Boyd, Nigel John Lawson

He was the second son of William Boyd, an Edinburgh publisher. His mother was from Nova Scotia. (His elder brother, 2nd Lieutenant William Noel Lawson Boyd, 2nd Battalion Seaforth Highlanders, who went to Clifton College and Exeter College, Oxford, was killed in action at St Julien in France in 1915). He entered Sunnyside (Turner’s) from Cargilfield School and became a House Prefect; he shot for Cadet Pair in 1911 and for Wimbledon VIII the year after and played in O.T.H. XV. He won a prize cadetship at Sandhurst, where he distinguished himself as a horseman, and passed out fourth, obtaining his commission in February 1914 in the 1st Battalion Black Watch, the regiment which he had had ambitions to belong from childhood.

He left for France with them at the beginning of the war and served through the Retreat from Mons and the Battle of the Marne. Early in the morning of September 14th – his twentieth birthday – the position held by his platoon on the bank of the Aisne was heavily and repeatedly attacked. He hastily collected some men from other units and with their assistance the detachment held their place, but with severe losses. He personally fired 10 rounds at the Germans with his rifle and his revolver. He was standing up and had drawn his sword, but in turning to his side to give a signal to those of his men who survived, he was hit. The bullet hit the scabbard of his sword, glanced off it and entered his left hip and lodged in his bladder. He pretended to be dead as the Germans entered his position.

He was later rescued by Captain Napier Cameron of the Cameron Highlanders. He was taken to Rouen to be operated on and there was hope of his recovery but on October 12th he collapsed suddenly from a blood clot and died shortly afterwards.

His body was brought back to Scotland and buried in Edinburgh.

War: World War 1

  • Surname: Boyd
  • Forenames or initials: Nigel John Lawson
  • House: I
  • Years in School: 1908-1912
  • Rank: 2nd Lieutenant
  • Regiment: Black Watch
  • Date of Birth: 14th September 1894
  • Date of Death: 12th October 1914
  • How Died: Died of wounds
  • Location in War Cloister: Outer E3
  • Decoration: NA