Rank:


Rifleman

Service No(s):


TR13/51142; 20627; S/34782

Regiment:


Rifle Brigade (Prince Consort's Own)

Unit:

11th Bn

Returned:

Yes

Place of birth:

Islington

Occupation:

Grocer's assistant

Date of death:

Cause of death:

Grave or panel reference:

Name of father:

Charles William Pyle

Name of siblings:

Cyril; John

Name(s) of children:

Geoffrey; Shirley

Died:

No

Date of birth:

12/08/1898

Place of enlistment:

Whitehall, London

Event:

France; Germany

Age at death:

Cemetery or memorial:

Other memorial:

Name of mother:

Mary Rose Pyle (nee Isitt)

Name of spouse:

Rose (nee Eustance); Doris Eva Hall (nee Shell)

Address:

152 Tollington Park

Biography:

Charles William Pyle, probably known as William to distinguish him from his father of the same name and called Bill or Billy by his family, was born on 12 August 1898 in Islington. He was the eldest child of Charles William Pyle, a grocer, and Mary Rose Pyle (née Isitt). They lived at 152 Tollington Park, now part of MAH’s Cash & Carry, a very short distance from New Court Chapel, but William was baptised in Holy Trinity Church, slightly further away in Stroud Green. He had two younger brothers, Cyril and John.

William was working as a grocer’s assistant, presumably in his father’s shop, when he enlisted in 1916 for the duration of the war, but he was not called up for service until March the following year, when he was posted to 18th Training Reserve Battalion and in June to 19th and then 20th Training Reserve Battalion, all three in Northampton. In October he was transferred to 5th Battalion, Rifle Brigade, a training/depot unit based in Minster in Sheppey, but in November he was posted to France with the British Expeditionary Force, arriving at No 47 Infantry Base Depot in Harfleur. He proceeded to join 11th Battalion, Rifle Brigade.

In 1917 the Battalion was in action during the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line and involved in at least four battles. The following year they suffered heavy fighting in the actions at the Somme crossing and the Battle of Rosieres and in April were withdrawn to an area south west of Amiens where they received reinforcements, returning to fight another four battles.

At the Armistice the battalion was between Bavay and Maubeuge, later moving to the Toutencourt-Marieux area. The 20th Division was demobilised between January and May 1919, but William is recorded as being attached to the Establishment of the Military Governor in Cologne in July that year. Under the terms of the Armistice, British troops occupied the Rhineland along with French, Belgian and US troops; Britain was allocated the area around Cologne, with their headquarters there. William had two periods of leave that year: in May his leave was extended by four days and in September he overstayed it by one day. He was finally demobilised and transferred to Reserve Class Z on 15 January 1920. His medical category was A1 (fit for service overseas), whereas on enlistment he had been described as having good physical development but classed only as B1 (i.e. able to march 5 miles, see to shoot with glasses, and hear well).

After the war William returned to the grocer’s business in Tollington Park (a Mr Pyle at this address was a seat-holder at New Court Chapel in 1921). They sold loose tea and flour, put into paper bags with “Pyle’s products please prudent people” stamped on them. Butter and cheese were cut from slabs and wrapped in paper. William made deliveries by car.

In 1927 he married Rose Eustance from Upper Tollington Park, the daughter of a fruit merchant. They were married in Holy Trinity, Stroud Green, being both resident in the parish. They had a son, Geoffrey, the following year, and a daughter, Shirley, six years later. The family moved to Potters Bar in the early 1940s. William and Rose moved to Enfield in 1960. They retired to Fleckney in Leicestershire for a few years but then moved south again to Watton-at-Stone. Rose died soon after, in 1970. The following year William married a widow, Doris Eva Hall (née Shell). A cricket fan all his life — attending the MCC in his youth and watching the local cricket club from the balcony of his sheltered home in his last years. He is also remembered as a great joker. He died in Watton-at-Stone on 17 November 1975, aged 77, of carcinoma of the bronchus.