Cresswell Edward Boyce

Date of birth: 1897
Place of birth: Southampton
Service No.: 1379
Rank: Bombadier
Regiment: Royal Garrison Artillery
Battalion: 47th Siege Battery  battalion
Died: 19 December 1916, aged 19 years
Buried: Bernafay Wood British Cemetery, Montauban, France (J.63)

Life before the War

Cresswell was the third of 4 known siblings born to Edwin and Alice Eliza Boyce (nee Harris), who married in Southampton in 1890. One sibling probably died in childhood.

Eliza was born in the city in 1871, and she died there in 1952.

Edwin was also born in the city, in 1872, and he passed away there in 1959.


  1. George Edwin   b. 1891 Southampton   d. 9 October 1917  Belgium    see separate story.
  2. Ernest Alfred   b. 7 January 1895 Southampton   d. 1983 Los Angeles   Married Lilian C. Webb in Eastleigh in 1928. Married Nellie May Pattee 9 September 1949 in Los Angeles.
  3. Cresswell Edward
  4. Reginald Leonard   b. 1900 Southampton   d. 1970 Southampton   Married Clara A. Paul in Southampton in 1929.

War Service

The 47th Siege Battery arrived in France on 26 November 1915. Having been involved in some skirmishes on the Western Front in early 1916, the battalion became involved in the Battle of the Somme. Some of the fiercest fighting of WW1 took place between July and 18 November 1916.

One place that was the centre of some of the earliest encounters was Montauban, and it was around there that the 47th spent some time in support of the infantry. The village was captured by the 30th and 18th Divisions on 1 July 1916 and it remained in Allied hands until the end of March 1918. The village was recaptured on 25 August 1918.

It is probable that Cresswell succumbed to injuries picked up in the latter stages of the Battle of the Somme, in November 1916.
The cemetery was begun by a dressing station in August 1916 and used as a front-line cemetery until the following April.

It now contains 945 burials from WW1, including graves brought in from elsewhere after the Armistice.

Researcher: Mark Heritage
Published: 22.10.15

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