Remembered Today: Gunner 48865 John BOYD, D Battery 312 Bgde Royal Field Artillery, HAC Cemetery Ecoust-St Main
Service No: 48865
Date of Death: 26/05/1917
Regiment/Service: Royal Field Artillery
"D" Bty. 312th Bde.
Grave Reference III. B. 26.
Cemetery H.A.C. CEMETERY, ECOUST-ST. MEIN
Son of Patrick and Ellen Boyd, of Knockmore, Moss-side, Co. Antrim.
John Boyd's MIC records him under 32nd Brigade RFA, shows he qualified for the 1914 Star entering theater 23-Aug-1914. It would therefore appear John was a regular soldier (enlisting in Glasgow) , and at some stage was posted to the Territorial 312th Brigade. The 32nd Brigade RFA were part of the 6th Division's artillery, who were engaged on the Marne, Aisne, Messines 1914, 2nd Ypres and the Somme.
The 312th Brigade were a Territorial Force unit and part of the 62nd (West Riding) Division, a second line TF formation. On the 23rd December 1916 the 62nd Divisional Artillery was given orders to deploy to France, and arrived in Le Harvre 17th January 1916. After initially supporting various divisions on the Somme, the Brigade moved north in April 1917 to support the 62nd Division in the Battle of Arras. They subsequently moved to the area of Bullecourt.
The incident that killed Gunner John Boyd is recorded in the War services of the 62nd West Riding Divisional Artillery (page 16)
On the 26th May a sad disaster occurred in D/312 Howitzer Battery. The camouflage over one of the howitzers caught fire and blazed up. It was merely a question of a few moments when the flames should reach the ammunition and cause a terrible
explosion, but there was a slight chance of the fire being put out in time, and Capt. H. B. Gallimore, who was temporarily commanding the battery, with Lieut. G.Hardy and a party of N.C.O.'s and men, made a gallant attempt to extinguish the flames. Unfortunately their efforts were vain, and there was a tremendous explosion.
Poor Gallimore was killed, and also ten others (including all the six "Numbers One" of the battery), while Hardy was dangerously wounded, and also five gunners more or less severely. The loss of two such officers and six of the most valuable N.C.O.'s was a very serious blow to D/312, but the splendid act of devotion, in which they sacrificed their brave young lives, conferred a lustre not only on their own battery, but on the whole of the Divisional Artillery, and will not soon be forgotten. Hardy, unhappily, died of his wounds on the 28th.
John Boyd is buried with his comrades in the H.A.C. CEMETERY, ECOUST-ST. MEIN