Canadian Virtual War Memorial

Robert Richardson Boyce

In memory of:

Pilot Officer Robert Richardson Boyce

August 17, 1944

Military Service


Service Number:

J/90467

Age:

29

Force:

Air Force

Unit:

Royal Canadian Air Force

Division:

428 Sqdn.

Additional Information


Son of Percy and Gwen Richardson Boyce; husband of Helen Elizabeth Boyce, of Vancouver, British Columbia.

Commemorated on Page 256 of the Second World War Book of Remembrance. Request a copy of this page.

Burial Information


Cemetery:

RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL
Surrey, United Kingdom

Grave Reference:

Panel 249.

Location:

During the Second World War more than 116,000 men and women of the Air Forces of the British Commonwealth gave their lives in service. More than 17,000 of these were members of the Royal Canadian Air Force, or Canadians serving with the Royal Air Force. Approximately one-third of all who died have no known grave. Of these, 20,450 are commemorated by name on the Runnymede Memorial, which is situated at Englefield Green, near Egham, 32 kilometres by road west of London. The design of the Runnymede Memorial is original and striking. On the crest of Cooper's Hill, overlooking the Thames, a square tower dominates a cloister, in the centre of which rests the Stone of Remembrance. The cloistered walks terminate in two lookouts, one facing towards Windsor, and the other towards London Airport at Heathrow. The names of the dead are inscribed on the stone reveals of the narrow windows in the cloisters and the lookouts. They include those of 3,050 Canadian airmen. Above the three-arched entrance to the cloister is a great stone eagle with the Royal Air Force motto, Per Ardua ad Astra". On each side is the inscription:
IN THIS CLOISTER ARE RECORDED THE NAMES OF TWENTY THOUSAND AIRMEN WHO HAVE NO KNOWN GRAVE. THEY DIED FOR FREEDOM IN RAID AND SORTIE OVER THE BRITISH ISLES AND THE LANDS AND SEAS OF NORTHERN AND WESTERN EUROPE In the tower a vaulted shrine, which provides a quiet place for contemplation, contains illuminated verses by Paul H. Scott."

Information courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Digital Collection

Send us your images
  • Photo of ROBERT RICHARDSON BOYCE– Submitted for the project, Operation Picture Me
  • Photo of ROBERT RICHARDSON BOYCE– Submitted for the project, Operation Picture Me
  • Document– Submitted for the project, Operation Picture Me
  • Letter– Submitted for the project, Operation Picture Me
  • Group Photo– Crew of Lancaster KB751 who perished August 17, 1944. Photo by Sgt Robert E. Toomey, Flight Engineer who was only survivor and taken prisoner on the Danish island Sejero.
***
From left: Harry Slater (Bomb Aimer), Robert R. Boyce (Wireless Operator),  William A. Lamb (Mid-upper Gunner),  Leonard G. Brown (Navigator), William C. Fairgrieve (Pilot),  Joseph Ralph Gordon Srigley (Tail Gunner).  Crewmate Robert E. Toomey (Flight Engineer) was sole survivor and POW at Stalag Luft VII, Bankau.
***
Submitted by Claude D. Lafleur, son-in-law of crewmate Robert Toomey. 
***
Credit "Wartime Diary of Robert E. Toomey" website.
  • Group Photo– Photo of aircrew.
L to R: Slater, Lamb, Brown, Srigley, Boyce, Toomey, unknown.

Photo provided by R. E. Toomey to Air War Over Denmark www.flensted.eu.com 
Used with permission.
  • Runnymede Memorial– Photo of Runnymede Memorial CWGC
Extract of story of crash courtesy Air War Over Denmark www.flensted.eu.com 

Lancaster X KB751 of 428 Sqn was on the return flight of a bombing mission to Stettin, Germany when it crashed in the sea south west of the island of Sejrø 17/8 1944.  F.Sgt. R. G. Toomey was the only member of the crew to survive.

The outbound trip went according to schedule, and the bomb load was dropped at approximately 01:20 hours and Pilot F/O William C. Fairgrieve headed back to base. After about 50 minutes Bomb Aimer F/O Harry Slater, who was throwing out 'windows', called on the intercom: 'Skipper, there is a vertical light off to port'. Next there was a terrific crashing noise and the Lancaster started burning. Apparently they had been attacked by a German night fighter.

P. O. Slater was the first to bail out while Flt. Engr. R. E.Toomey tried to reach W/op Robert R. Boyce on the intercom before bailing out himself
At 02:16 the Lancaster crashed into the sea 2 miles at 190 degree from Sejrø lighthouse.
Toomey blacked out when leaving the aircraft, and woke up in the water without harness or chute being held up by his Mae West. He swam in the direction of the lighthouse and entered the island of Sejrø at Lydebjerg.  Later, he was later taken Prisoner of War.
During the day of 17/8 the dead body of F/O Fairgrieve was retrieved from the sea south west of Sejrø lighthouse
On 30/8 Tail gunner F/O Joseph R. G. Srigley was found washed ashore on Veddinge Strand beach on the island of Sjælland.
On 2/9 1944 the body of F/O Harry Slater was found washed ashore on the island of Getterön on the Swedish west coast near Varberg. He was laid to rest in Varberg Church`s New Cemetery with full military honours.

Mid upper gunner F/S William A. Lamb, W/Op Sgt Robert R. Boyce and Navigator F/O Leonard G. Brown have no known graves and are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.
  • Memorial– Father J P Lardie's comments as inscribed on the Bomber Command Memorial Wall in Nanton, AB … photo courtesy of Marg Liessens
  • Memorial– Pilot Officer Robert Richardson Boyce is also commemorated on the Bomber Command Memorial Wall in Nanton, AB … photo courtesy of Marg Liessens
  • Memorial– Pilot Officer Robert Richardson Boyce is also commemorated on the Bomber Command Memorial Wall in Nanton, AB … photo courtesy of Marg Liessens

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