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Charles Pye

Gravestone of Mary Ann Pye, widow of Charles Pye VC, at Mangere Lawn Cemetery provided by Paul Baker July 2013 - No known copyright restrictions
Gravestone of Mary Ann Pye, widow of Charles Pye VC, at Mang … Read more


  • Title
  • Forenames
    Charles AWMM
  • Surname
    Pye AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    1820 AWMM AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
  • Relationship status


Wars and conflicts

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  • War
  • Campaign
    • 1845-1846 AWMM
      First Anglo Sikh War AWMM
      War between the East India Company and the Sikh Empire broke out in 1845; included battles of Mudki [Moodkee], Ferozeshah [Ferozeshuhur], Aliwal and Sobraon. Spink's British Battles and Campaign Medals (1988) Background The 1st Sikh War - with the death of Ranjit Singh (1839) a state of anarchy ensued within the Punjab. With the army becoming increasingly dominant in the State’s internal affairs and being substantially anti-British, war was the natural outcome. The Sikh Army, reckoned to number upwards of 60,000 European trained men with over 200 guns & to be supported by numerous irregular forces. Opposing them, an Anglo-Indian Army of approximately 35,000 with 100 guns. The Sikh Army crossed the Sutlej into British Territory (December 11 1845) and the British commanded by Sir Hugh Gough marched to meet them. An initial battle at Mudki (December 18th) brought heavy casualties to both sides. Pressing on to the main Sikh settlement Gough and a reinforced army met a fortified encampment of 50,000 Sikhs led by Lal Singh at Ferozeshah (December 21) - Sikh losses here numbered 10,000 with 74 guns captured while Anglo-Indian losses were over 2,800. Another Sikh force led by Ranjur Singh engaged the British at Aliwal where Ranjur’s force was demolished. The final battle was then fought at Sabraon (February 10) 45 miles SE of Lahore, where the Sikhs held a strongly fortified position on the banks of the Sutlej. Initially repulsed the Anglo-Indian Army eventually penetrated the Sikh defences pushing them back across the river in chaos. Sikh losses were 10,000 - many perishing trying to cross the river. Gough then crossed the Sutlej and entered Lahore and the war was formally ended by the Treaty of Lahore in which the Punjab paid an indemnity, reduced its army, ceded land and became a British Protectorate. AWMM
    • 1848-1849 AWMM
      Second Anglo-Sikh War (1848–1849) AWMM
    • 1857-1858 The Indian Mutiny AWMM
  • Armed force / branch
    Army AWMM
  • Service number
  • Military service
  • Promotions/ Postings/ Transfers

Military decorations

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Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
  • Enlistment
    Pre WW1 18 November 1840 AWMM
  • Occupation before enlistment
  • Age on enlistment


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Prisoner of war

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  • Capture details
  • Days interned
  • Liberation date
  • Liberation Repatriation
  • POW liberation details
  • POW serial number

Medical history

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  • Medical notes
    Died of Sickness, Cause of Death AWMM
    Bronchitis AWMM

Last known rank

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Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Husband of Mary Ann Pye.

    Captain Pye and his family emigrated to New Zealand in 1862. He was appointed Captain of the Auckland Militia in July 1863 and the following year as Captain of the Colonial Defence Force. Took part in the New Zealand Wars and saw action in the Bay of Plenty. A redoubt (later a residential area) near Tauranga was named Pye's Pa in his honour.

    He settled in Papakura, Auckland and was visiting relatives in Australia when he fell ill and died. He is buried in the Tower Hill Cemetery, Koroit, Victoria.

    He is remembered on the headstone of his widow, Mary Ann Pye who died on 31 December 1901 aged 81 and is buried at Mangere Lawn Cemetery.

    Victoria Cross held by the Auckland War Memorial Museum AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
    12 July 1876 AWMM
    Age 55 AWMM
    KirkstallVictoria AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
    Tower Hill Cemetery, near Koroit, Victoria, Australia AWMM
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name

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23 October 2015Online New ZealandResearcher