Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
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6453   Lance Sergeant William Boyd
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Dated added: 30/12/2015   Last updated: 15/12/2018
Personal Details
Regiment/Service: 2nd Battalion, Irish Guards (British Army)
Date Of Birth: 23/03/1887
Died: 06/10/1915 (Died of Wounds)
Age: 28
Summary      
William Boyd was the son of John David and Eliza Boyd. William was born about 1887 near Pomeroy. His father was a farmer. William served in Limerick, Newry and Belfast with the Royal Irish Constabulary. Lance Sergeant William Boyd was serving with the 2nd Battalion of the Irish Guards when he was severely wounded by shell fire in the attack that followed during the Battle of Loos. He was taken to hospital in Dieppe, but he died of his wounds there on Wednesday 6th October 1915.
Lance Sergeant William Boyd
Further Information
William Boyd was the son of John David and Eliza Boyd. William was born about 1887 near Pomeroy.
GRONI records from Pomeroy are incomplete so, exact dates can only be speculated and it is possible he was born on 23rd March 1877 and that his mother’s maiden name swas Dolan.
Known family: John David Boyd, Eliza Boyd, Thomas Boyd 24 (born about 1877), Robert Boyd 22 (born about 1879), Annie Boyd 20 (born about 1881), William Boyd (born about 1887)
The 1901 census does not list William as living with the family at house 36 in Moboy, Killeenan, County Tyrone. His father was a farmer.
William served in Limerick and Newry as a Police Constable with the Royal Irish Constabulary.
It seems his father, John Boyd, died on 22nd February 1907 in the Pomeroy area, aged 68.
William Boyd, Police Constable RIC Newry, joined the Newry branch of the Masonic Lodge , No. 79 in 1909.
‘However having failed to present himself for initiation in accordance with the Lodge by-law No 8 it was proposed and unanimously passed by the Lodge at a meeting on 27th September 1909 that William Boyd be initiated without a new ballot. He was subsequently initiated by Worshipful Brother Henning. The Fellow Craft Degree was conferred by Worshipful Brother George Auterson on 26th October 1909. Master Mason Degree was again conferred by Worshipful Brother George Auterson. On 11th July 1911 Brother William Boyd received his Grand Lodge Certificate.’
The 1911 census does not list William as living with the family at house 22 in Moboy, Killeenan. His mother was a widow.
Constable William Boyd left Newry and was based at Craven Street Barracks, Belfast.
William Boyd enlisted with the Irish Guards. His RIC Service number was 61803 and his Guards Service number was 6453.
From an unknown newspaper: Constable W A Boyd
Constable W A Boyd, late of Newry R.I.C., who has joined the Irish Guards for active service. While stationed in the Frontier Town, Constable Boyd, who is a native of County Tyrone, proved an extremely popular officer, and carries with him the best wishes of the community for a safe return.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 9th January 1915:
Constable William A W Boyd, who is a native of Mabuoy. Pomeroy, and at present stationed at Craven Street, Belfast, has volunteered for Kitchener’s Army. He has been accepted for active service on the Irish Guards, and leaves next week for Chesterham for a short training before joining the battalion in France. Constable Boyd has nine years’ service on the R.I.C., six years of which were in Counties Limerick and Down, and the last three in Belfast.
Lance Sergeant William Boyd was serving with the 2nd Battalion of the Irish Guards when he was severely wounded by shell fire in the attack that followed during the Battle of Loos.
Lance Sergeant William Boyd was taken to hospital in Dieppe, but he died of his wounds there on Wednesday 6th October 1915.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 15th October 1915: Sergeant Boyd’s Last Wish
A melancholy interest relates to a letter just received from Sergeant William Boyd, 2nd Battalion Irish Guards, whose death is reported. Boyd, who was a native of Pomeroy, was a police constable in Craven Street Barracks, Belfast, when he volunteered for the Guards. His last letter to a comrade in that station, on the eve of the recent great battle, contains the following passage:
‘Just a line in haste to say I am well and have stuck some very stiff marches in order to get here. We are getting nearer the danger zone every minute, in fact we are right up to it now, and shall have the honour of taking part in one of the greatest battles in the world’s history. I must face it bravely and do my part well, as the fate of the Empire and future generations depend on what is about to be done and how we do it. If you do not get a personal correspondence from me in a few days you may guess what has happened; but death’s sting will lose its sharpness if I am spared long enough to see old England’s troops carrying the positions and proving victorious once more.’
The last hope of this splendid Ulsterman was granted. Mortally wounded by a shell storming the enemy position in a wood during the great advance, he was removed to Dieppe Hospital, where he lived long enough to hear the news of the great victory, and then he passed away quietly. The R.I.C. and the Army are poorer for his loss.
From the Tyrone Courier dated 21 October 1915: Pomeroy Soldier’s Last Letter
Newspaper Report
A melancholy interest attaches to a letter just received from Sergeant William Boyd, Irish Guards, who died in hospital in Dieppe from wounds received in a recent advance. Boyd, who was a native of Pomeroy, was a police constable in Belfast, when he volunteered. His last letter to a comrade in that station, on the eve of the recent great battle, contains the following:
“Just a line in haste to say I am well and have stuck some very stiff marches in order to get here. We are getting nearer the danger zone every minute, in fact we are right up to it now, and shall have the honor of taking part in one of the greatest battles in the world’s history. I must face it bravely and do my part well, as the fate of the Empire and future generations depend on what is about to be done and how we do it. If you do not get a personal correspondence from me in a few days you may guess what has happened; but death’s sting will lose its sharpness if I am spared long enough to see old England’s troops carrying the positions and proving victorious once more.”
From an unknown newspaper: Sergeant W Boyd
Sergeant W Boyd, Irish Guards, who died of wounds, received in Flanders, was one of the members of the Belfast Police Force who volunteered for service a few months ago. His relatives live near Pomeroy, and prior to coming to Belfast, he had served in Newry and Limerick.
Lance Sergeant W Boyd is buried in Janval Cemetery in Dieppe in France.
The CWGC record Lance Sergeant William Boyd as the son of Eliza Boyd of Mabuoy, Pomeroy, County Tyrone, and the late John David Boyd
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Relevant Cookstown Area Locations
No Location Region Location Notes Longtitude Latitude
1 Mabuoy, Pomeroy Pomeroy CWGC lists mother in Mabuoy 54.624661 -6.905496
References and Links
No Link Reference Map Doc
1 1901 Census lists Boyd family 1901 census does not list William as living with the family at house 36 in Moboy, Killeenan, Tyrone
2 1911 Census lists Boyd family 1911 census does not list William as living with the family at house 22 in Moboy, Killenan, Tyrone
3 Masonic Lodges, County Down Member of Masonic Lodge 79, Newry
4 National Archives UK Medal card can be purchased here
5 Presbyterian ROH Pomeroy William Boyd. Killed in action.
6 St Patrick’s Masonic Lodge No 79 Details of Lance Sergeant William Boyd
7 The Irish Guards / RIC Forum discussion listing casualties both RIC and Irish Guards. photos.
8 War Graves Photographic Project Photo of Lance Sergeant William Boyd's grave can be purchased here
Cookstown District's War Dead Acknowledgements 2010-2019