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LIEUTENANT DAVID ALEXANDER GRANT BOYCE
1ST TROOP LEADER B (FORMATION RECONNAISSANCE) SQUADRON COMBINED FORCE NAHR-E-SARAJ (NORTH) 1ST THE QUEEN'S DRAGOON GUARDS
Lieutenant David Boyce deployed to Afghanistan on 21 October 2011 in command of 1st Troop, B Squadron, 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards. After completing his in-theatre training, he moved forward to the Combined Force Nahr-e-Saraj (North) (CF NES(N)) Main Operating Base PRICE, from where his Troop was one of those tasked with securing vital routes passing through the district, as well as supporting ground-holding companies north of Helmand's second city, Gereshk.
On the morning of Thursday 17 November, Lieutenant Boyce was leading his Troop to support another company. Shortly after leaving Highway 1 his vehicle struck a powerful Improvised Explosive Device which killed both him and Lance Corporal Richard Scanlon.
Lieutenant David Alexander Grant Boyce was born on 18 September 1986 in Welwyn Garden City, Herts. He studied International Relations at the University of Exeter before taking a gap year. Lieutenant Boyce joined the Army in September 2009 and commissioned from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst into 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards in August 2010. From there he attended his Formation Reconnaissance Troop Leaders' Course, immediately followed by the Platoon Commander's Division.
He joined B Squadron in May 2011 during the early stages of Mission Specific Training, and took command of 1st Troop in July. His reputation as a highly competent, decisive and inspirational young officer preceded him; his reports from both the Troop Leaders' and Platoon Commanders' courses were exceptional, and his impact on his new command was immediate and profound. Fit and confident, he was equally comfortable in his Scimitar Armoured Vehicle or on foot.
David was a consummate leader. He was a popular, good humoured member of the Officers' Mess, an avid skier who was due to assist in the running of the Regiment's 2012 Winter Sports Team, and was well respected by all ranks. He was also a keen sailor, sailing for the Army Offshore Racing Team during the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race 2010 and numerous other regattas for the RAC and the Army. He was a man of huge potential but his legacy will endure in the troops he trained and led. David leaves behind a loving family, his father Martin, mother Andrea, sister Charlotte and girlfriend Jodie. His regimental family is richer for his short but accomplished time within its ranks. The Regiment's thoughts and condolences are with his family and friends at this tragic time.
Lieutenant Boyce's family have paid the following tribute: "David was honoured to be a Cavalry Officer who embraced military life with a passion. We are immensely proud of all that he achieved in such a short life and take comfort knowing that he died doing what he loved.
"He brought sunshine into the lives of all those he knew. David will be dearly missed by his loving family and girlfriend Jodie."
Lieutenant Colonel Jasper de Quincey Adams, Commanding Officer, 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards said:
"Lieutenant David Boyce was a charming young officer who, quite simply, represented everything that that is great about the Regiment and British Army. He died while commanding his soldiers on operations in a complex and demanding environment. He led from the front, setting the very highest standards, and inspired his men and peers alike. Tall, powerful and with an infectious smile he, like so many officers of his generation, was committed to his men and determined to succeed on the operations.
"He had the gravitas of one far more senior but maintained the infectious enthusiasm of a young man doing what he loved. His men adored him and showed him the level of loyalty that is reserved for the very best. David had so much to give, so much to look forward to and so many opportunities ahead of him. The Regiment has been denied one of our best, and a professional commander for the future has been taken from us. But our tragic loss is insignificant compared to that of his family; his mother, father, sister and Jodie all of whom he loved so much. And so to them we offer prayers and our thoughts, and our thanks too, for sharing with us someone so very special. David was a man to walk the mountains with, a man to go to war with, and he will never be forgotten."
Major Paddy Bond, Officer Commanding B Squadron, 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards said:
"I met David at the Cavalry Memorial Weekend in May 2011, two days
before he formally reported for duty with B Squadron as we began a key
part of training for Afghanistan. He struck me instantly as a man of
confidence and charm; it was obvious from the outset that he was
thrilled to be joining a deploying Squadron and that he relished the
challenge ahead of him. He arrived heralded by several of the strongest
training reports I have ever read. Early on he understudied a senior
Troop Leader; but he quickly assumed command of 1st Troop in early July
and from then on was completely in his element. Thoroughly professional,
he demanded high standards from his soldiers. He rewarded them with
inspirational leadership and tenacious loyalty. He took great pains to
design realistic and progressively more challenging training for his
Troop, fuelled by a passion for excellence and a gripping style. The
atmosphere he created was one of quiet confidence. David was a great
raconteur, always active in the Officers' Mess but equally comfortable
spending time at work or play with his soldiers. It is a testament to
his leadership that his Troop remained disciplined and utterly
professional in the aftermath of the fatal explosion. David's loss
leaves the Regiment missing a true friend and our condolences are with
Captain Simon Mildinhall, Squadron Second-In-Command, B Squadron, 1st
The Queen's Dragoon Guards said:
"I first remember meeting Dave on a cold and windy day in March 2008
when he was on a pre-Sandhurst visit, as the Regiment conducted
pre-deployment training for Op HERRICK 9 on Salisbury Plain. There
stood a confident and charismatic individual who seemed utterly
determined to join the Regiment. As the first of many signs of his
commitment and dedication to the job and this Regiment, he achieved his
goals and arrived at 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards in 2011 where the
mess was proud to welcome him.
"No words that I can write will convey how much this officer and friend
will be missed by all in B Squadron and the wider Regiment. My
sincerest condolences go to his family and loved ones at this difficult
time and I hope that they can draw some comfort from the fact the David
died doing a job he truly loved surrounded by men who loved him."
Captain Richard Chambers, Battle Captain, B Squadron, 1st The Queen's
Dragoon Guards said:
"Boycey, as I will always remember him, was one of the small number of
people who can move into an already tight and close group of friends and
make an impact. He came to the mess and within a day had become a big
name, proclaiming himself 'Champagne Boycey' and gaining instant
popularity. He was a huge character who you couldn't help but take an
immediate liking to; he was always there smiling and with another tall
story to tell. His character extended beyond his immense affability
though, and beneath that charming, slightly cheeky cavalry officer was a
talented leader. He excelled at Sandhurst, again at Bovington where he
learned his mounted trade, and volunteered to go to Brecon, where again
he was at the top of all his peers. He took the reins of 1st Troop
confidently, competently and proudly. Never content with day to day
tasks, he was always keen to offer more, knowing that he had an
excellent Troop behind him and the ability to lead them. He will be
missed by everyone who ever knew him."
Captain David Hoey, Intelligence Officer, 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards
"Having known Dave for a few years before Army life it was an immensely
proud day in my life when he commissioned into 1st The Queen's Dragoon
Guards. He embodied a vitality and cheerfulness that was a pleasure to
be around and he combined this with a competence and dedication that I
knew would make him an excellent Army officer, with the touch of flair
that suited the cavalry to a tee. He set high standards wherever he
went, be it on the Infantry Platoon Commanders' Course, as a skier,
water-skier, sailor or rugby player, in the mess or in the field. He
was a good friend in good times and a good friend in hard times. Whilst
he was an excellent companion on a night out or an afternoon doing
nothing on the beach in Cornwall, he would also be the man you wanted
beside you in your foxhole. Ever generous, highly enthusiastic and,
despite being obviously naturally talented, always willing to learn,
Dave will be mourned far and wide by an enormous group of friends. My
thoughts are with his family Martin, Andrea and Charlotte at this
terrible time. Go well, Boycey."
Captain Sarah Howes, Adjutant General's Corps (Education and Training
Services), Education Officer attached to B Squadron, 1st The Queen's
Dragoon Guards said:
"Lieutenant Dave Boyce was an outstanding troop leader; confident,
capable and determined. He was ever the professional and led with
passion, caring deeply for each and every soldier in his Troop. His
death comes as an enormous blow to us all. As well as being a great
officer, Boycey was also a great friend. I will miss his company
immensely and my thoughts are with his family, friends and girlfriend
"Stand down, Boycey, your duty is done."
Lieutenant James Lough, 3rd Troop Leader, B Squadron, 1st The Queen's
Dragoon Guards said:
"Boycey was a great soldier, officer and most importantly, a friend. He
had only been with the Regiment for a short time but he instantly made
an impact in the mess. He was equally popular with his Troop and
Squadron where he quickly proved that he was a very capable troop leader
with an extremely promising future as an Army officer. He was devoted to
his Troop and could always be relied on to keep up spirits. He will be
sorely missed but always remembered."
Lieutenant Bryn Williams, 4th Troop Leader, B Squadron, 1st The Queen's
Dragoon Guards said:
"Lieutenant Dave Boyce was one of the finest officers in the British
Army. A man with cavalry passion with the highest of professional
standards; he led from the very front and demanded excellence from
himself and the soldiers he commanded. He excelled in his career;
'thrusting' all the way to the top.
"Dave was the heart and soul of fun and games in the Officers' Mess and
lived up to his nickname of 'Champagne Boycey'. He wore his heart on
his sleeve and always had time to listen. The best time to catch him
would be over a cigarette. His clear approach and level-headed advice
was always best heeded.
"Dave died doing the job he adored. He was a fellow officer and a
brother to us all and I feel honoured to have been able to serve with
him. He leaves behind a loving family and girlfriend and I will sorely
miss him every day.
"I have lost a peer, a friend, a brother. Boycey - stay strong."
Lieutenant Peter Gordon-Finlayson, 2nd Troop Leader, B Squadron, 1st The
Queen's Dragoon Guards said:
"Boycey was the consummate professional Army officer. He was born to
soldier and was naturally highly gifted at his job, and loved every
minute of it. However Boycey's real character was more evident out of
working hours. His constant torrent of banter is part of the fabric of
our lives and it will be very strange to carry on without him; indeed it
is very hard to truly believe that he is gone. He considered himself a
loveable rogue and that is how I will always remember him, especially on
Second Lieutenant Toby Mossop, B Squadron, 1st The Queen's Dragoon
"David Boyce, universally known as 'Boycey', was one of those rare,
larger than life characters. Whether it was at work, in the mess with a
few drinks, or back at home with his friends and family, Boycey was
always there, always full of energy, up for anything that sounded fun,
and often the life and soul of the party.
"Professionally, as his peers, we all knew that he was the best among
us. Exceptionally competent and with a genuine love for his job - for
him - he was living the dream. Never one to shy away from the
limelight, he had many friends, all of whom will miss him hugely - a
great soldier, a great friend, and quite simply a great bloke."
Second Lieutenant Michael Groves, B Squadron, 1st The Queen's Dragoon
"Dave Boyce - the personification of 'never let the truth get in the way
of a good story!' was always ready with a jaw dropping tale about his
fantastic (mis)adventuring, and was heartily loved for it! Always
relied upon to be ready with a wicked grin and terrible scheme to get
everyone into trouble, he was nevertheless always surrounded by mates
ready to jump in on his latest crazy expedition. Full of laughter and
mischief, 'Brecon' Boycey was usually the centre of attention and a
larger than life character in the mess and the Regiment. With his Troop
he was the epitome of professionalism and renowned for his quick
thinking and tactical awareness, normally coming out with the solution
before most had their heads around the problem. A fantastic officer and
a great mate, Boycey will be terribly missed and remembered with great
Warrant Officer Class 2 Robert Mansel, Squadron Sergeant Major, B
Squadron 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards said:
"Lieutenant Dave Boyce was an extremely talented young officer who stood
out as having the potential to achieve whatever he wanted from his
military career. As a troop leader he was in his element. His likable
nature, coupled with his professional approach, meant he was instantly
loved by the men under his command in a close partnership with his Troop
Sergeant, and had the complete trust of his chain of command.
"Mr Boyce was a man the boys felt they could trust to lead them and it
was easy to see it was because he always had their best interests at
heart. He could be found with his boys getting stuck into vehicle
maintenance or just having friendly banter on the tank park. On the
ground he was exceptionally competent and tactically astute; he did not
come across as a young troop leader but one who had experience under his
"Lieutenant Boyce was a genuine man who has left a lasting impression in
our regimental family. He died doing the job he loved. He was an
inspiration to all that had the privilege to know him. He will never be
forgotten. My heartfelt condolences go to his family and friends. I am
proud to say I had the privilege to have known him."
Sergeant Gareth Ananins, 1st Troop Sergeant, B Squadron, 1st The Queen's
Dragoon Guards said:
"Lieutenant David Boyce was a keen hard working troop leader and a true
soldier who led his troop well. He was strong willed and had a great
personality with a humour that the boys could relate to. Mr Boyce
always had a smile on his face no matter what the situation and took the
time to listen to the men he led. We all gained strength from Mr Boyce,
and he from us. He had the trust and respect from his men and we will
always remember him.
"Lieutenant Boyce was a natural leader, a friend, and will be truly
missed by all in 1st Troop.
Our hearts go out to his family.
"Gone but never forgotten. Goodbye Sir, rest in peace."
Corporal Rhys Lang, 1st Troop, B Squadron, 1st The Queen's Dragoon
"Lieutenant Boyce was keen to say the least. One of the most
professional troop leaders I have ever had the pleasure of working for.
Under his command he made sure every single member of the Troop knew
what was going on and what needed to be done at every step of the way.
He was a natural born leader, truly an inspiration to all and a great
loss to everyone that ever knew him.
"You will be sorely missed."
Corporal Etika Navunisaravi, 1st Troop, B Squadron, 1st The Queen's
Dragoon Guards said:
"I only knew Lieutenant Boyce for a few months and in that short time I
can say that I've learned a lot from him. It just shows how good he
was, not only work-wise but also personally. He was there putting us
forward to do our job and when we slipped he would be there to guide us
back on route. They say a strong good tree bears a good fruit - that is
what I can say about him.
"R.I.P Boss, You were born a true leader and left us as a true leader.
"Forever in our hearts."
Trooper Adam Beacock, 1st Troop, B Squadron, 1st The Queen's Dragoon
"Lieutenant Boyce was not just a good troop leader, he was a good friend
to us all. He was always there for you and would do anything in his
power to help you out. He would often join in with us with banter and
he gave as good as he got. He was well respected within the Troop and
people did things for him, not because of his rank, but because he was
like one of the boys. I will truly miss him, as will the Troop.
"Rest in peace boss, you won't be forgotten."
Trooper Norman Moore, 1st Troop, B Squadron, 1st The Queen's Dragoon
"Lieutenant Boyce was a great troop leader and friend to everyone in the
Troop. He was also an inspiration to everyone with his positive
attitude towards everything army-related. I always complimented him to
other guys in the Troop by saying we had the best troop leader possible.
He was a genuinely nice guy and always saw the best in things. We all
enjoyed having him with 1st Troop and he will be greatly missed.
"Missing you already boss, regards to family and friends, take care up
there we will all see you again sometime. R.I.P Boss. You gave your
today for our tomorrow and it will always be remembered."
Trooper Dan Morris, 1st Troop, B Squadron, 1st The Queen's Dragoon
"Lieutenant Boyce, you were a great commander and an inspiration to the
boys. You knew what had to be done, and did it to a tee. You were not
only our leader but a friend and always up for a laugh and a joke with
the boys. We could not have been given a better commander and no one
can fill the space as 1st Troop Leader as you did. You will always be
missed and never forgotten."
Trooper Andrew Williams, 1st Troop, B Squadron, 1st The Queen's Dragoon
"I only knew Lieutenant Boyce for a few weeks, but in that few weeks I
learned a lot from him. He had a lot of time for the boys and in our
short time together I also got to learn that he was the best troop
leader I ever had. Because he knew his stuff the boys and I felt good
under his command. He will be truly missed as the true leader of 1st
Troop, B Squadron, 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards. RIP."
Trooper Scott Halpin, 1st Troop, B Squadron, 1st The Queen's Dragoon
"I have known Lieutenant Boyce since he took over 1st Troop and I soon
realised that he worked hard for his Troop - if he thought something was
worth doing we would do it. He listened to his men and made sure the
boys were happy. During my time in the Army he has been the best troop
leader I have had. He was funny and good for morale; he will never be
forgotten in my eyes and he will be missed by us all. That is all I can
say; he was one of a kind.
"You will be missed boss."
Trooper Lucas Crofton, 1st Troop, B Squadron, 1st The Queen's Dragoon
"Lieutenant Boyce was an excellent troop leader, for the short time I
got to work with him I found him to be all about the Troop and someone
who looked out for us. His personality as a troop leader was one that
everyone wanted and looked for in a leader. He will be missed......Gone
but not forgotten."