Cecil Boyle

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Cecil Boyle
Full name Cecil William Boyle
Date of birth 16 March 1853
Place of birth Westminster, London
Date of death 5 April 1900(1900-04-05) (aged 47)
Place of death near Boshof,
Orange Free State
Rugby union career
Position(s) Half-back
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
1873 England 1 (0)

Cecil William Boyle (16 March 1853 – 5 April 1900) was an English sportsman who played international rugby union for England and first-class cricket. He was killed in action during the Second Boer War.

Educated at Clifton College and University College, Oxford,[1] Boyle played both cricket and rugby union for the University of Oxford. In 1873 he became the first ever Oxford player to be capped for the England national rugby union team, appearing in a Test against Scotland in Glasgow.[2] He played five first-class cricket matches for Oxford University in the same year and once more in 1874. As a fast round-arm bowler, Boyle took 30 wickets during his short first-class career, at an average of 10.30.[3] On his debut, against the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) he took 7/40 in the first innings.[4] His match tally of nine wickets was bettered the next time Oxford University played the MCC, at Lord's, when he took 7/33 in the second innings after taking four in the first.[5] The uncle of Test cricketer Lionel Tennyson, Boyle also took a first-class hattrick for Oxford University, against Middlesex.[6]

Boyle was a Captain in the Queen's Own Oxfordshire Hussars (Oxfordshire Yeomanry), when in February 1900 he was appointed a Lieutenant in the Imperial Yeomanry[7] for service in the Second Boer War. He took 30 of his own horses with him to South Africa, where he served with the 10th Battalion. In April 1900, he fought against Boer volunteers at Boshof and became the first member of the Imperial Yeomanry to be killed in action.[8]


  1. ^ Cecil Boyle at CricketArchive (subscription required)
  2. ^ "Scotland 0G – 0G England (FT)". ESPN Scrum. 
  3. ^ "Biography of Cecil Boyle". Cricinfo. 
  4. ^ "Oxford University v Marylebone Cricket Club". CricketArchive. 
  5. ^ "Marylebone Cricket Club v Oxford University". CricketArchive. 
  6. ^ "Hat-Tricks for Oxford University". CricketArchive. 
  7. ^ "No. 27160". The London Gazette. 2 February 1900. p. 692. 
  8. ^ Dooner, Mildred G. The Last Post – Roll of Officers who fell in South Africa 1899–1902. Naval and Military Press.