Staff Sergeant James Frederick Boyd (7013328) served in 1st Wing, The Glider Pilot Regiment, Army Air Corps during World War Two. He was the son of Jeanie Boyd of Portstewart, Co. Londonderry.
Like many of his fellow countrymen, James became known as Paddy and served in the Royal Ulster Rifles before transferring to The Glider Pilot Regiment.
James died on 23rd September 1944 aged 22 years old during Operation Market Garden. He was a Squadron Quartermaster Sergeant with B Squadron, 1st Wing during the operation.
Paddy’ Boyd’s group of glider pilots was positioned in the area of the Tafelberg Hotel. That evening a patrol was sent out to harass the Germans, something the glider pilots did on a regular basis. Approximately an hour into the patrol it came under fire. There were prolonged bursts from the enemy guns, bringing down tree branches and throwing up fountains of dirt. As ‘Paddy’ peered around the corner of a wall, the brickwork exploded as enemy bullets impacted and he was hit in the head. Staff-sergeant Briggs, a fellow glider pilot, ran forward to help him and received a burst in the back. With streams of bullets seeming to come from all directions the remainder of the patrol were forced to withdraw to their own lines, the bodies of the two fallen men having to be left behind.
‘Brotherhood of the Cauldron’ by David Truesdale.
Both men received field burials, first behind the Command Post of 3rd Battery Light Regiment, Royal Artillery. A second burial took place in a mass grave 150 metres south of Tafelberg Hotel, Oosterbeek before final interment.
James Frederick Boyd’s grave is in Section 3, Row D, Grave 11 of Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery, Gelderland, Netherlands. His headstone bears the inscription:
Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, thou and thy house.