John was born on 13 October 1888 to Mark and Edith Boyce. A career soldier, the 1911 census shows him serving with the 1st Bn Dorset Regiment. John enlisted on 10 May 1906 and he was an Old Contemptible landing in France on 27 August 1914. The 1st Bn was part of 15th Brigade serving under the 5th Division. John would have been involved in the Retreat from Mons, the Battle of Le Cateau, the Battle of the Marne, the Battle of the Aisne, the Battles of La Bassee and Msssines, and the First Battle of Ypres. The Western Gazette reported that John was wounded on 1 January 1915. It would appear that his wound was sufficient to prevent him from further frontline service as John at some point joined the Labour Corps.
He married Jessie Lywood towards the end 1934 in Salisbury, Jessie was born the middle of 1914. John and Jessie had one daughter, Jessie, born in 1935.
John died in 24 October 1936 in London.
 P. F. Millington, Rank on Rank (P. F. Millington, 2002), p. 69