Sir Dennis Boles, 1st Baronet

Sir Dennis Fortescue Boles, 1st Baronet CBE, DL (6 September 1861 – 26 July 1935), was a British Conservative politician and Baronet of Bishop's Lydeard in Somerset, England.

Boles was the son of Reverend James Thomas Boles of Ryll Court, Exmouth, Devon. He was educated at Bradfield School and Exeter College, Oxford.[1] He was returned to Parliament for Wellington, Somerset, in 1911, a seat he held until 1918, and then sat for Taunton from 1918 to 1921.[2][3] Apart from his political career Boles was also Lieutenant-Colonel commanding the 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion, Devonshire Regiment, from 1910,[4][5][6][7] a Justice of the Peace and Deputy Lieutenant of Somerset and for 1923 the High Sheriff of Somerset. He was made a CBE in 1919 and in 1922 he was created a baronet, of Bishop's Lydeard in the County of Somerset.[8]

Boles married Beatrice, daughter of John Lysaght, in 1894. He died in July 1935, aged 74, and was succeeded in the baronetcy by his second but eldest surviving son Gerald. His eldest son, 2nd Lt. Hastings Fortescue Boles, was killed in action in France on 24 May 1915 while serving with the Royal Flying Corps. Lady Boles died in 1939.

Sir Dennis was also a cricketer,[1] and did much to popularise the Exmouth Club. During 2​12 years of the Great War he commanded his Special Reserve battalion of the Devonshire Regiment training thousands of reinforcements for the regiment,[9] from which he retired in February 1917 after 32 years service in it. His total command was seven years, and on his retirement was specially mentioned by the Secretary at War for his valuable services.

Sir Dennis founded two private hunting packs, which were for some years run entirely at his own expense. In 1931 he resigned the Mastership of the Quantock Staghounds, but continued as popular leader of the West Somerset Hunt, where he completed 31 years’ Mastership — a record.[10] He was a former president of Somerset County Cricket Club.

Sir Dennis entered Parliament in 1911, upon the elevation to the peerage of Lord St Audries, and was returned for Wellington.

Up to his death Sir Dennis was president of Taunton Division Conservative Association, and in August 1917 succeeded Lord St. Audries as president of the West Somerset Farmers' Club. He was High Sheriff of Somerset in 1923. Sir Dennis was a supporter of the Taunton and Somerset Hospital, of which he was a life-governor, and he had been president on two occasions. He was also president of Taunton Motor Club, Assistant County Commissioner for the Boy Scouts and Chairman of the Bishops Lydeard Bank.


  1. ^ a b "Dennis Boles". Cricket Archive. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
  2. ^ "Lieut-Colonel Dennis Boles". They work for you. Retrieved 27 February 2013.
  3. ^ "Lieut-Colonel Dennis Boles". Hansard. Retrieved 27 February 2013.
  4. ^ Army List.
  5. ^ "Dennis Coleridge Boles". National Portrait Gallery. Retrieved 27 February 2013.
  6. ^ "Lieutenant Colonel Dennis Fortescue Sir BOLES. The Devonshire Regiment". National Archives. Retrieved 27 February 2013.
  7. ^ "London Gazette July 28, 1908" (PDF). London Gazette. Retrieved 27 February 2013.
  8. ^ "No. 32733". The London Gazette. 28 July 1922. p. 5593.
  9. ^ 3rd (Special Reserve) Bn Devons in WWI at The Keep Military Museum.
  10. ^ Wimbush, Emily. "Great loss to Quantock Staghunting". Henry Wimbush. Retrieved 27 February 2013.
  • Western Morning News — Obituary 27 July 1935 (edited)

External linksEdit

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Sir Alexander Fuller-Acland-Hood
Member of Parliament for Wellington, Somerset
Constituency abolished
Preceded by
Sir Gilbert Wills
Member of Parliament for Taunton
Succeeded by
Sir Arthur Griffith-Boscawen
Baronetage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baronet
(of Bishop's Lydeard)
Succeeded by
Gerald Fortescue Boles