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18050 Lieutenant Robert Wesley Bothamley – HQ Staff, Ships’ Permanent Quarter Master

Robert Westley Bothamley was born in Wellington on the 9th December 1888. Robert was the third son, and fourth of seven children born to Arthur Thomas and Elizabeth (ne Poulton) Bothamley.[i]

Arthur Thomas Bothamley, trained in the legal profession and from 1892 was the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod,
a parliament position, from 1892 to 1934.[ii]

Robert Westley Bothamley was educated in Wellington going to Wellington College and then Victoria University. At Victoria University in 1911 Robert is credited with passing  Matriculation and Solicitors’ General Knowledge.[iii]

Robert was a clerk in the Wellington branch of the Union Bank of Australia before joining, as a law clerk, the legal firm of Young and Tripe.[iv]

On the 7th June 1916 Robert entered Featherston Camp with the 19th
Reinforcements as 18050 Lieutenant Robert Westley Bothamley, New Zealand Field
Artillery. Lieutenant Bothamley’s military file notes that he had served from 1915
as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Wellington Garrison Artillery.

Robert Westley Bothamley married Doris Evelyn Gear (notes), while he was at
Featherston, the newspaper report listing that Doris was the youngest daughter of
Ruth and the late James Gear. James Gear had created the Gear Meat Company,
Wellington.


Lieutentant Robert Westley and Doris Evelyn (Eva) Bothamley  - 24 July 1916 


While training with the 19th on the 3rd November 1916 while on a training exercise
with the No 1 Battery, near Morrison’s Bush, Masterton Lieutenant Bothamley’s
horse reared and fell. Lieutenant Bothamley was trapped under the horse and
injured.[v]

Because of Lieutenant Bothamley’s injury he was transferred to Head Quarters staff
on the 22nd November 1916 and then on the 8th June 1917 as the Quarter Master
on His Majesty’s New Zealand Transport Maunganui. HMNZT Maunganui was carrying the;  26th Reinforcements NZEF, 18th Reinforcements Maori and 26th Reinforcements NZ Rifle Brigade.

The Mauganui arrived in England on the 15th August 1917 by then he had been declared as medically unfit and was shipped back to New Zealand and discharged, on the 12th December 1917, from the NZEF and returned as a 2nd Lieutenant of the Wellington Garrison Artillery.

After the war Robert Westley Bothamley went farming in the Otaki before returning to Porirua and a law practice in
Porirua. Robert and Doris lived in the Gear Homestead, Porirua and Robert and Doris also owned a property in Titahi Bay, on what is now known as Bothamley Lane[vi].

Robert was a councillor on the Makara County Council representing the Porirua / Titahi Bay Riding, he also was a member of the Hutt Power Board for a number of years. Doris was involved in the Plunket movement in the Porirua District.

Doris Evelyn (Eva) Bothamley died in 1956.

Robert Westley Bothamley continued to live at the Gear Homestead after Eva’s death he died on the 14th April 1967.

The Bothamleys' are remembered with the naming of Bothamley Park, Porirua East.

Notes
Two dates are listed for the Bothamley-Gear wedding NZ BDM 1915/13588 (13th April 1915) and Newspaper / Military files 24th July 1916. The photo of Elizabeth & Robert show Robert in the uniform of a Lieutenant.
Four of the Bothamley brothers served in WW1; Lieutenant Commander Grafton Francis Bothamley -  Royal Naval Reserve, 2nd Lieutenant Henry Hall Dare Bothamley – Royal Flying Corps, Private Charles Mildmay Bothamley – 27th Reinforcements. One sister Phyllis Lucinda Bothamley worked in the New Zealand Club, London during the war.  

References
NZ BDM
Paperspast Online
Archwat Archives New Zealand Military Files: 18050 Lieutenant Robert Westley Bothamley

Photo
Lieutenant Robert Westley and Doris Evelyn (Eva) Bothamley, 24th July 1916: Pataka Museum P-2-29
HMNZT Maunganui - 1916: Alexander Turnbull 1/2-014623-G

[i] NZ BDM
[ii] Black Rod, 29th June 1934, Christchurch Press
[iii] Examination Results, 20th January 1911, Evening Post
[iv] Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files: 18050 Lieutenant Robert Westley Bothamley
[v] Court of Enquiry, 13th November 1916, Military Files 18050 Lieutenant Robert Westley Bothamley.
[vi] Anzac Stories, 22nd April 2014, Kapi Mana News 
HMNZT Maunganui - 1916