Arnold Boyles was one of eight children born to John and Anna Boyles. The family lived on Oakley Common.
His birth was registered in Thame in 1888 and he attended Oakley School between 1993 and 1902 and was awarded an attendance certificate.
His father John was a farm labourer and wood dealer. Arnold and his brothers all worked as farm labourers too.
Arnold joined the Worcestershire Regiment at the Aylesbury recruiting office in January 1918. He is said to be 26 years of age but would have been 28, and his occupation is given as a cowman. The records state he was a previously a driver for the Royal Engineers but no documentary evidence of this has been found. He does appear to have first enlisted for duty in July 1917, but after undergoing medical re-examination at 2, Rickfords Hill, Aylesbury, Private Arnold Boyles (regimental number 51807) began his Army service on 15th January 1918 with an initial posting to 1st Garrison Battalion, Worcester.
1888 – 1944
Waddesdon Deanery News No 313 – January 1915
A recruiting meeting, held at the Schools on November 28th, was well attended, and the case for our country and the need of men was well explained by Major Green, his sergeant, and Mr Lucas. The Vicar was chairman. We have the names of Ellis Hawes and (Arnold) Boyles at the Common to add to the list.
His medical notes show that Arnold was a very small man even by the standards of that time. He was just 5feet 2inches tall, had a 32 inch chest and weighed 106lbs. (7.5 stones).
The medical examiners final comments are that his physical development is poor. He appears to have slight defects but not sufficient to cause rejection. This probably accounts for the initial delay in his service starting.
His “active” service begins in July 1918 when he is posted with the 5th Worcester’s to Dovercourt and then on to France to join the British Expeditionary Forces.
In January 1919 he returns to the UK and is issued with a Protection Certificate and Certificate of Identity at Purfleet Dispersal Unit. He gives his permanent address as The Sun Inn, Oakley and requests his pay to be sent there.
He was officially transferred to the Army Reserve on Demobilization on 24th February 1919.
He was awarded the British War and Victory Medals.
Nothing more is known about Arnold’s life post war, he does not appear to have married.
He died aged 56 in 1944.