Lieutenant James Cameron Boyd

Biography of Lieutenant James Cameron Boyd

James Cameron Boyd was born in Kilmarnock on the 17th April 1890, and was the son of Robert Boyd, a teacher, and elder brother to Gordon Boyd.

James was educated at Kilmarnock Academy, with the school records describing him as "one of the Academy's best known and most distinguished pupils. His intellectual gifts made him a conspicuous figure throughout his school life, particularly in his work for the Literary Society, and his buoyant spirits and bright nature endeared him to all his fellows".

After completing an excellent career at Kilmarnock Academy, James continued to excel in his studies after enrolling to study modern languages at the University of Glasgow. In his first year he took classes in Latin, Maths and French, followed in his second with classes in English, Logic and German. James was awarded a First Class Certificate for French Language and Literature in his first year. As he was an Honours student, his final two years were spent taking Honours classes in French and German. He was awarded a First Class Certificate for German in his third year, as well as winning a prize offered by the Minister of Public Instruction in France for the most distinguished student in French. He graduated with a Second Class MA Honours degree in French and German on the 16th of November 1911.

Having graduated, James then undertook a degree in Law, studying Continental Law and History, Civil Law, and Internation Law in his first year. In his second he studied Scots Law, Jurisprudence, and Forensic Medicine, and was awarded a class prize for eminence in his Scots Law examinations, as well as a First Class Certificate for Forensic Medicine. In his final year he studied Conveyancing and Evidence and Procedure; both of which he won prizes in. He was awarded the degree of LL.B, and graduated on the 14th November 1914.

James' final year at University saw the outbreak of the First World War. James joined the University's Officers Training Corps, but was rejected for a commision in the infantry on medical grounds. Undaunted, he joined the Royal Field Artillery at Piershill Barracks as a driver. He trained as a signaller and showed such aptitude that he was selected for a commission in the artillery, and upon being gazetted, he proceeded overseas. While on military service, James suffered an injury to one of his eyes whilst acting as Forward Observation Officer for his battery, and this wound cost him the sight of said eye. He was granted the Military Cross for his gallant conduct while his battery was in action.

The injury to his eye meant James was forced to return to Scotland to recover. After a long convalescence he returned to his private work, and set up his own Law Practice. However the injury to his eye meant surgery became necessary, and while the treatment was at first successful, complications set in and James died in June 1920.


Lieutenant James Cameron Boyd
Rank: Lieutenant
Regiment: Royal Field Artillery
Degree: MA LLB
Awards: Military Cross
Comments: Died June 1920 due to complications from injury received in battle.
Note/Press Clipping: N/A
Photo ID: N/A


University of Glasgow Registry Records (List of MA Graduates: R1/1/1, List of LL.B Graduates: R1/3/1, Matriculation Books: R8/5/30/1, R8/5/31/1, R8/5/32/1, R8/5/33/1, R8/5/34/1, Prize Lists: R7/3/5+6, University Calendars: SEN10/50-57).

With thanks to David McNay for providing us with further information.

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