Saturday, August 30, 2014

Reverend Arthur Hamilton Boyd OBE MC TD

Arthur Hamilton Boyd was born in Edinburgh on 7th June 1869.  He was the son of Sir John and Lady Isabella Boyd (nee Lawson) of Maxpoffle, Roxburgh.  Sir John was Lord Provost of Edinburgh from 1888 to 1891.

Arthur had nine brothers and sisters including a twin brother, Alan Stuart Boyd.  One of his sisters, Bethia Theodora Boyd, the youngest of Sir John’s daughters, would later marry the vicar of St Peter’s Church, Chailey, The Reverend Thomas Harry Lee Jellicoe.

Arthur was educated at the Edinburgh Academy, graduating from Edinburgh Theological College in 1894 and at Woolwich Theological College.  From 1896 to 1898 he was curate at Chailey and from 1898 to 1901 was a clergyman at Hurstpierpoint, also in Sussex.

Presumably while he was at Chailey, Arthur met and married Penelope Elizabeth Blencowe of Bineham, Chailey.  Their marriage is recorded in the March quarter for 1898. The 1901 census notes Arthur (aged 31) and Penelope (aged 32) living at Hurstpierpoint with their two month old son, William Arthur Hamilton.  Later that year the family moved again, this time to Slaugham, where Arthur took up the position of rector, a post he would hold until 1928.

In 1903, Arthur and Penelope had a second son, James Hamilton, and two years after that, Arthur took up the post of Chaplain to the Forces, 3rd Class, attached to the 4th Royal Sussex Regiment.  There were various grades of chaplain, each grade carrying an equivalent army rank.  Fourth Class was equivalent to captain, Third Class to major, Second Class to lieutenant colonel and First Class to colonel. 

When war was declared, Arthur Boyd was appointed Acting Chaplain to the Forces 4th Class and posted to Divisional Troops, 3rd Cavalry Division British Expeditionary Force, France. In 1915 he was appointed Senior Chaplain 3rd Class, 3rd Cavalry Division and in November 1916 he was appointed Deputy Assistant Chaplain-General, 2nd Class, Cavalry Corps.

Chailey Parish Magazine first mentions Arthur Boyd in its November 1916 issue, noting that he is a temporary lieutenant colonel.

Arthur Hamilton Boyd led a distinguished military career. He was captain of the St Mary’s Slaugham company of the Church Lads’ Brigade and was decorated for gallantry.  He was awarded the Military Cross on 18th February 1915 for distinguished conduct in the field and was Mentioned in Despatches three times: 17th February 1915, 22nd June 1915 and 30th December 1918.  On 1st January 1919 in the King’s New Year’s Honours’ List, he was awarded the OBE (military) and this was followed up in August 1919 with the award of the Territorial Decoration.

On 23rd September 1919, the Reverend A H Boyd OBE, MC, TD, relinquished his commission and reverted to T/CF 3rd Class.  Arthur Boyd was also a member of the Junior Army & Navy Club, Whitehall and in 1921 was living at Slaugham Rectory, Haywards Heath, Sussex.

Arthur Boyd’s medals are held by The Royal Army Chaplain’s Department Museum (The Museum of Army Chaplaincy) at Amport House, Amport, near Andover, Hampshire.  The group consists of: OBE, MC, 1914 Star with clasp, British War Medal, Victory Medal with MID Oakleaf and his George V Territorial Decoration.  The photograph of his medals on this website is re-produced by kind permission of the trustees of The Museum of Army Chaplaincy. The photo of Reverend Boyd at the top of the is post is published with the permission of Alison Botterill to whom, many thanks.

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