Historical information

Ben Boyd enlisted in the AIF in Melbourne, 13 December 1915, giving his age as 42 years and 11 months. At that time he gave Bathurst as parish of birth, and attested that his wife Emma, next of kin, resided in Fitzroy. He gave his occupation as 'cutter'. Boyd reported to Royal Park on 6 January 1916, attached to the 22nd Battalion 11th reinforcements. He embarked for the Middle East on 29 March, and it appears that he spent the rest of his service in Egypt, apart from some four months in Palestine from September 1917 to January 1918. During this time it appears that he was attached to the 11th Light Horse Regiment Provost Corps. There were various promotions to 'temporary Corporal' and 'Acting Sergeant'. Boyd disembarked in Australia on 25 August 1919. The first reference to Yackandandah in Boyd's war record came in his application for the British War Medal and Victory Medal, in a letter dated 10 February 1924. He received those medals on or about 3 March 1924. By that time he had been working in Yackandandah for several years, having been engaged as an 'up-tp-date cutter and tailor' by Mrs Haig in 1921. He continued working as a tailor until his passing in 1957. There is an anecdotal recollection of Boyd sitting up on what was the bank counter making garments and watching the world pass by on High Street, and also reference to him replying to the toast for The Diggers, at a smoke social convened by the Returned Services League to honour Sir Kenneth Beatty, at Martin's Hotel, 8 September 1927. The Yackandandah Museum is housed in what had been the Bank of Victoria and had become the business premises and residence of Haig Tailor. The building bore the title B. Boyd Tailor as late as the 1960's. Isabella Haig sold the building and residence to Yackandandah Historical Society in 1969. Instituted by King George V in 1919 to mark the end of World War I and record the service given, the British War Medal 1914-20, was also variously known as Squeak, or Mutt. Boyd was eligible for having entered a theatre of war during specified periods and having left places of residence and rendered approved service overseas.

Physical description

The medal is cupro-nickel (silver?) with the effigy of George V on the obverse. The reverse has an image of St George on horseback trampling underfoot the eagle shield of the Central Powers, and a skull and cross-bones, the emblems of death. Above this is the risen sun of victory. The years 1914 and 1918 are shown on the outside edge of the reverse surface. A ribbon is attached per a top bar. The ribbon has a wide central watered stripe of orange, flanked by two narrow white stripes, which are in turn flanked by two black pin-stripes, further flanked by two outer stripes of blue. (Refer Notes.)

Inscriptions & markings

On the obverse, "GEORGIVS V BRITT. OMN: REX ET: IND: IMP" On the reverse "1914 1918" On the edge, stamped, "4378 A-SGT. B. BOYD. PROV. CPS. A.I.F."