Alan Harry Boyce

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Alan Harry Boyce
Personal Information
Date of Birth 17 Sep 1901
Place of Birth Cue, Western Australia
Death 5 Apr 1977, aged 75
Place of Death Nabawa, Western Australia
Age at Enlistment 18 years, 5 months. Actual age 15 years, 6 months.
Description 5'4" (1.63m) tall ; 140lbs
63.503 kg
; fair complexion ; brown eyes ; light brown hair
Occupation Clerk
Religion Church of England
Address Gosnells, Western Australia
Next of Kin Father , Mr James Harry Boyce
Military Information
Reg Number 3740
Date of Enlistment 4 Apr 1917
Rank Private
Unit/Formation 51st Battalion, 10th reinforcement, transferred to the 44th Battalion / 11th Brigade, 3rd Division
Date of Embarkation 29 Jun 1917 ‒ 25 Aug 1917
Ship Embarked On HMAT A30 Borda
Date of Return 31 Jul 1918 ‒ 28 Sep 1918
Ship Returned On HMT Malta D17
Fate Wounded in action (gassed) 25 May 1918
Returned to Australia (under age)
Monument Gosnells Road Board Honour Roll
Gosnells Ward Honour Roll
Gosnells Primary School Honour Roll
Medals British War Medal
Victory Medal

Pre War

War Service

Alan entered camp on 4 Apr 1917 and was allocated immediately to the 10th reinforcement draft for the 51st Battalion. Following some basic training he boarded HMAT A30 Borda in Fremantle on 29 Jun 1917 for England. On arrival at Plymouth on 25 Aug 1917 he was sent to the 13th Training Battalion at Codford to prepare for trench warfare on the Continent. While there he spent a week (20 - 28 Nov 1917) in the Group Hospital at Codford receiving treatment for scabies (a skin condition caused by mites). Alan proceeded overseas to France on 12 Dec 1917, and after 4 days in the 3rd Division's Base Depot, he was taken on strength by the 44th Battalion on 18 Dec 1917. The battalion was resting in Wakefield Camp, but two days later on the 20th it moved back into the line in the Bois Grenier sector.

On 22 May 1918 Alan was detached from his normal role to become a runner between the battalion and the 11th Infantry Brigade's Head Quarters. Three day's later on 25 May 1918 he was wounded in action at Villers-Bretonneux. The battalion's War Diary indicates that in the evening they had been shelled, primarily with gas, but also with High Explosives. Alan was gassed while acting as a runner. The injury appears to have been slight, as he returned to the battalion on 3 Jun 1918 after being seen by the 11th Field Ambulance and the 49th Casualty Clearing Station.

On 25 Jun 1918 Alan disembarked in Folkestone with orders to report to the Australian Administration's HQs in London. On 2 Jul 1918 he was sent to the 2nd Command Depot in Weymouth as it had been discovered that he was underage (at that time he was still only 16). His records are marked "Returned to Australia per 'D17' - under age - Not to forfeit pay." D17 referred to HMT D17 Malta. On returning to Australia, he was discharged by the 5th Military District on 10 Oct 1918.

Post War

Electoral Roll entries: 1925, a labourer in Gosnells; 1931 a miner in Binda NSW; 1934 miner at Nundle NSW; From 1943, he was back in Western Australia and listed as a prospector in Tuckanarra and Cue from the 1940s-1960s. He is said to have retired to the pensioner huts in Tuckanarra in the early 1970s.

Alan spent his final years in a Catholic nursing home, the Sisters of Nazareth House in Geraldton which opened in 1941. Alan’s occupation was listed as a shearer when he entered the facility on 5 May 1975.


Some records refer to him as Alan Henry, but his signature reads as Alan Harry, and this is the most common form of address used.

The instrument returning Alan to Australia was signed by The Honourable George Wise who was an honorary minister assisting the Minister for Defence. His journey to England aboard the Borda was shared with Cecil McKeown from Gosnells, also underage. Further detail about Alan's life is available via City of Gosnells Heritage Services

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