THE PRO PATRIA PROJECT
PYE Charles
Captain, 53rd Regiment (King's Shropshire Light Infantry)

CITATION
New Zealand Cross
The London Gazette: no. 22212. p. 5513
For steadiness and fearless conduct under fire at Lucknow, on the 17th of November, 1857, when bringing up ammunition to the Mess House, and on every occasion when the Regiment has been engaged.  Elected by the non-commissioned officers of the Regiment.

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES
Pye was approximately 37 years old, and a Sergeant Major in the 53rd Regiment of Foot (later The King's Shropshire Light Infantry), British Army during the Indian Mutiny when the following deed took place on 17 November 1857 at Lucknow, India for which he was awarded the VC

Pye was commissioned into the 53rd Foot in 1858. He became adjutant in 1859 and was promoted lieutenant in 1861. He retired in 1862. He, his wife and stepdaughter emigrated to New Zealand in August 1862. He was commissioned as Inspector & captain into the Colonial Defence Force (or New Zealand Militia), taking part in active operations during the Maori Wars.

After settling in Papakura and Karaka Hill, New Zealand, Charles Pye actually died in Australia on 12 July 1876, aged 56 whilst visiting his father in Kirkstall, Victoria. He was taken ill with bronchitis which proved fatal and was buried in the Tower Hill cemetery at Koroit near Warrnambool. The farming locality of Pyes Pa, south of Tauranga, is named after him.

Memorials honouring Captain Pye can be found at Stafford, UK (his birthplace) and Kirkstall near Koroit, Victoria

AWARDS
Victoria Cross
Punjab Campaign medal
Indian Mutiny medal
Sutlej campaign medal and 3 clasps
Gwalior Star
and New Zealand campaign medal

NOTES
Born 24 September 1820 Forebridge, Staffordshire, England
Died 12 July 1876 Kirkstall, Victoria, Australia