Signalman John Bolster

Signalman John Millar Bolster, Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. He was lost at sea on 20th April 1917 aboard H.M. Trawler ” Othonna” aged 21. He was the son of Thomas and Jane Bolster of Clifton Road, Selkirk and is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial. Before enlisting in December 1915 he had been a student at the Provisional Teacher Training College in Edinburgh. The vessel was a former Milford Haven trawler of 180 tons employed by the Admiralty as a minesweeper. On 20th April in company with another five trawlers she was sweeping for mines near May Island in the Firth of Forth when she struck an unseen mine. She sank quickly with the loss of nine crew. The photograph is not the “Othonna” but of a similar type of trawler.

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