John Boyle

John Boyle

Personal Details

Born in Whitchurch in 1882, the second son of Patrick and Margaret Boyle.

Husband of Ellen (nee Owen) Boyle of 41a Newtown Street, Whitchurch, father of George.

John worked for the Local Foundry (W H Smith) erecting Dutch Barns. He enlisted in August 1914.

Military Details

Regiment : 32nd Divisional Signals Company, Royal Engineers

Rank : Driver
Service Number : 44019

Died of Wounds; France 16th September 1917 Age 35

Medals and Awards
John was awarded the Campaign Medals (British War Medal and Allied Victory Medal)

Campaign Medals

Great War History Hub Whitchurch Shropshire Medals Front Image

The British War Medal (also known as 'Squeak') was a silver or bronze medal awarded to officers and men of the British and Imperial Forces who either entered a theatre of war or entered service overseas between 5th August 1914 and 11th November 1918 inclusive. This was later extended to services in Russia, Siberia and some other areas in 1919 and 1920. Approximately 6.5 million British War Medals were issued. Approximately 6.4 million of these were the silver versions of this medal. Around 110,000 of a bronze version were issued mainly to Chinese, Maltese and Indian Labour Corps. The front (obv or obverse) of the medal depicts the head of George V. The recipient's service number, rank, name and unit was impressed on the rim.

The Allied Victory Medal (also known as 'Wilfred') was issued by each of the allies. It was decided that each of the allies should each issue their own bronze victory medal with a similar design, similar equivalent wording and identical ribbon. The British medal was designed by W. McMillan. The front depicts a winged classical figure representing victory. Approximately 5.7 million victory medals were issued. Interestingly, eligibility for this medal was more restrictive and not everyone who received the British War Medal ('Squeak') also received the Victory Medal ('Wilfred'). However, in general, all recipients of 'Wilfred' also received 'Squeak' and all recipients of The 1914 Star or The 1914/1915 Star (also known as 'Pip') also received both 'Squeak' and 'Wilfred'. The recipient's service number, rank, name and unit was impressed on the rim.

Further Information

Letter attached to Army record of John Boyle

"Dear Sir,
The above named soldier died in hospital in France 16th September last. His mother Mrs Margaret Boyle of 29 Yardington, Whitchurch has been given a separation allowance of 7/4d per week since his enlistment in August 1914, but has had to pay 4/- per week out of the allowance towards maintenance of the soldier's child, a boy, five years old. Mrs Boyle tells me that his wife left him to live with another man. The soldier enlisted as a single man, claiming an allotment to his mother. Nothing has been claimed and therefore nothing paid in respect of the child. Mrs Boyle is a very poor women and suffering great privation owing to her advanced age and consequently inability to work. If anything can be done to grant an allowance for the child, I shall be grateful if you could assist in the matter anyway.
Whitchurch W. E. M. Committee,
12 St Marys Street. Whitchurch, Shropshire"

Letter attached to the Army record of John Boyle September 1917

If you can provide any further information on John Boyle please get in touch by leaving a comment below, using our Contact Form or by calling in to Whitchurch Heritage Centre.

Information provided by Terry Evanson Whitchurch, Shropshire and Whitchurch Museum and Archives


John Boyle — 2 Comments

  1. Ellen had been previously married to Henry Owen and had 2 children with him. Her maiden name was Madders.
    Ellen and John married on 21 January 1911 at St. George’s RC church, Whitchurch, Shropshire.

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