2nd Lieutenant Gavin Boyd

Biography of 2nd Lieutenant Gavin Boyd

Gavin Boyd was born on the 6th March 1890 in Cumbernauld, Dunbartonshire, son of John and Christina D Boyd. His father, John, was a Crown Forester in Ford, Argyllshire, having joined the Royal Scottish Arboricultural Society in 1883. He was well known for his work on afforestation of upland areas and previously worked on the Corrour Estate for John Stirling Maxwell, founder member of the National Trust for Scotland. The Crown Forester’s House in Ford is now the Crown House Bed & Breakfast.

Gavin was educated at Shawlands Academy in Glasgow. He then became an apprentice analytical chemist with the Glasgow firm Tatlock & Thomson City Analysts, which was founded in 1891 and today provides analytical services primarily for the wine and spirit industry. In 1907, the 17-year-old apprentice enrolled as an evening student at the Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College, forerunner of the University of Strathclyde. The register of students records his occupation as ‘Analytical Chemist’ and his address as Kennishead, Thornliebank. Gavin continued his evening studies throughout the next four years, following a prescribed curriculum in Chemistry. He gained first-class certificates of merit for many of his subjects and qualified for the Senior Course Certificate of the College in Chemistry in 1912. By that time, he was aged 22 and living on Dolphin Road in the Maxwell Park area of Glasgow.

Gavin spent the next three years attending the University of Glasgow, where he took a variety of scientific subjects including Natural Philosophy and Mathematics and gained prizes in Chemistry, Geology and Botany. He became a member of the University Officer Training Corps in 1914, and joined the Infantry in December of that year as a temporary 2nd Lieutenant. In March 1915, he was confirmed as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 9th Battalion (otherwise known as the Dumbartonshire Battalion), Princess Louise's Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. From February 1916, he again served as a temporary 2nd Lieutenant with the Royal Engineers.

2nd Lieutenant Gavin Boyd was killed in action in France on 13th July 1916, at the age of 26, and is buried in the Berles Position Military Cemetery, south west of Arras. At the time of his death he was serving with the Royal Engineers. He was awarded the Victory Medal and the British War Medal which were passed to his mother Christina , as were his other effects.

As well as appearing on the University of Glasgow memorial, Gavin Boyd is remembered on The Institute of Chemistry Memorial. This was unveiled in 1920 at the Institute’s premises in Russell Square in London, and later moved to Burlington House in 1989. He is also remembered on the Shawlands Academy War Memorial , now in Shawlands Primary School in Pollokshaws Road, and in the Book of Remembrance in Pollokshields East Church.

Gavin Boyd has connections with other fallen students from the Science faculty, attending the same first year Natural Philosophy class as George Douglas Chew. During his time at the University, Gavin lived in Dolphin Road in Pollokshaws, the same address as civil engineering graduate Allan Watt Izat for 1913 and 1914.


2nd Lieutenant Gavin Boyd
Rank: 2nd Lieutenant
Regiment: 4th Bn. Royal Engineers
Degree: Student
Awards: N/A
Comments: Killed in action, 13 July 1916
Note/Press Clipping: Ch 4/4/2/3/646
Photo ID: N/A


R8/1/13 University of Glasgow Matriculation Album 1908

R8/1/14 University of Glasgow Matriculation Album 1913 – 18

Ch 4/4/2/3/646 Chapel Clipping

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“Conquering the Highlands: A history of the afforestation of the Scottish uplands”, K. Jan Oosthoek page 54 https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=CLJ2K1-P-QEC&pg=PA54&lpg=PA54&dq=john+boyd+afforestation&source=bl&ots=EaZXNcK9BV&sig=-oGDoc1s_IVggcfMGudyvUY445Q&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi6-4K8s4HLAhVL7RQKHZ_GDzAQ6AEIRjAI#v=onepage&q=john%20boyd%20afforestation&f=false : accessed 18 February 2016

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R8/5/33/1 Matriculation album 1912-1913 Men A- B

R8/5/34/1 Matriculation album 1913-1914 Men A- B

R8/5/35/1 Matriculation album 1914-1915 Men A- B

SEN10/55 Vol 50 University calendar 1913 - 1914

SEN10/56 Vol 51 University calendar 1914 - 1915

SEN10/57 Vol 52 University calendar 1915 - 1916

Tatlock & Thomson website http://www.tatlockandthomson.com/sub/history.htm : accessed 18 February 2016

The London Gazette Publication date:22 December 1914 Supplement:29017 Page:11028

The London Gazette Publication date:12 March 1915 Supplement:29099 Page:2602

The London Gazette Publication date:22 February 1916 Supplement:29488 Page:2081

British Army WWI Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914 – 1920 http://search.ancestry.co.uk//cgi-bin/sse.dll?gss=angs-c&new=1&rank=1&gsfn=gavin&gsfn_x=XO&gsln=boyd&gsln_x=1&cpxt=1&cp=11&MSAV=1&uidh=yby&pcat=39&h=2978696&recoff=9+10&db=MedalRolls&indiv=1&ml_rpos=13 : accessed 18 February 2016?

Register of Soldiers' Effects 1901 – 1929 http://search.ancestry.co.uk/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv=1&db=ukarmyregisterseffects&gss=angs-d&new=1&rank=1&gsfn=gavin&gsfn_x=0&gsln=boyd&gsln_x=1&cpxt=1&cp=11&MSAV=1&uidh=yby&pcat=MIL_LISTS&fh=0&h=241902&recoff=3+4&ml_rpos=1 : accessed 18 February 2016

The Scottish War Memorials Project website http://warmemscot.s4.bizhat.com/warmemscot-ftopic6964.html : accessed 18 February 2016

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R9/1/19 Class Catalogue 1912 - 1913

DC/183/11/40 General Council Register of Members 1913

DC/183/11/41 General Council Register of Members 1914

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