Joe Boyle Repatriation Committee

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Joe Boyle Repatriation Committee

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The Joe Boyle Repatriation Committee was a committee of the Oxford Historical Society in Woodstock, Ontario. The Committee became involved in 1981 when the Oxford Historical Society agreed to the task of returning his body from England to Canada after a plea from Flora Boyle, the 89 year-old last heir of Joe Boyle. The Dept. of National Defence transported his body to Canada on service aircraft in 1983. Joe Boyle (1867-1923) was an adventurer whose expeditions included gold mining in the Klondike and rescuing the Romanian national treasure during the First World War. From Southern Ontario, Boyle ran away to sea as a teenager, returned a few years later, married, had a family and ran a successful business in the United States until the Klondike gold rush. In 1897 he packed up and headed for the Yukon, after a brief interval as a manager for a heavy-weight prize fighter. He remained in the Yukon until 1914, building up a very profitable gold mining enterprise. When the First World War broke out Boyle could not enlist in the Canadian Army because he was too old, but he organized and financed the Boyle Yukon Machine Gun Detachment, which served in France under British command. Boyle did go to Europe and became an honourary Lieutenant-Colonel. He helped to organize Russia's food distribution system and tried to save the Tsar, and subsequently helped to defend Romania from the Central Powers. He received medals from Britain, France, Russia and Romania for his efforts during the war, and afterwards was a friend of Queen Marie of Romania and King George V of Britain. He died in England in 1923. His remains were repatriated to Canada and buried in the family plot in Woodstock, Ontario in 1983.

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