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Wednesday 31 January 2018

Henry Bolton’s Army Career WASN’T

After embattled UKIP leader Henry Bolton was shown by Michael Crick of Channel 4 News to have falsified his degree qualification claims - one BA was entirely fictitious and the other a creative reinterpretation of an NVQ Level 6 - he might have hoped that there would be no more embarrassing revelations regarding his CV. I have to tell The Great Man that his hopes are about to be dashed - because there is more bad news to come.
Information has been received showing that Bolton’s Army career was mostly as fictitious as the BA from Sandhurst, which does not award such degrees.

His CV, published on LinkedIn, claims that he was a “Trooper and NCO” in the Royal Hussars from 1979 to 1990. However, a Forces Reunited search shows that, while there is a Henry Bolton who served with the Royal Hussars, it was someone who served between 1950 and 1952 (probably a National Serviceman) - before Bolton was born. There is no record of his having served in the Royal Hussars.

Then comes Bolton’s claim regarding the Territorial Army. His CV states that he was an “Infantry Company Commander and Military Intelligence Officer” between 1990 and 2000. However, I am reliably informed that in 1992, he was recorded as being “Territorial Army Group A - Reserve Officer” on probation. He cannot have been in both roles at the same time, so which was the real one?

It has been put to me that this item on Bolton’s CV is invention.

As for his having been a “Military Intelligence Commander” in Bosnia, it appears that there was no-one of his name who served in the Army in that campaign at that time. British troops initially served in Bosnia as part of UNPROFOR, and later as part of EUFOR, and there was only one British commander at that time, Colonel Bob Stewart (now an MP). This is another part of Bolton’s CV that appears to be wholly fictitious.

Another dead giveaway is that Bolton claims, among other embellishments, to have been a “Chieftain tank crewman”. If he had been, he would not have been an “Infantry Company Commander” at the same time. Ditto the “French Commando” claim. And as for “Jungle Warfare”, well, let’s not say any more. This is more fiction.
Bolton did, though, have a walk-on part in the aftermath of the former Yugoslavia: he appeared as a witness in the trial of a Macedonian official who was up before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). That was part of his secondment from the Thames Valley Police.

Sadly, this highpoint of his involvement did not go so well: the Macedonian official was cleared and walked from the court a free man.

And there are other claims in Bolton’s CV that do not stack up.

It is becoming clear that the appetite for lying, as exemplified by Nigel “Thirsty” Farage, and falsification, as employed by Paul “Bad Bootle Meff” Nuttall, may be rather more widespread in UKIP. Henry Bolton is a prime example. He is not a credible party leader - the problem for the Kippers is that no-one else who wants the job is, either.


Ex MI5 (Honestly) said...

"Chieftain Tank" Rhyming slang?

Ooooh. Suits you sir!

Beware of those who leave information off of their CV and LinkedIn too.

Anonymous said...

Fifteen years a LibDem too, born in Kenya apparently.

What a "broad church" they run. All the way up to and including tuition fees - well done Cable and Clegg!

Can't we keep out these immigrant Kenyans coming here, telling lies and interfering in our elections?

Oh my continually aching sides.

Roger McCarthy said...

OK I am not ex-military myself but I do know a bit about army matters due to having known some ex-army types and to having done a bit of research on service records etc.

Firstly I doubt Forces Reunited is a truly definitive source that identifies every last member of the armed services in any period.

Secondly, if he was a territorial officer on the reserve list it is not implausible that he was also at some earlier point in a regular army regiment.

Thirdly territorial army service is by definition very part-time (ask Clive Lewis) unless you do get called up and sent to a combat zone.

Fourthly you are misunderstanding what commander means - anyone from a junior NCO upwards can command some sort of military entity and Commander of military intelligence is not a proper job title and probably means no more than that he was tapping away on a ruggedised laptop back at force Headquarters and maybe had a couple of subordinates.

So of course he's massaged his CV - who hasn't? - but I find it unlikely that his whole military career is a fiction as if it were it would be easily exposed.

Can I suggest you run this past an actual military veteran and get their view?

Roger McCarthy said...

I'd add if he ever was in the Royal Hussars or any other cavalry regiment he probably at some point would have found himself driving around in a Chieftain because that is what those regiments do.

It is however odd that he puts that under his territorial service as an infantry officer - maybe they let him ride in a tank in Bosnia?

Also odd that he mentions neither his rank nor his unit - although FWIW his wikipedia entry does state he was promoted to Captain and lists a whole bunch of territorial units (which given constant regimental reorganisations is not that implausible).

As territorial service is part-time he also appears to have been a very busy territorial - particularly as from 1992-2000 he was a full-time police officer.

As for his time at Sandhurst it looks to me that he would have done quite a short course and nothing even vaguely resembling a degree - see https://www.arrse.co.uk/community/threads/territorial-army-potential-officer-training.38085/ for various routes you can take to a TA commission.

His Royal Hussars entry also has (PWO)- which looks odd to me as I don't think that is a standard army rank abbreviation but suggests he ended as a Warrant Officer - which normally indicates a technical or desk job outside of the combat chain of command.

ashie said...

Not before time. I posted here as soon as he had been elected that his CV didn't add up. As Roger McCarthy notes, it doesn't take great forensic skills to spot the holes in his Wiki entry. Yet our fearless press just gave him a pass. I'm also intrigued by the construct that "he worked the Foreign and Commonwealth Office". Does that mean "". Or just did some work for a company with whom the FCO had a contract? He looks a bit like what our forces chums would call "a Walt".

ashie said...

Soz, that doesn't look right. Not sure what I did there, but I was highlighting that his CV says he worked "with" the FCO, not "for" the FCO.

Roger McCarthy said...

If he was on probation as a new officer in 1992 this also suggests he was unemployed from 1990-92 (which a lot of people were at that time).

He would have automatically been in the reserves on leaving the regular army in 1990 so I would guess that in 1990-92 he was in the TA but as an NCO or warrant officer and only took the TA officer course in 1992 after which he was commissioned.

But obviously it looks better to say you were a TA infantry company commander for the whole ten years.

However as that is a very part-time role then it can be combined with multiple other roles - which is what his cv does claim.

Looking at the military section of his cv it is clearly massaged and a bit exaggerated but not intrinsically implausible - unless all of it is a fabrication and he is a conman of genius - and that is something I do find impossible to believe...

pete c said...

Well. Having accrued a few NVQs over the years (and sometime they come your way without any particular input from yourself) I do struggle to see just how I could have massaged any of them into a BA.

I obviously don't have enough thwarted ambition to create career-enhancing porkies.

Unknown said...

A Tankie Trooper/NCO does not become anInfantry Company commander which demands the rank of Major following Eleven years service, nor does he become an Intelligence Officer of the rank of Captain.
He’s a WALT.

Anonymous said...

"His Royal Hussars entry also has (PWO)- which looks odd to me as I don't think that is a standard army rank abbreviation but suggests he ended as a Warrant Officer - which normally indicates a technical or desk job outside of the combat chain of command".

PWO - Royal Hussars (Prince of Wales's Own)

French Commando Course - could have easily done that.

There's also quite a lot of inter-corps/regimental detachment that goes on in the British Army.

KevM said...

He's no Don Draper, that's for sure.

Anonymous said...

At least he has his footballing achievements.

Who can forget te legendary Nuttals / Bolton striking partmenship for England's 1977 World Cup campaign in Uraguay.

Anonymous said...

I think you've been a bit over Zelo-us here, which is a shame because it may well be held against anything else you write. There is enough wrong with the man already without needing to distort things.

Forces Reunited is not a reliable source as to what (if anything) anyone did in the Forces. It only contains what people put up there themselves. I know, I was that ... :O)

Going from the Regulars to the Reserves is not unheard of. In my day it was obligatory. From there it's a small step to the TA.

The London Gazette entry is probably as good a reference as anything as a reliable source. 28 September 1992, Page:16263
This record also has his non-commissioned Army number as 24448913 which looks reasonable to me (mine is 2432.... from the early 1970s)

Pretty much anything that happens with a commissioned officer will be recorded there. Lance Jacks, not so much unless they get severely medalled.

If only half of his LinkedIn profile is true, it seems he used to be a pretty decent guy with a bright future. Pity he went over to the dark side.

Roger McCarthy said...

Couple of responses...

Glad to see a veteran drop in and bring some actual knowledge to the comments.

I did know POW is abbrev of Prince of Wales's but I have flu and my synapses are not all firing properly so I forgot that this was a subsidiary title of Royal Hussars (and thanks to endless cuts and mergers British regiment names are just ridiculous now)

Do you need to be a major to command a TA infantry company?

Certainly as the army has shrunk and become more and more over-officered it is NOW normal for British infantry companies to be commanded by a major with a captain as second-in-command.

However traditionally British army infantry companies were led by captains and this was as far as I know still often the case what is now quarter of a century ago when Bolton was commissioned.

As for his military intelligence role it is perfectly normal for captains to have staff jobs in intelligence - which is all he's actually talking about there.

As for transferring from a regular cavalry/armoured regiment to a TA infantry regiment this is not that implausible as there were and are a lot more TA infantry battalions requiring officers than TA yeomanry regiments - so if you were looking to become a TA officer you might well have to consider changing your arm of service.

So on balance the only obviously inaccurate part of the military part of his cv is:

a) the implication he was a TA captain and company commander for the whole of 1990-2000 as we do know he was only commissioned in Sept 1992.

But what he is doing there is the standard cv massaging trick of just mentioning the most impressive job title that he held in the course of a period of employment - I've done it myself.

b) the pretence that his TA officer training course at Sandhurst was in any way at all equivalent to a degree.

The rest is mostly plausible.

Clearly as a revolving door leader of a racist party he is prima facie a loathsome human being - but to attack him for completely fabricating his military service record is do not think justified here.

Anonymous said...

I served with Henry in ta in Newbury and reading. When he joined in around 91 just after I did (I think) he had recently left cavalry regiment where he had commanded a tank and a troop of scorpions in Belize, he was a corporal as far as i remember. When he joined ta he was working for mercury communications. He joined ta as a corporal i think in Wessex regt Newbury. And quickly went for ta commission at sandhurst in which he was best cadet. He commanded a platoon in Newbury (an infantry regt) when Newbury closed we were transferred to reading RGBW HQ coy where he commanded a Recce platoon. Can't remember when he left mercury and joined tv police but he got commendation for bravery in police, he was in ta at same time. He got a job with OSCE I think and went to Croatia and other places during the Balkans problems. He also worked for fo I think in Afghanistan as an advisor for US marines in Kandahar or somewhere similar.

Tim Fenton said...


He was NOT best cadet. This has already been debunked.

So don't pretend otherwise.

As you were.

Max S said...

Roger McCarthy, this veteran agrees entirely with your well balanced and rational comments (y)

AG said...

The man tells lies, or as is so nicely put, massages the truth. It's either true or it isn't.

Anonymous said...

When / where was his best cadet status debunked ? I haven't seen it.

Anonymous said...

I was with you up until your absurd comment about a racist party.

It's no such thing and you are wholly innacurate for making such misled comment

Anonymous said...

Again, where was his best cadet status debunked?

I haven't seen it.