838022 L/Sergeant Harry William Boyce was born to William and Mary on January 10th, 1895, in the United States and grew up in Owen Sound, taking his early education at Ryerson Public School.

A member of the Division St. Presbyterian Church, Harry was employed by the McKay Brothers as a clerk at the time of his enlistment to the 147th (Grey) Battalion.

After the first contingents had been raised, the County had already put nearly 1,000 men into uniform and recruiting was becoming a problem across the Country, so it was decided to recruit locally as a means of making enlisting more appealing, for you were told you would be led and that you would fight alongside your neighbours.

Given the commitment the county had already put forth, Lieutenant-Colonel Chisholm of the 31st Regiment requested and received direction to recruit two companies worth of men under this pretence. Harry was amongst those to join those fledgling companies until word came down authorizing the 147th Battalion, to which Major McFarland would be the Commanding Officer.

At this time Colonel Chisholm was also directed to assign the men from these two Companies to the new Battalion and this is how Harry became a member of the 147th Battalion, to which he attested to on the November 27th, 1915.

Harry would be billeted at home, undertaking initial training in Owen Sound as a member of "A" Company until the unit departed for Camp Niagara, then his training would continue when the unit moved to Camp Borden before it embarked for England.

Once in England the 147th Battalion would cease to exist when it became the nucleus for the 8th Reserve Battalion in which Harry served until he was taken on strength of the 4th CMR, on February 17th, 1917. He would see service with the 4th CMR during the Battle of Vimy and the push on Lens. It was during this fighting that his family would receive notification from the Records Office that he had died in action on the April 23rd, 1917.

As it turned out the Records Office had made a mistake and had notified the wrong family for it was the 4th CMR's other Boyce, 158035 Private Herbert Boyce of Toronto who had been killed at that time. What a relief this must have subsequently been to Harry's family.

Harry was promoted to Lance Sergeant on the recommendation of Lieutenant Jaffrey Eaton for his bravery during the fighting in the fall of 1917 and he would continue to serve with the unit until his death on April 22nd, 1918. The British Forces were reeling from the onslaught of the German spring offensive and the 4th CMR was ordered to conduct a raid to gather information. This raid went off splendidly, with one exception, for although four men were wounded, the one casualty suffered by the unit was Lance Sergeant Boyce, whose Circumstances of Death certificate records it thusly: "During a raid on the enemy trenches at Hill 70 near Loos, this soldier was hit by shrapnel and killed".

Lance Sergeant Harry William Boyce is buried in Aix-Noulette Communal Cemetery and his death shows that the cruelty of war shows no bounds for his death came a year minus a day from the erroneous notification his parents had received a year earlier. A hard enough blow for a family to suffer through once, never mind a second time.

Thanks and credit for this biography go to George Auer.