Honouring Veterans Initiative- Art Boyle

Sergeant Art Boyle was recognized at our April GCC meeting through the GCC’s Honouring Veterans Initiative. Full details of his extensive service are available in the April GCC Newsletter distributed to members and which is also available on the GCC website. http://www.gcclondon.ca/whatsnew.htm

Sergeant Art Boyle, who will shortly be celebrating his 100th birthday, was unable to attend.

The Honouring Veterans initiative of the Garrison Community Council (London and Region) acknowledges the service of individual Canadian Forces (CF) and RCMP veterans. As well the initiative celebrates our rich military heritage, both past and present, while continuing our traditions of Remembrance. The Honouring Veterans initiative supports the GCC’s mission to focus on building a greater understanding of the Canadian Forces within the civilian community. A summary of Art Boyle’s service is provided below.

Sergeant Art Boyle was born in the Gaspe in November of 1915. In 1938, he joined the Royal Canadian Dragoons (RCD) and began life in the army with a sword and a horse. During the early 1940’s, he trained as a Dragoon, with the 1st Hussars as part of the 1st Canadian Cavalry Regiment (Mechanised) (1CCR (M)). This unit was comprised of the RCD, the Lord Strathcona’s Horse (LdSH) and the 1st Hussars, who supplied the Headquarters (HQ) and ‘C’ Squadron.

Art entered the Second World War as a 1st Hussar. 1CCR (M) was disbanded in early 1941 and several of the Dragoons opted to stay with the 1st Hussars (now a Tank unit) rather than return to the RCD who became an armoured car unit.

Art Boyle(left) at the Holy Roller in Victoria Park this past November with another WWII 1st Hussar, Phil Cockburn.

Art Boyle(left) at the Holy Roller in Victoria Park this past November with another WWII 1st Hussar, Phil Cockburn.

In late 1941, the unit moved to Great Britain and continued training there. Art was a crew commander in a Lee tank. He eventually crew commanded a Sherman. During a fire-fight in June 1944, Art’s tank was responsible for the sixth Panther tank kill of an engagement. In the same month, he duelled with a German tank at le Mesnil-Patry (where ‘B’ Squadron was destroyed) and won the duel causing the German Squadron Commander and crew to bail out and crawl from the field. Later in the year, he would skillfully maneuver his tank to a position from where he could engage two German Tiger tanks, firing on one, causing it to burn and forcing them to retreat. For this action, he received the Military Medal. Art is also a member of the French Legion of Merit and has been awarded the medal for the Legion of Honour (Légion d’honneur) France’s highest order, or decoration. He completed his duties in the war at Breda, Holland in late1944. Art has been President of the 1st Hussars Association, in existence since 1946 and still attends the meetings.