Florence and Henry Bolton

men and women in uniform making an arch with wooden pikes over married couple

Henry and Florence with ATS and Royal Artillery comrades on their wedding day

Florence and Henry Bolton met while serving in the Liverpool Rifles just before the Second World War. They were married for nearly fifty years and devoted much of their time to the Royal British Legion.

Florence Moore was born in Wavertree in 1905. For twenty years she worked in the café of Boots the Chemist. She married in 1937 but George her husband died just ten months later and Florence miscarried her baby. She found comfort from her family and also from membership of the new Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS), which was formed to enable women to serve in the Army. As a Corporal Cook she supervised a large canteen at Mather Avenue for the Liverpool Rifles, a Territorial Army battalion of the King's Regiment. She later trained in experimental searchlights and served with an anti-aircraft unit in Nottinghamshire during the war.

Henry Bolton was born in 1910 and grew up in Old Swan. In 1929 he joined the Liverpool Rifles. In 1936 the Liverpool Rifles were converted into an anti-aircraft searchlight unit as part of the preparations for war. In 1943 Henry was transferred to the Pioneer Corps and in 1944-1945 served in France, Holland and Germany. After the war he was an assistant electrician at the Clarence Dock Power Station.

Group photo of women in uniform at an army barracks

Florence, back row third from left, in the ATS during the war

Florence remained in the ATS after the war, which was re-formed as the Women's Royal Army Corps, and was attached to 573 Anti-Aircraft Regiment in Liverpool. Florence and Henry were reunited when he joined the same Regiment in 1947 and the following year they married.

Florence left the Territorials when 573 Regiment was disbanded in 1955. Henry finally retired in 1967 after serving for 36 years. He and Florence continued to work voluntarily for the Royal British Legion. Florence was a standard bearer for the Tuebrook branch and they were active poppy sellers each November. Henry died in 1997 and Florence the following year.

Florence's ATS uniform was displayed in the City Soldiers gallery in the former Museum of Liverpool Life.

Smiling elderly couple with medals on their winter coats

Henry and Florence at a Remembrance Day Parade