Private Desmond Gladstone O’Boyle


Private Desmond Gladstone O’Boyle


Private Desmond Gladstone O’Boyle, 58th Battalion, killed October 1, 1918

Desmond Gladstone O’Boyle was born at Schreiber, Ont., on October 1, 1894. He attended the Sacred Heart School at Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., passing his Entrance Examinations from the school with high honours. At twelve years of age he entered Loyola College as a student and made a brilliant course, leaving after his matriculation on account of ill health.
Two years later he enrolled at Notre Dame, Indiana and was within a short time of winning his degree, when he enlisted with the 119th Battalion at his own city, Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., sailing for England in August, 1916.
Taking his course as Musketry Instructor he headed a class of 33, gained a First Class Imperial Certificate for Musketry Instruction and was offered his commission in the Imperial Army, which honour he declined, to be made Musketry Instructor in his own Battalion with his own comrades, with the rank of Sergeant.
He reverted to the ranks in February, 1918, in order to get to France, and joined the glorious 58th Battalion. (Loyola College Review, 1919 38)

Plot I, Row C, Grave 15, of the Canada Cemetery at Tilloy-les-Cambrai contains the remains of Private Desmond Gladstone O’Boyle 754709 of the 58th Battalion. O’Boyle was caught by machine-gun fire at Cambrai on 1 October 1918. When hit, O’Boyle could not be reached by the small reconnaissance party he was part of because of the intensity of enemy fire. His mates, unable to move, lay still throughout the day some 300 yards from their fallen comrade. Private O’Boyle had the unenviable task of being Company Runner which explains why he was more exposed than others would be. The next morning a burial party found him with his rosary clutched in his right hand. (Drolet 20)


Drolet, Dr. “Gil”. Loyola, The Wars: In Remembrance of “Men for Others”. Waterloo, Ontario, Canada: Laurier Centre for Military Strategic and Disarmament Studies, Wilfred Laurier University, 1996.
Loyola College Review


1914 - 1918




“Private Desmond Gladstone O’Boyle,” Loyola Archives, accessed September 22, 2018,

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