The Hon. John David Boyle

Regiment:              Royal Air Force
                              Formerly Royal Flying Corps  

Rank & Number:

08 July 1884; Shewalton, Dundonald, Ayrshire  

                     25 September 1974; Stranraer, Wigtonshire  

                   Mentioned In Despatches twice                                 
                             Distinguished Service Order Commander
                             Order of the British Empire
                             Brother of The Hon. James, The Hon. Alan and 
                             Patrick, Earl of Glasgow

(known as Jack) was born 08 Jul 1884 in Shewalton, Dundonald, Ayrshire, to parents David, 7th Earl of Glasgow, and Dorothea Elizabeth Thomasina Hunter Blair (who married on 23 July 1873).  He died on 25 Sep 1974 in Stranraer, Wigtonshire and is buried in Largs Cemetery.  The inscription reads “Air Commodore the Hon. J.D. Boyle, C.B.E., D.S.O., third son of David, 7th Earl of Glasgow 1884-1974”.  

He married firstly on 9 Dec 1913 at Kensington, London, Margaret Ethel Hodges (who died 1932), and secondly on 4 October 1934 at Marylebone, London, Marie Gibb.  He had two children with his first wife - Richard (who was killed during the crossing of the Rhine in 1945) and Peter Norman (who was killed in an air crash in 1960)  

In the 1891 Census, John, aged 6, 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 Alan (4)  

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


Named in the Ardrossan & Saltcoats Herald Roll of Honour in December 1914 (Boyle, Capt. Honourable J.D., Fairlie Craig, Fairlie, Flying Corps).  His medal index card shows he was a Captain in the Royal Flying Corps and Lieutenant Colonel in the Royal Air Force, and the first theatre of war entered was France in December 1914.  He received the 1914-15 Star and the British War and Victory medals; was mentioned twice in despatches, and was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) on 4/6/1917, was made a Cavalier of the Order of St. Maurice and St. Lazarus (Italian honour) on 2/11/1918, and was invested as Commander, Order of the British Empire (CBE) on 3/6/1919.  He remained with the Royal Air Force after the war, attaining the rank of Air Commodore, and retired at his own request.

Extracts from the Largs & Millport Weekly News:-  

26 December 1914     

The Countess of Glasgow left Fairlie on Tuesday night on a visit to her son, Lieut. the Hon. John Boyle, who is proceeding to the front.  

27 February 1915
Lieut. the Hon. J.D. Boyle, Royal Flying Corps, arrived home from the front for a few hours furlough on Tuesday.  He left again last night, Thursday.  

6 January 1917
Major the Hon. John Boyle, the brother of the Earl of Glasgow, who is a distinguished officer in the Royal Flying Corps, has been promoted to the rank of Lieut. Colonel.  

24 May 1917  
Lieut.-Colonel the Hon. J.D. Boyle, son of the Dowager Countess of Glasgow, was mentioned in Sir Douglas Haig’s recent dispatches.  This is the second time that Colonel Boyle has been mentioned in Sir Douglas Haig’s dispatches  

9 June 1917   
Lieut.-Colonel the Hon. John David Boyle, Royal Flying Corps, second surviving son of the Dowager Countess of Glasgow, who was recently for the second time mentioned in dispatches, has been awarded the Distinguished Service Order for services in France.  

6 October 1917          
Lieut.-Colonel the Hon. John D. Boyle, D.S.O., Royal Flying Corps, arrived in Fairlie at the end of last week on a short visit to the Dowager Countess of Glasgow at the Craig.  The gallant Colonel, who has been in France almost since the commencement of the war, is looking very fit and is optimistic of the early collapse of the enemy.  Colonel. Boyle had a speedy journey from France to London, having flown over in an hour and a half.  

30 November 1918
Col. the Hon. John D. Boyle (Rifle Brigade, attached to the R.A.F.), son of the Dowager Countess of Glasgow, has been made a Cavalier of the Order of St. Maurice and St. Lazarus of Italy.  

Picture is Courtesy Malcolm Barrass,

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