2nd Lieutenant Harry Horace Boyne (née Bugg) 4th Battalion The Suffolk Regiment

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One of the names which proved hardest to track down from the Milton Abbas Grammar School Memorial was that of ‘2nd Lieut. H. H. Bugg,  4th Suffolk’.war memorial opening snip

The CWGC database only holds one H H Bugg for both World Wars and he was Hubert Henry Bugg, a Private in the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry who died in 1918 aged 19. However after checking the British Newspaper Archive for ‘Milton Abbas Grammar School’ I came across sports results for 1898 which have ‘H H Bugg’ winning the under 14’s Half Mile and coming second in the 220 yds. So the Milton Abbas Grammar School H H Bugg cannot be Hubert Henry as I had so long thought.

The National Archives hold a file for 2/Lieutenant Harry Horace BOYNE, formerly BUGG. The Suffolk Regiment. With that information it was quite simple to find Harry on the war memorial at Tarrant Keyneston under the name Boyne. The current mystery is why he and his older brother, Bertie Charles, changed surname from Bugg to Boyne when their younger brother, Frederick Jack remained a Bugg all his life.

Harry Horace Boyne, originally named Harry Horace Bugg, known to his family as ‘Hope’ was born at Thornton Farm, Marnhull in Dorset on the 16th November 1887. Hope was the second son of Fred John Bugg, a farmer, and his wife Sarah. As a child he attended Milton Abbas Grammar School in Blandford Forum. This was towards the end of the time Rev. Harrison was headmaster and handed on to Rev. Mears.

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At some point in early adulthood he changed his surname from Bugg to Boyne. His older brother Bertie did this in July 1911  and whilst the current generation of their close family do not know exactly why, both Bertie and Harry went to work in banking and perhaps this seemed a more professional name. Their younger brother Fred Jack Bugg remained a Bugg all his life. Bertie would have been just under 30 at this time and Harry 24. Currently I have not been able to locate a notification of Harry’s Deed Poll.

brother deed poll salisbury and winchester journal july 1 1911

Harry worked for National Provincial Bank of England first at its Totnes branch in Devon and, later, at London Head office. [This bank later became the ‘Nat’ of Nat West.]

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totnes 1900

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Outside work, Harry was a pre-war territorial soldier, although the only reference to this is in the bank’s roll of sacrifice and currently his records before commissioning cannot be found. As he is listed on the Banks’ Sports Association memorial in Beckenham he must have also played for one of their football or cricket teams.

M190 Beckenham sports club

As a Territorial, Harry was mobilised, leaving the bank to go on active service in 1914. On 21 March 1915 he was commissioned into the Suffolk Regiment. his medical records show him to be 5’10” tall and he signed the Imperial and General Service Obligation (the requirement for Territorial soldiers to agree to serve overseas) from his home address of 34 Gloucester Street in Pimlico London SW(1).

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His medal card shows that he didn’t have to wait long before going to France as it shows him arriving on 15th May 1915.

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Harry was initially attached to the 2/4th Battalion the Suffolk Regiment in England but transferred to the 1/4th Battalion in France. Initially the 1/4th was the British Army battalion of the Indian Army Jullundur Brigade of the 3rd (Lahore) Division but on 15 November 1915 it transferred to 46th Brigade, 15th (Scottish) Division and then as part of the preparation for the Somme offensive on 22 February 1916 it transferred to 98th Brigade, 33rd Division.

We know from his Officer records in the National Archives that Harry had a week’s home leave in the second week of May 1916 leaving Boulogne on the 7th. 

A First World War brigade numbered about 4,000 men under the command of a Brigadier-General. With four Infantry battalions under his command a brigade also consisted of a Trench Mortar Company and a Heavy Machine Gun Company of the Machine Gun Corps as well as attached transport and medical troops. Harry as a member of 1/4th Suffolks found himself transferred to 98th Brigade Machine Gun Company, Machine Gun Corps (MGC) in June 1916, two weeks before the start of the Somme Offensive. This was (posthumously) recorded in the London Gazette in August:

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98th Brigade Machine Gun Company War Diary 20 July 1916:

at 3 am 56 Machine Gun Company came and relieved from guns N of BAZENTIN LE PETIT WOOD. Heavy bombardment being carried on by our artillery. 03:35 the attack on HIGH WOOD was carried out and was successful. The 2nd ARGYLLS advanced north of BAZENTIN LE PETIT VILLAGE and dug themselves in under cover of darkness. Touch lost between this force and the force attacking HIGH WOOD. MG (Machine gun) was south of BAZENTIN LE GRAND WOOD still firing on MARTINPUICH and GERMAN trenches.

Germans later in the day shelled heavily with gas shells and then retook HIGH WOOD 2nd ARGYLLS and the 4 MGs had to fall back into line. Casualties: Officers 2 2nd Lieut R C Evans wounded shellfire. 2nd Lieut H H Boyne gassed. O.R. (other ranks) wounded 3 gas, 1 shellfire.

Harry was evacuated to 36 Casualty Clearing Station some 16 miles behind the lines near Corbie where he died of the effects of gas the next day. His records show that he was buried in the Cimitiere de Bois Hareng just outside Corbie. He now lies in Heilly Station Cemetery, Mericourt-L’Abbe some 3 miles NNE of Corbie.

Although his father Fred Bugg did not change his surname and is buried in Tarrant Keyneston churchyard with Sarah under that surname, he did use Boyne in official correspondence with the War Office after his son’s death. The letters of administration for Harry’s estate and his final probate records refer to him as being a Captain in the 3/4th Battalion the Suffolk Regiment (at the time a training battalion based at home) but I can find no corroboration of him receiving a promotion before his death.

His probate records his estate as £248 16s 9d which using comparative measures on present day values https://www.measuringworth.com/calculators/ukcompare/ would equate to a relative economic status of just over £100,000 at today’s values.

Aside from appearing on the Milton Abbas Grammar School memorial, Harry appears on Tarrant Keyneston village memorial, the National Provincial Bank Sports Association memorial in Beckenham, and on the main National Provincial Bank memorial in its headquarters in Gilbert Hall in the City.

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Also the lectern in Tarrant Keyneston church is a carved memorial to Harry.

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Harry was 29 years old.

 

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