Lieutenant Herbert Beaumont Boggs was born in Victoria, British Columbia, on July 28th, 1892, the second of four children of Beaumont & Mary Louise (née Richardson) Boggs. Prior to the war Herbert had joined Victoria’s newly formed Militia Regiment, the 88th Fusiliers, in September of 1912.
When the Great War broke out he enlisted with the 7th Battalion (1st British Columbia) at Valcartier, Québec, on September 18th, 1914. Shipping for England on board the S.S. Virginian as part of the First Canadian Contingent in October of 1914, Boggs proceeded to France in February of 1915, serving as Lieutenant with the 7th Canadian Infantry Battalion.
Lieutenant Boggs was 22 years old when he was killed while in action in Ploegsteert, Belgium, on February 26, 1915. He was buried in the Ploegsteert Churchyard cemetery. Boggs was the first officer from British Columbia to be killed in World War One.
The Boggs Collection contains twelve letters written by Lieut. Boggs to his mother and his younger sisters Mary & Dorothy in Victoria, B.C., and to Miss Mansell of London, England, as well as a letter that had been written by his mother and mailed to France just prior to his death. Also included are approximately 50 letters of condolence. While the writing of condolence letters to the families of soldiers killed overseas assumed a terrible familiarity as the war progressed and casualties mounted, at the time of Lieut. Boggs’ death these letters would often have been the first of this kind written by these correspondents.
Lieutenant Boggs’ Service Record (Serv/Reg# unassigned) can be viewed/downloaded in pdf format through Library and Archives Canada.
Burial information is available at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
A memorial page honouring Lieutenant Boggs can be visited online at the Canadian Virtual War Memorial.