COL. DUNCAN S A BOYD (SH 45-49) 1931-2020

SH 1st XV of 1949 (L-R): Richard Durrans, Duncan Boyd, John Hainsworth, Robin Venters

The OS Club has received the sad news that Col. Duncan Boyd (SH 45-49) passed away on 9th June 2020 at the age of 88.

Please see below an extract from his book ‘Where I Am From’, sent by his son, James Boyd (SH 79-84).

Duncan Boyd (SH 45-49) born 22 Oct 1931 to Joan and Dennis Archibald Boyd ‘Archie’ (SH 21-23) led a typically full Sedbergh life. The following is taken from his book “Where I am from”. ‘I was in School House under JH Bruce-Lockhart, who was both headmaster and School House housemaster. Michael Thornely was house tutor – he succeeded JHBL as headmaster…..I very much enjoyed my time at Sedbergh…with Dennis Marshall as my form master who had also taught my father and had been in SH with my grandfather AE Boyd.I learned to play the cello taught by Jane Cowan…we had a very good orchestra and on one very special occasion, Sir John Barbirolli visited and conducted us – magic. I enjoyed the rugger, playing wing forward for the 1st XV and getting my Colours; also the fells and running, ran and won the ¼ mile, the Ten I came 28th in 1hr 30 mins 49 secs, my father did better coming 25th 1hr 27mins 12 secs and we both beat
James, my son, 1hr 34 mins 56 secs. I also boxed and beat the boy who bullied me at Lime House’.

After Sedbergh and National Service, Duncan was commissioned in 1952 into the Royal Dragoons, which later became the Royal Horse Guards / 1st Dragoons or Blues & Royals of the Household Cavalry. Serving in many countries and posts, Duncan specialised in the development MBT’s and weaponry, having commanded the Armoured Trials & Development Unit (ATDU), Project Manager Chieftan and Challenger and finally Challenger Armaments retiring as a full Colonel.

He married Elizabeth Anne Brown in July 1958 and had three children Juliet, Nicola and James. As a family man he loved many of the country pursuits and sports which saw him camel racing, riding, hunting, shooting, fishing, golf, tennis and squash which he endeavoured to teach and enjoy with his children and grandchildren, with measured success. After his divorce from Elizabeth, he later married Anne Purdon in 1992. Living near Warminster they had a wide circle of friends and took an active role in village life and Countryside Alliance. They moved north to Scotland where they both continued not only the outdoor pursuits but also music, theatre and reading. After 5 years in Scotland they decided to relocate back down to Warminster as ‘with one sound leg between us’, they felt being less remote was a good plan!

After a short illness, throughout which he remained at home being looked after by Anne, he passed away peacefully 9 June 2020 aged 88. He will be sorely missed by us all.