RAMC

Medical Officers of the Malta Garrison
Boyce William Wallace

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Major William Wallace Boyce
DSO (1919) LRCSI LRCPI (1905) DPH
5 Feb 1883 [Stillorgan Co. Dublin] – 31 Oct 1926 [London]

Introduction

Major William Wallace Boyce was educated in Dublin in the school of the Royal College of Surgeons, and took the LRCSI and LRCPI in 1905. He was commissioned Lieutenant in the Royal Army Medical Corps on 30 January 1906. He was one of forty successful candidates who set the competitive examination held in London for commissions in the Royal Army Medical Corps, for which sixty nine candidates had entered. He came 25th with 450 marks; the highest score was 593 marks of Dr Gerald Hoey Stevenson MB BCh (RUI); the lowest, 416 marks of Dr Ernest Cyril Phelan BA MB BCh (Dub).

Major William Wallace Boyce served throughout the Great War, was thrice mentioned in dispatches, and received the Distinguished Service Order on 8 March 1919 while serving with 2 Field Ambulance RAMC. His citation read:

For great gallantry, initiative and resource in personally supervising the evacuation of casualties during the operations on 4th November 1918, near Petit Cambresis. He effected the rapid removal of wounded across the Sambre Canal under very difficult circumstances and considerable shell and machine-gun fire. On one occasion, when his advanced dressing station was blown in by shell fire, he personally reorganised his stretcher bearers in a new site, inspired confidence in his officers and men, and undoubtedly saved many wounded under heavy fire.

In 1938 a wooden prefabricated camp was built at Church Crookham as part of the Aldershot Military Camp for the Second World War. The camp acted as the Depôt for the Royal Army Medical Corps, who used it until 1962. It was named Boyce Barracks after Major William Wallace Boyce. From 1965 until 1970 it was used by Training Regiments of the Royal Corps of Transport. In 1948, during the Golden Jubilee year of the Royal Army Medical Corps, Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother and Colonel-in-Chief of the Corps, visited the depôt and met with the recruits based there. Subsequently, the barracks were renamed from Boyce Barracks to Queen Elizabeth Barracks in her honour.

Major William Wallace Boyce died suddenly in London on 31 October 1926, aged 43 years.

Service Record — William Wallace Boyce

30 July 1906 Appointed Lieutenant RAMC; confirmed in rank in February 1907 and was posted to Dublin.

1909–1912 Served in India (invalided).

Apr 1909 Change of Station from Dublin to Rawalpindi.

May 1909 Change of Station from Rawalpindi to Lahore.

30 Jan 1910 Promoted Captain RAMC.

Apr 1910 While stationed in India passed his examination for promotion of officers of the Royal Army Medical Corps in Technical Subjects.

1912 Invalided from India.

29 June 1913 Placed on half-pay due to ill health.

29 June 1914 Restored to full-pay.

1914–1919 Served with the British Expeditionary Force in France and Belgium with the rank of Acting Lieutenant Colonel while in command of No 2 Field Ambulance RAMC. He relinquished his temporary rank in June 1919 on posting.

Received a mention in Sir Douglas Haig's dispatch dated 7 April 1918 for distinguished and gallant services and devotion to duty between 25 September 1917 and 25 February 1918.

28 Jan 1919 Captain (Acting Lt Col) William Wallace Boyce was promoted Major RAMC.

8 Oct 1919 Awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO).

Jan–Apr 1920 Attended voluntarily the Specialist course in Hygiene at the Royal Army Medical College.

Malta 8 Feb 1921 Arrived from England.

Malta 1922 Served at Malta.

Malta 1923 On garrison duty.

Malta 11 July 1924 Home leave.
3 Oct 1924 Returned to Malta.

Malta 1925 On garrison duty.

Malta 19 Feb 1926 Returned to England - tour expired. Terminated his long connection with Malta describing it as this island of tinned milk.

Bibliography