- Place of Use Continent - North America, Country - Canada
- Category Communication artifacts
- Sub-category Personal symbol
- Department Arms and Technology
- Museum CWM
- Earliest 1919/07/26
- Latest 1919/09/01
- Inscription 687039 PTE. H. M. BOLAM. 72-CAN.INF.
- Support loose
- Materials Silver, Copper, Synthetic fibre
- Rank Private
- Service Component Canadian Expeditionary Force
- Unit 72nd Canadian Infantry Battalion
- Person / Institution Subject, Bolam, Private Hubert Maurice
- Measurements Length 15.4 cm, Width 7.6 cm, Thickness 0.3 cm
- Caption Medals Project- Bolam, Hubert Maurice
Hubert Maurice Bolam was born in England on 22 August 1899. Canadian government arrival records suggest that he came to Canada via the United States of America with his mother, Elizabeth, and other family members in 1909.
A clerk by trade, Bolam enlisted in the 172nd Battalion in Kamloops, British Columbia, on 21 December 1915. He noted on his attestation paper that he had been a member of the 13th Regiment, Rocky Mountain Rangers, a militia regiment, for four months. The 16-year-old Bolam lied about his age, claiming to have been born on 27 June 1897, thereby making him old enough for military service (18 years old).
Bolam embarked with his unit for England on 25 October 1916 and arrived there six days later. The unit proceeded to Camp Bramshott, a Canadian military facility in Hampshire, for further training. On 13 December 1916, Bolam travelled to France to join the 2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles. He joined the unit in the field the following day. In May 1917, Bolam was struck down by influenza and was admitted to No. 7 Canadian Stationary Hospital, in Étaples, France. It seems that while he was in hospital his true age was discovered. According to his personnel records, once he recovered from his illness, he was shipped to Seaford Camp in England in late June 1917 to be discharged as a minor. This discharge did not occur. Rather, Bolam was transferred to the Boys’ Battalion at Bexhill-on-Sea, which trained underage soldiers until they were legally old enough under Canadian law to serve in a war zone (19 years old). Having met this requirement by July 1918, Bolam was transferred from the Boys’ Battalion to the 1st Reserve Battalion at Camp Bramshott, a Canadian military facility in Hampshire, to await posting as a reinforcement for a combat unit in France. This occurred in late August 1918, when he was drafted into the 72nd Battalion. He joined the battalion in the field on 6 September 1918. Bolam was killed in action 23 days later, as the already decimated 72nd Battalion launched its second successful assault in three days on German positions around the Canal du Nord.
Hubert Maurice Bolam is buried in Cantimpre Canadian Cemetery (formerly known as Marcoing Line British Cemetery), Sailly, France.