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Brothers in Uniform, Who's Who?

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Brothers in Uniform, Who's Who?

Postby domneva » Wed Aug 31, 2011 11:59 am


I spent a most interesting evening last night browsing this forum, I was quite agog at how much could be gleaned from such small details and how helpful everyone was. I'm hoping someone will be able to help me out, I have some photographs of some of my grandfather's brothers in various uniforms and I am trying to work out which Pyatt brother served where (and when).

The information I have already managed to piece together is that Charles John Pyatt (b. 1878), of whom I have the most identified photos, served, I think, with the Essex and went to the Balkans, in July 1915, won the 1915 Star, Victory & British Medals and was wounded in Gaza and presumably discharged as he was given the Silver War Badge. Yet I have a fabulous photo of him in uniform and medals inscribed "Charles Home 1921". I have two other photos, one with him looking very gaunt in topee, on the back of which is written "Charlie Gallipolli 1915 Egypt 1916-191? Palestine 1917 Wounded Battle of Gaza". The third photo shows him in bandoleer and says "Charley 1914 Norwich Norfolk Warley Depot Essex" on the back. I believe he was a Territorial before the war as I think I have identified the TEM in the pic with medals, but would be grateful for anybody's thoughts on this.

Charles Home 1921_266dpi.jpeg
Charles Home 1921_266dpi.jpeg (211.03 KiB) Viewed 2479 times

I also know that two other brothers Henry (Harry) Pyatt (b 1882) and Arthur Ernest (b 1891) both served in the 1st/4th Northumberland Fusiliers and sadly were both killed in France on the 14 November 1916. Their names are on the Thiepval Memorial.

Lastly there are two other brothers whom family testimony has suggested were possibly in the forces, Wiliam Thomas (b.1873) whom my father thought was a regular soldier, and Samuel James (b.1884). I found some medal cards for up to at least 8 William Pyatts, who were variously in the North Staffs, the Labour Corps ex Southern Command, The Royal Garrison Artillery, Royal Warwickshire, South Staffs, Royal Engineers, and one who served in the Northamptons and the Royal Fusiliers and The Cameron Highlanders! I don't know whether any of these match anything in the pics.

I have a photocopy of a photo with two of the brothers, one in uniform, tentatively identified as Sam (in uniform), and Henry, by another relative. I cannot make out the cap badge but am hoping somebody might recognise something that will help pinpoint him. I only found one register reference for a Samuel Pyatt, apparently enlisted 1904 in the Royal Marine Light Infantry Chatham Division.

Sam & Henry_200dpi.jpeg
Sam & Henry_200dpi.jpeg (196.13 KiB) Viewed 2479 times

I recently came across this picture of an elderly gentleman with two soldiers in scarlet tunics. I believe he is my great grandfather William Pyatt ( and two of his sons but I don't know which and was hoping details of the uniforms might help to identify the regiments and thus maybe the brother. I am assuming this is pre WW1 as they are in dress uniform, and also as William senior himself died in 1916.

William&Sons copy.jpg
William&Sons copy.jpg (249.23 KiB) Viewed 2479 times

My grandfather, Albert, who was the seventh son of William (out of nine in all and two sisters), claimed that his father was also the seventh son (does that give him special powers or something?) and was involved in war work of some kind of precision engineering and never served in the forces.

It would be great if anyone can add anything further that might help to confirm, or otherwise, any of my findings or assumptions, I am willing and would be grateful to hear your thoughts.
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Re: Brothers in Uniform, Who's Who?

Postby snaphappy » Thu Sep 01, 2011 9:40 am

I can not help on the third image but can for the other two. You have it right with the regiment as the sitter was serving in the Essex Regiment at the time of the photograph being taken. The medals are as you have already pointed out, the 1914-1915 Star, The British War Medal, The Victory Medal and the Territorial Efficiency Medal. Just a couple of things with regards to the medals and dating, the first two medals, the star and BWM were both issued in 1918 and the Victory medal in 1919. The last medal, the TEM, was issued in 1921 and replaced the Territorial Force Efficiency Medal which had a green ribbon with a yellow line running down the center where as the one shown appears to have the yellow stripe at the edges. So from the date of issue from the last medal given then the year date on the reverse of the photograph would appear to be correct which then leaves the question of him being possibly discharged after receiving the SWB. I would suggest that he was still serving when this photograph was taken and that he was discharged from full service shortly afterwards. The only way around this, and to find out about his army career, is to obtain his service records which, if you are lucky, may have survived.

The second image does indeed show someone who was serving in the Royal Marine Light Infantry when the photograph was taken. It also shows that he was a career soldier as he has two good conduct badges up (the inverted chevrons on his left lower arm) this would generally indicate five to six years clean service (either 2 1/2 to three years service per badge/stripe) again to find out more I would suggest obtaining his service records if they have survived.
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Re: Brothers in Uniform, Who's Who?

Postby domneva » Thu Sep 01, 2011 11:01 am

Snaphappy, Thank you so much for your post, it is good to know that I am on the right lines.

Keeping my fingers crossed that those white uniform facings in the third pic might mean something to somebody!

Thanks again for taking an interest.
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Re: Brothers in Uniform, Who's Who?

Postby ColinB » Fri Sep 02, 2011 9:09 am

I can't help with photos but I did find a Medal Card for Chas Pyatt who served in the 1st Essex
Regiment and then in the Labour Corps. The card reads : 2372 1st Essex, 359162 Labour Corps.
It also mentions service in the Balkans and the Silver War Badge so it sounds like your man.
The Labour Corps formed in 1915 and was disbanded in 1921. The Corps was manned by those
who were below A1 condition and included those who had returned wounded .

See ... rps-gw.php

So far I haven't found a Service Record.

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Re: Brothers in Uniform, Who's Who?

Postby domneva » Fri Sep 02, 2011 3:58 pm

Colin, Thank you for looking into Charles for me, that certainly sounds like my Charlie, and explains him still being in uniform until 1921. I guess he was redrafted into the Labour Corps after being invalided out with his SWB.

I have managed to put a rough date on the third photo I posted, of the two servicemen in dress uniform with their father. With Snaphappy's help, pinpointing Samuel Pyatt as a Royal Marine, I managed to find an illustration of the Royal Marine's dress uniform dated 1904, (the same year Samuel enlisted) which matches the soldier, (I don't think I should refer to a marine as a soldier but I am lost for another term), standing on his father's left. He has a single inverted chevron on his sleeve so I am extrapolating 2-3 years service at this point, suggesting that the photograph (or rather plate, since it is actually glass) was made after or around 1906-07.

I can't confirm any other Pyatt bros in the forces at this point, but I do know Charlie was a Territorial. Could he be the other brother in the pic? Might he, as a terry, have worn dress uniform? One of the sisters married in 1908...

But I think perhaps I am theorising and not "following the evidence" as Gil Grissom might say!.., thanks again for your valuable help, it is exciting to be able to lock some things down.
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