Sutton Veny War Graves
World War 1 by Cathy Sedgwick
Staff Nurse Katie Bolger died on 5th March, 1916 of pneumonia at Sutton Veny Military Hospital, Wiltshire.
A death was registered in the March quarter, 1916 for Kate Bolger, aged 42, in the district of Warminster, Wiltshire.
Staff Nurse Katie Bolger was buried on 7th March, 1916 in the Churchyard of St. John the Baptist, Sutton Veny, Wiltshire – Grave Reference 411. South side of Church.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission lists Staff Nurse Katie Bolger, 2/RES/B/1257, Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service, aged 30, as the daughter of Edward and Margret Bolger, of Tullow, Co. Carlow.
(*Note – Age at death according to CWGC is listed as 30 years old, however the details from the Register of Deaths lists her age as 42 years. Kathleen Bolger may have given a false age to get into the QAIMNS. If she was too old they would not have accepted her.)
Details from the book “The Carlow War Dead” by Tom Burnell:
BOLGER, KATIE: Rank: Staff Nurse. Regiment or service: Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service. Date of death: 5 March 1916. Age at death: 30. Service No.: 2/Res/B/1257.
Supplementary information: Died of pneumonia. Daughter of Edward and Margret Bolger, of Tullow, County Carlow. From the Nationalist and Leinster Times, 1916:
The Late Nurse Bolger. Interred with Full Honours.
Mr T Bolger, Downings, Tullow, has received the following from Father Corcoran;
London Irish Rifles, No 6 Camp. Suttonveny, Warminster, Wilts.
6th March, 1916.
Dear Mr Bolger—As Senior Catholic Chaplain who attended your sister in her last illness, I write to tell you how highly Sister Bolger was appreciated by all with whom she came in contact—a fact which was clearly evidenced at her funeral. At the same time a short account of what happened may help to comfort you in your great loss. Katie Bolger came to Suttonveny Military Hospital about four months ago, to take up the duties of Staff Sister, with the military rank of Lieutenant. Her bright and happy disposition soon made her a favourite, not only with the Matron and staff, but particularly with the patients, and her loss is greatly felt by all. She contracted pneumonia only a week ago, and although she received every care and attention, she passed away on Sunday evening last, fortified with all the rites of the Holy Church. As she had expressed a wish to be buried in the local Churchyard, her desire was acceded to. The funeral procession fell in at 10 o’clock, March 7th, in the hospital grounds, to proceed to Suttonveny Church.
As she had the military status of officer, an officer of the 15th London Regiment was in command of the firing party, which headed to procession with reversed arms. Next came the coffin, covered with the Union Jack and Flag of the R. A. M. C., hidden with wreaths, and carried on a gun carriage, drawn by black horses of the 12th London F. A. Immediately behind were Mr Bolger, brother of the deceased, and Father R. Corcoran. S. C. F., London Irish Rifles. The bearer party furnished by the sergeant of the R. A. M. C., walked on either side of the gun carriage. Then followed the Matron, Staff Sisters and Nurses of the Hospital, and the War Office was represented by Miss Tours, Principal Matron. The Band of the R. A. M. C., kindly lent by the Colonel Segbie, Salisbury Training Centre, played the Dead March on the way to the Churchyard, and the procession was completed by 250 men of the R. A. M. C., under the command of Lieutenant J. D. Ryan, R. A. M. C., the colonel and other officers of the Corps being also present. When the funeral party arrived at the Church, the body was met and blessed by Father Corcoran, and carried to the graveside. Here the hospital staff—firing party—buglers