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Private Albert (Milton) Boyle




Albert (Milton) Boyle was born at Drumcree, County Armagh, on 18 June 1887, the sixth of eight children of farmer James Boyle and his wife Margaret (nee Woodhouse).

He enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Portadown on 5 March 1909 (No.303).

On 17 June 1911 the Portadown News reported that:

Portadown has had three members of the North Irish Horse, whose headquarters are at Belfast, selected to attend at the Coronation. This is very creditable to the Portadown men, as there are only twenty-four chosen to represent the regiment. These local men are – Corporal T. Medcalfe, Seagoe; Trooper C. Wilson, Drumnagoon; and Trooper M. Boyle, Drumcree.

On 17 August 1914 Boyle embarked for France with A Squadron, seeing action in the Retreat from Mons and Advance to the Aisne.

In March 1915 a fellow North Irish Horseman, Isaac Walker of Seagoe, wrote the following letter to the Reverend J.E. Archer, which was published in the Portadown News on 13 March:

I arrived back here all right, and am going on just as usual, I am sending you a little cutting from the paper which concerns us. Other voluntary regiments claim to be under fire first. It is contradicted and explained, that we were the first to be under fire. I and Walter Vaughan were the ones out of Seagoe Parish who were with the N.I.H. on the retirement from Mons. Milton Boyle, of Drumcree Parish, and William Morton, of Ardmore Parish, were also with us. So there were only four from Portadown serving with the N.I.H. I am glad to say we are all safe and sound yet. We had a Church service today, but I did not get to it. Everyone likes to attend, but we can't all get. I think this is all at present. Thanking you for your kindness. I only wish this war was over till we all get back.
(From Richard Edgar, A Call to Arms, Portadown in the Great War)

In the same month Private Boyle became ill and was hospitalised, first at St Omer and then Rouen. He was suffering from pulmonary tuberculosis. On 13 July 1915 he was shipped home, to the 3rd London General Hospital, Wandsworth, and soon after to the Peamount Sanatorium, Hazelhatch, Dublin. A medical board found that he was no longer physically fit for war service and he was discharged with a pension on 8 September 1915.

Private Boyle died at home on 26 October 1916. He was aged 29. He was buried in the Drumcree Church of Ireland Churchyard, Northern Ireland, grave 141 – near the north boundary. His gravestone inscription reads:



Private Boyle's Victory Medal


Portadown War Memorial, St Mark's Church


Boyle's name on the Portadown War Memorial, St Mark's Church


Note: the Commonwealth War Graves Commission incorrectly shows his date of death as 27 October.

Gravestone image kindly provided by Steve Rogers, Project Co-ordinator of The War Graves Photographic Project, www.twgpp.org. Victory Medal image kindly provided by Gary McClatchey. Portadown images sourced from the Irish War Memorials website.