The school learnt that Harold passed away on 26 April 2015. The following obituary was published in theOxford Mail:
A volunteer who was involved with the Salvation Army for nine decades has died aged 98.
Harold Boyce, of Dry Sandford near Abingdon, was bandmaster at the organisation’s Oxford branch for 31 years, before later becoming its treasurer.
His efforts to help others started as a boy, and both his parents and his grandparents had been involved with the movement, including during the days it was known as Christian Mission. Although Mr. Boyce’s full-time career was with Oxford University Press in the proofreading department, he dedicated his evening, weekends, nights and holidays to the Salvation Army. He was responsible for setting up its Youth Club and also helped found its night shelter in the 1970’s, where he would work through the night with other volunteers and his wife.
The son of a railway worker, he was born in Oxford on June 25 1916 and grew up in Thames Street attending Salvation Army services with his family.
He won a scholarship to Magdalen College School and after leaving joined OUP. He started as a reader in Latin and Greek subject, before eventually rising to become Head of the Reading department. That saw him responsible for the accuracy of all languages and music used in university printing. He retired in 1981.
But Mr. Boyce’s true passion was the Salvation Army, which he first joined in 1931 and in interviews he described it as his “faith”.
He became a key figure in the group’s band, playing the euphonium, and in 1943 became Bandmaster after six years as Deputy Bandmaster. He stepped down from the role in 1974 and was succeeded by Clifford Perry, but carried on playing as a member. Mr Boyce also remained a hard worker behind the scenes, organising weekly lunches for its over-60s club with his wife, Gladys, nee Wood.
The couple had met through the Salvation Army and they married in its Oxford citadel, in Castle Street, in August 1939. They had three children: Keith in 1943, Pam in 1947 and Martyn in 1949.
Pam’s tragic death aged 15 proved one of the most profound influences on Mr Boyce’s life. She had died following an operation for a hole-in-the-heart condition and on the afternoon after her internment at the Dry Sandford cemetery, he went to the citadel in Oxford and had a religious experience while alone. Mr Boyce later recalled: “I came back knowing we had to do something she had been suggesting to us for a long time.”
Mr and Mrs Boyce then set up a youth fellowship for teenagers and the group thrived, taking many holidays to Europe and helping to secure the Salvation Army’s future in Oxford.
In May 2007 he was awarded a Certificate of Honour at Oxford Town Hall for exceptional service to the City.
Mr Boyce died on April 26. He is survived by his sons Keith and Martyn, as well as four grandchildren, two step-grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. His wife passed away in 2002.