Harry Bolt was born in Dumfriesshire in Scotland on 1 September 1870, the son of Wilhelmina (Mina) and John Birch Bolt, a gardener, and brought up at Stanwix, Carlisle.
Bolt’s sister Emily was listed as a teacher at a board school in the 1891 census when he was a student at Bede College from 1891-1892. There is little record of his time in Durham apart from a note in The Bede magazine June 1892 issue of a concert on 30 April given by the Seniors in the college’s dining hall, and in which Bolt sang some songs.There is no mention of any sporting achievements although there are references to an obituary in the Cumberland News reporting that as an Assistant Master at Lowther St School, Carlisle, he was a cyclist, keen on athletics, a member of Stanwix church choir, and the secretary of a local tennis club. Carlisle in the Great War, by David Carter, also records that he was secretary of the Carlisle Sports Committee, and was known for organising charity events. Bolt was also a Freemason and may have been a member since his days at Bede College. In 1898 he married Jane Firth and they had a son Henry Spencer in 1902 and a daughter Mary Helena in 1909.
In 1915 at the age of 43 he enlisted in the Army Service Corps at the Cumberland and Westmorland Depot, but quickly resigned from his post as Quartermaster Sergeant to join the draft and landed in France on 4 October 1915. He served there as a corporal, a lorry driver in the 402 Motor transport company which carried ammunition for 25th Brigade, Royal Garrison Artillery.
On 5 November 1917, while working from 4th Siege Park near Arras delivering supplies to the 1st Canadian Division in preparation for their successful assault the next day on Passchendaele Bolt’s vehicle was hit by a shell and he was briefly listed in the war diary (RG-9-III-D-3 vol. 5068) as missing. The operations of the Canadian forces at this date are summarised in the Official History of the Canadian Army in the First World War: Canadian Expeditionary Force 1914-1919. Bolt was repatriated due to his wounds, but died in Fazakerley Hospital Liverpool (1st Western General Hospital) on 13 January 1918, leaving a widow and two children, then living in Lowther Street. He is buried in Dalston Road Cemetery Carlisle, and commemorated on his parent’s gravestone in Stanwix Cemetery and the war memorial there, and on the war memorial at Carlisle Cemetery. He is also honoured on the Bede College 1914-1918 Cross, Plaque, and Roll of Honour.