16 January 1873|
Cranbrook, Kent, England
|Died||2 April 1910(aged 37)|
|Education||Radley College and RMA Sandhurst|
|Known for||Exploration and ornithology|
Boyd was the oldest son of Lt Colonel Boyd Francis Alexander. On his mother's side he was the grandson of David Wilson the founder of one of the most famous hotels in India, the Great Eastern Hotel in Calcutta. He was educated at Radley and Sandhurst.
Alexander was commissioned in a Militia battalion of the Rifle Brigade (Prince Consort's Own), and in October 1900 took up a commission in a regular battalion of that regiment. Promotion to Lieutenant followed on 22 January 1902.
Lieutenant Alexander was a member of an expedition which travelled across Africa from the Niger to the Nile, exploring the Lake Chad area. Alexander was accompanied by his brother Claud, Captain G. B. Gosling and José Lopes. In February 1904 they set off from the mouth of the Niger, travelling upriver to Lokoja. Claud died in October of enteric fever after making a survey of the Murchison Range. Boyd and Gosling explored the area around Lake Chad. Gosling died in June 1906 at Niangara of blackwater fever. Boyd then followed the River Kibali, reaching the Nile late in the year and returning to England in February 1907. Alexander's account From The Niger To The Nile was published later that year. In 1908 he was awarded the Founder's Gold Medal of the Royal Geographical Society "for his three years' journey across Africa from the Niger to the Nile."
Alexander and Lopes sailed back to Africa in 1909. They visited Claud's grave at Maifoni in Bornu and then continued to Ouadai. Boyd was killed in a dispute with locals near Nyeri. His body was recovered by French soldiers and buried next to his brother in Maifoni.
- Ogilvie-Grant, W R (1910). "Boyd Alexander and his ornithological work". Ibis. 52 (4): 716–729. doi:10.1111/j.1474-919X.1910.tb07928.x.
- Forbes, Edgar Allen (April 1908). "Across Central Africa By Boat: The Alexander-Gosling Expedition Through The Heart Of The Sudan". The World's Work: A History of Our Time. XV: 10080–10090. Retrieved 10 July 2009.
- Mearns, Barbara and Richard, Biographies for Birdwatchers ISBN 0-12-487422-3