Regiment:               Highland Light Infantry, 16th Btn  

Rank & Number:     
Private, 14975  

04 October 1880; Burnfoot, Fairlie  

                        18 October 1948; Greenock Royal Infirmary 


JOHN BOYD was born 04 Oct 1880 at Burnfoot, Fairlie, to parents William, a ships carpenter, and Jessie Fraser (who married 29 Dec 1871).  He died at Greenock Royal Infirmary on 18 Oct 1948 of coronary thrombosis (aged 68, single, joiner (ret.), residence Red House, Burnfoot, Fairlie) – the informant is his sister Mina of the same address.   He is buried in Largs Cemetery (X61B, inscription “our brother John Boyd d. 18 October 1948 aged 67”).  

In the 1881 Census, John, aged 6m, is living Burnfoot, Fairlie with parents William (40, b. Largs, ship carpenter) and Jessie (36, b. Campbeltown), and siblings Archibald M (11), Alexander (6), Agnes W (4)  

In the 1891 Census, aged 10, he is living The Gondola, Fairlie, with widowed mother Jessie Boyd (46, annuitant) and siblings Agnes (14, domestic servant), Willimina (7) and Ninian (7). 
Note – father William drowned in 1883, crew of the Amy.

In the 1901 Census, John, aged 20 and a house joiner, is living Burnfoot House, Fairlie with mother Jessie (57, living on own means) and siblings Agnes (24), Ninian (17) and Mina (17). 

In the 1911 Census his mother and siblings are living Red House, Fairlie, but John is not in the household.    

The Largs & Millport Weekly News reported that he joined the 2nd Glasgow Battalion on 22 Oct 1914.  He was wounded in the early days of the Battle of the Somme in July 1916.  His medal index card shows first theatre of war entered was France on 23 Nov 1915, and he was demobilized 11 May 1919.  He received the 1914-15 Star, British War and Victory medals.

Extracts from the Largs & Millport Weekly News:-  

24 October 1914        

The roll of honour still grows.  Yesterday, Thursday, John Boyd, Burnfoot, joined the 2nd Glasgow Battalion.  

26 February 1916       
Fairlie Cigarette And Tobacco Fund:  Letters of thanks have lately been received from Trooper Wm. Balchin, Gunner James Ramsay, Private T. McLaughlin (Dardanelles Force), Private Alex. McLean (Salonica), Gunner Tom Messenger, Private John Boyd, Driver John Fraser, Corpl. Duncan Douglas (France), Sergt. A. Davis, Private John McLaughlan, Dan McCallum, and David Thomson (hospital).  

8 July 1916  
Mrs Boyd, Red House, Burnfoot, Fairlie, has received word that her son, Private John Boyd, H.L.I., has been wounded in the recent advance, and is lying in hospital in France.  We are sure Johnnie’s many Fairlie friends all hope he may have a speedy recovery.  

15 July 1916   
Private John Boyd, H.L.I., who was wounded in the recent fighting, has been removed to an infirmary in Leicester.  Private Boyd, who was wounded in the thigh, has been able to write home.  He has the best wishes of the villagers for a speedy recovery.  

7 October 1916          
Private John Boyd, H.L.I., who was wounded in the early days of the Battle of the Somme, is home on sick furlough.  We are glad to learn he is making a most satisfactory recovery.  

2 April 1920

Last Friday evening a large audience congregated in the Village Hall to hear Mr. John Boyd lecture on the subject of "The Attitude of the British Public to the Returned Service Men".  Mr. Boyd, who is one of our local war veterans took up the cudgels strongly on the behalf of the unemployed ex-soldier, and his difficulties in obtaining work.  Although the speaker had nothing new to tell us, no doubt a useful purpose may be served by rubbing it in.

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Fairlie Community Association SCIO
Scottish Charity No. SC028785