CWG: Private Edgar Boyland

Private Edgar Boyland

Edgar Albert Boyland (known as Albert) was born in the summer of 1894, the third of eight children to John and Sarah Boyland. John was a farm labourer from Chaffcombe in Somerset, but is was in nearby Chard that the family were born and raised.

Albert followed in his father’s footsteps and, when he finished school, he found work on a local farm. The 1911 census recorded him boarding with the Boait family in Winsham, to the south east of Chard. He was living there along with another boarder, a baker called Fred Baker, and his influence seems to have paid off, as, by the time war was declared in 1914, baking was the trade that he had taken up.

With the conflict declared, Albert was called upon to play his part. in April 1915, he enlisted in the Army Service Corps. His records show that he stood 5ft 5.5ins (1.66m) tall and he gave his trade as baker. This was the trade that served him well, as is it the one for which he was employed.

Private Boyland was sent to France within a few weeks of enlisting. In November 1915, he was sent to Salonika, Greece, and spent the next couple of years in the Eastern Mediterranean providing food for the troops.

In December 1917, Albert returned to England where, within a couple of months, he was medically discharged from active duty. Sadly, there is nothing documented to confirm the condition that led to him leaving the army, but it seems likely to have been an illness of some description.

At this point, Albert’s trail goes cold. He passed away on 19th February 1919; again the cause of his death is lost to time. He was just 24 years of age.

Edgar Albert Boyland was laid to rest in Chard Cemetery, not far from where his family still lived.

Private Arthur Boyland

Two rows back from Private Albert Boyland’s headstone is another Commonwealth War Grave, dedicated to another Boyland. This is from the Second World War, and identifies the resting place of Albert’s cousin.

Arthur James Boyland was born on 21st October 1908, one of nine children to Arthur’s uncle and aunt, Joseph and Julia Boyland. Joseph worked at an iron foundry, but is seems that Arthur was destined for other things. While a lot of his life is lost to time, but the time of the 1939 Register, he was working as a dental mechanic in Chard.

Arthur had married Bessie Hopkins in 1936; the couple went on to have three children.

When the Second World War was declared, Arthur had a role to play; he enlisted as a Private in the Royal Army Dental Corps. Sadly, details of his service are not available; he survived the war, however, and returned to Chard afterwards.

Arthur James Boyland passed away at home on 14th December 1947, at just 39 years of age. He was laid to rest in Chard Cemetery.

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