The Hon. Alan Reginald BOYLE

Royal Flying Corps
                             Formerly Royal Scots Fusiliers  

Rank & Number:   

08 October 1886; Ayr  

                     10 October 1958; Dalry, Ayrshire  

                    Mentioned In Despatches; Air Force Cross
                              Brother of The Hon. James, The Hon. John
                              David, and Patrick, Earl of Glasgow

was born 08 Oct 1886 in Ayr, to parents David, 7th Earl of Glasgow, and Dorothea Elizabeth Thomasina Hunter Blair (who married on 23 July 1873).  He died on 10 Oct 1958 in Dalry, Ayrshire, aged 72, and is buried in Largs Cemetery.  The inscription reads “Per ardua ad astra, Hon. Alan Boyle, A.F.C. 1886-1958; a pioneer of aviation; they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up on eagles; and the ashes of his wife Isabella Julia 1893-1978.  RIP”  

On 5 Feb 1916 at St. John’s Church, Redhill, Surrey, he married Isabel Julia Hull.  They had two children – Fenella Frances Dora and Jean Isabel.                                                                                                        

In the 1891 Census, Alan, aged 4, is living at Kelburn Castle, Fairlie with parents David, Earl of Glasgow (57, b. Edinburgh, Convenor of Ayrshire, retired RN Captain) and Dorothea, Countess of Glasgow (40, b. Edinburgh), and siblings Edward G (15), Augusta (14), Alice (13), Dorothy (12), James (11), and John (6)  

In the 1911 Census, he is aged 24, and is living 9 Montpellier Square SW, Mayfair & Knightsbridge, London with parents David, Earl of Glasgow (78) and Dora, Countess of Glasgow (60), and brother John (26)    


Named in the Ardrossan & Saltcoats Herald Roll of Honour in December 1914 (Boyle, Lieut. the Honourable Alan R., Fairlie Craig, Fairlie, RSF).  He served with both the Royal Scots Fusiliers and the Royal Flying Corps (as a balloon officer).  His medal index card shows first theatre of war entered was France on 11 May 1915.  He received the 1914-15 Star (with the RSF) and the British War and Victory medals (with the RFC), was mentioned in despatches, and was awarded the Air Force Cross.


Flight Global Archive, 31 October 1958   

The Hon. Alan Boyle:  We regret to record that the Hon. Alan Reginald Boyle, A.F.C., younger brother of the Earl of Glasgow and a pioneer British aviator, died suddenly on October 15 at the age of 72.   
   He took part in the 1910 Bournemouth international meeting, flying the Avis monoplane which he had built himself and which is now preserved in the Science Museum, South Kensington.  Unfortunately the machine turned over during a landing on rough ground and Boyle was thrown out, receiving severe head injuries from which he never fully recovered and which put an end to his flying career.  He received the A.F.C. for his service as a balloon officer in the R.F.C. in the First World War; from 1932 to 1945 he was president of the Scottish Gliding Union; and he also served as chairman of the aviation committee of the Scottish Council for Industry.


  Model of the Scottish Aeroplane Syndicate Avis Monoplane flown
  by Hon. Alan Boyle

Hon. Alan Boyle’s flying helmet

Painting of the Scottish Aeroplane Syndicate Avis Monoplane flown by Hon. Alan Boyle

Extracts from the Largs & Millport Weekly News:-

21 November 1914     

The Hon. Alan R. Boyle left on Monday to join the Royal Scots Fusiliers.  All Lord Glasgow’s sons are now engaged in the country’s service  

15 May 1915
2nd Lieut. the Hon. Alan Boyle, who joined the army after the outbreak of war, is now at the front with his regiment  

22 January 1916        
The engagement is announced of The Hon. Alan Boyle, R.S.F. and R.F.C., third surviving son of the late Earl of Glasgow, to Miss Isabel Hull, only unmarried daughter of E. Hull, Esq., Earlswood, Surrey.  

12 February 1916
The Hon. Alan and Mrs Boyle have arrived at Fairlie Craig on their wedding tour.  Hearty congratulations and good wishes are the sentiments of the villagers.  

23 February 1918  
Captain the Hon. Alan Boyle, youngest son of the Dowager Countess of Glasgow, was on board the Osmanch when she was torpedoed recently and has had a very thrilling experience.  He was rescued after having been in the water for 35 minutes, in a very exhausted condition, but we are glad to see he is now very well and none the worse for his experience.    

Extracts from other newspapers:-  

Aberdeen Journal, 23 March 1915

Promotions in the Army; From the “London Gazette”:  Regular Army, Infantry – Service Battalions:  Royal Scots Fusiliers, 6th Battalion – The Hon. A.R. Boyle to be temporary Lieutenant.  

Aberdeen Journal, 19 January 1916
Naval and Military Appointments; From the “London Gazette”: Royal Flying Corps (Military Wing):  The undermentioned appointments are made:- Balloon officers (dated Dec. 8) – Temp. Lieut. The Hon. A.R. Boyle, Royal Scots Fusiliers, and to be transferred to the general list  

Surrey Mirror, 4 February 1916
County Jottings:  The marriage arranged between the Hon. Alan R., Royal Flying Corps, and Miss Isabel Hull, will take place in St. John’s Church, Redhill, on Saturday next, 5th inst, at 2.30pm.  There will be no reception, but all friends will be welcome at the church.  Train leaves Victoria at 1.25pm for Earlswood, where friends from London will be met.

Profile Images © National Portrait Gallery, London by Bassano Ltd.
Model Aeroplane, Flying Helmet and Aeroplane Painting Images Courtesy of Lord Glasgow
Flight Pioneers & Newspaper Extract Courtesy of
Grace's Guide to British Industrial History

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Fairlie Community Association SCIO
Scottish Charity No. SC028785