It occupies an amazing spot in the calendar by being played on the Old Course and the New Course in the middle of June, with competitors allowed access to the facilities in the world famous R&A Club House. The strength of the field increases every year and the event counts for the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR). The tournament is played in memory of two brothers, Quentin and Anthony Boyd, both St Andrews students, who were killed in action during the Second World War.
The Boyd Quaich Memorial Golf Tournament is an international student event hosted by the University of St Andrews at the Home of Golf, which attracts competitors from Australia, Asia, Africa, the USA, Canada and Europe.
Quentin Douglas Boyd came up to St Andrews as a bejant in 1934. He graduated B.Sc. and later M.B., Ch.B. and went down in 1940. From 1941 to 1944 he served with the Friends’ Ambulance Unit, China Convoy, and he died in Calcutta on 15th August 1944, as a result of privations encountered while acting as Surgeon co-operating with the Chinese Red Cross on the Yunnan Front. Anthony Persse Boyd joined his brother, Quentin, at St. Andrews in 1935, but circumstances were such that he was unable to continue his studies here, and he went down at the end of his bejant year. As a commissioned officer in the Hampshires, he served in North Africa, Malta, Sicily and Normandy, reached the rank of Major, was awarded the Military Cross, and was killed in action near Bayeux on 12th June 1944.
Such is the story of two brothers, students in this University. “They shall not grow old as we that are left,” and so shall always live among the young people of this place, in their connection with which they emphasised the fact that to learn to love our Alma Mater one does not require the time demanded for the taking of a Degree, for that bejant and that graduate had an equal affection for the haunted town.
Equally dear to both were the grey buildings and the green quadrangles, and equally dear, the turf of the Old Course, for like that other bejant of four hundred years ago Andrew Melville, they had the “glub and bals for golf.” It was their destiny to die in a contest with the young men of other nations, a struggle promoted by the clashing ideologies of older men. We believe, we trust, that they and their fellows fought for what is right, and that as a result of their sacrifice, among that of others, the right has triumphed just as we believe and rust that understanding between young people all over the world is the only thing which will prevent further struggles of this kind, when young men must die in their Springtime.
That something may be done towards that understanding, the competition for The Boyd Quaich has been inaugurated. Relatives and friends of those two dead lads put under trust of the Court of the University of St. Andrews a sum of money, part of which has been expended on the purchase of The Boyd Quaich,” The lettering on the Quaich tells that it is a memorial to our two students, and that its purpose is to foster the lasting friendship of all nations “by promoting the increase of international goodwill, and by the encouragement of friendliness between young men of different countries”.
And so it is hoped that each year on the Old Course of St. Andrews students representing Universities all over the world will meet in the fine friendly warfare of the links on which Quentin and Anthony Boyd spent so many happy hours, and also in the precincts of our university , and by doing so will come to an understanding of each other’s ways of life and wishes and hopes for the world that is to be, that world for which they must take responsibility.
An inaugural Boyd Quaich meeting was held from the 12th to the 15th of August 1946, when representatives from Oxford, Birmingham and Sheffield, from Queen’s University, Belfast, Trinity College, Dublin, and the National University of Ireland, and from the four Scottish Universities, were the guests of the University Court in St. Salvator’s Hall, and competed for the quaich over two rounds of the Old Course. The winner was Mr. A Stanley Mayer of Glasgow University, and he took with him to Glasgow a replica of the Quaich. The Quaich itself is to be retained permanently in St. Salvator’s Hall.
The St. Andrews Green committee, the Royal and Ancient Club and the Town council gave every assistance, for which The Boyd Quaich Committee, appointed by the court, take this opportunity of expressing their grateful thanks.
The second meeting is being arranged for August 1947 , and it is hoped that each successive competition will see an increase in the number of Universities represented. It is also hoped to lengthen the period of the meeting, so that there will be more time available for students to meet each other, and so strengthen their good companionship.
While the Boyd Quaich is a memorial to two students of St. Andrews, it is in a wider sense a memorial to all students who sacrificed their lives or were sacrificed in what we hope and pray will be the last of all Great Wars. The young men in the world have it in their power, with God’s grace, to assure that hope, to help answer that prayer; and, if the Boyd Quaich meeting can assist even a small party of young men to become a combined power, so something will be achieved which will bloom as fair as any rose in the chaplet of our Alma Mater.
Reprinted from “College Echoes,” 5th November, 1946