Reginald was born in 1896 in Dublin, Ireland - his father was serving in the British Army and the family were stationed in Ireland. He was the son of John B. Bolton and Annie I. Bolton (nee Parkin). The 1901 census records Reginald, aged 5, living with his parents, 2 brothers and 4 sisters at 46 Aldred Road, Sheffield, Nether Hallam, Yorks. His father was then retired from the Army and working for a Solicitor as a receiving clerk. In 1911 census records Reginald living with his parents, and 4 sisters, at 21 Nelson Street, Rotherham, Yorks. His occupation is given as an Apprentice Pattern Maker, in the Iron and Steel Works. Reginald enlisted in Chesterfield, Derbyshire.