Robert Boyd was born on 1 February 1880 at Bank Street, Wigtown, the son of general labourer, Robert Boyd, and his wife, Helen McKay. The 1881 census returns show the family living at Church Lane. Ten years later they were living at Baldoon Cottage. In 1901, at the age of 20, Robert was working as a ploughman at Broadfield Farm on the outskirts of Wigtown but he later got a job at the Co-operative Creamery at Bladnoch and returned to lodge with his parents at Baldoon. He also married Annie Nicholson.
At the outbreak of war Robert was living at Whauphill but enlisted with the Royal Scots Fusiliers at Ayr. He was killed in action on 7 April 1917 at the age of 38.
The Galloway Gazette (15 September 1917), five months after Robert Boyd’s death, carried a brief report:
On 7 April 1917, killed in action, Private Robert Boyd RSF, beloved husband of Annie Nicholson, 2 North Main Street, Wigtown, aged 38 years.
Annie received Robert’s outstanding pay of £4 11s 6d 6 months after his death and a further £10 gratuity in 1919.
Robert Boyd’s body was not found and he is commemorated on the Arras Memorial which commemorates almost 35,000 servicemen from the United Kingdom, South Africa and New Zealand who died in the Arras sector between the spring of 1916 and 7 August 1918, the eve of the Advance to Victory, and have no known grave. His brothers James and David also served in the war and survived the conflict though David’s gravestone in Wigtown High Cemetery indicates his early death at the age of 49 was as a result of disability arising from the conflict.