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Cecil Robert Pye (1890–1917)

A deep gloom was cast over the district on Monday evening when it became known that the brilliant young officer and brave soldier, Lt.-Colonel Cecil Robert Adam Pye, D.S.O., had been killed in action in France on the 4th inst., and his parents, Mr. and Mrs. R. A. Pye, of Macquarie-street, Windsor, have the heartfelt sympathy of the community in the heavy loss they have sustained. The sad intelligence was conveyed in a meagre telegram from the military head-quarters. Only three weeks ago the order from the London 'Gazette' came to hand notifying that His Majesty the King had conferred a high distinction on the young Colonel, by appointing him to be a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order, for conspicuous bravery on the battlefield, where at the risk of his life he set a noble example to his men. The extract from the London 'Gazette' was published in our columns on September 28 last. It would seem that the late Lt.-Colonel Pye was in the thick of the recent desperate fighting, and that his courage has cost him his life. Only those who knew him intimately, and knew of his great ability, courage and determination, can appreciate the loss his untimely death means to the Empire. He was a man of whom his parents and his country might be proud, and he was beloved by the men of his battalion, and they would even have gone to the length of laying down their own lives to support him. So keen was the young officer in doing his duty that he would flinch from no task, however difficult or dangerous – and so he died. The late Lt.-Colonel Pye was only 27 years of age, and was born in Windsor. He distinguished himself in the primary schools which he attended, at college at the Sydney University, and in the medical profession, and was on the eve of a brilliant career. But he conceived it to be his duty to give his country and the Empire the benefit of his military knowledge. He went to the war, not as a medical man, when he would be comparatively safe, but to fight with his men. He was first on the Gallipoli Peninsula, where he served as a combatant officer, and soon won his spurs, for promotion came rapidly. From the rank of captain he rose to that of major, and very shortly after his arrival in France he was advanced to the rank of Lt.-Colonel, and given command of a battalion, although then only 26 years of age. He showed his grit and ability and leaves behind him a record that any officer might be proud of. He brought honor to his worthy parents, and the name of Lt.-Colonel Cecil Pye will be emblazoned on the scroll of fame, amongst the many others who stood by the Empire in her hour of dire trial, and gave their lives so that we might live in security. He was the eldest child of Mr. and Mrs. Pye and their second son, Warrant-Officer Eric Pye, has been at the front nearly three years. He has also done splendid work, and has been mentioned in despatches. Not only have Mr. and. Mrs. Pye lost their eldest son, but the eldest son of his brother, Councillor J. J. Pye, of 'Liberty Hall,' Schofields, and the eldest son of his late brother, Mr. David Pye, have also made the supreme sacrifice; while a son of another brother, Mr. Charles W. Pye, has been twice wounded.

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'Pye, Cecil Robert (1890–1917)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 26 May 2024.

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