist operations. Henry survived the war and remained with his unit until he was ordered back to Australia in July 1919.