William Pike (British Army officer)

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Sir William Pike
Born (1905-06-24)24 June 1905
Scarborough, Yorkshire
Died 10 March 1993(1993-03-10) (aged 87)
Alton, Hampshire
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Years of service 1925–1963
Rank Lieutenant General
Unit Royal Artillery
Commands held 59th Army Group Royal Artillery
77th (Highland) Field Regiment, Royal Artillery
Battles/wars Second World War
Korean War
Suez Crisis
Awards Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath
Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Distinguished Service Order

Lieutenant General Sir William Gregory Huddleston Pike KCB, CBE, DSO (24 June 1905 – 10 March 1993) was a senior British Army officer who served as Vice Chief of the Imperial General Staff from 1960 to 1963.

Military career[edit]

Pike entered Bedford School in 1914, and was further educated at Marlborough College.[1] He was commissioned into the Royal Artillery in 1925.[2] He served with the Indian Army until 1936[2] and fought in the Second World War taking part in the Dunkirk evacuation[3] and commanding the 77th (Highland) Field Regiment, Royal Artillery during the landings in Morocco and Algeria in March 1943.[3] On 11 March 1944, Pike was promoted to brigadier and appointed to command 59th Army Group Royal Artillery, a headquarters that was about to embark for the Far East. On arrival at the Ranchi training area, 59 AGRA and the artillery regiments placed under Pike's command prepared for an amphibious assault on the coast of Malaya, which was called off after the Surrender of Japan.[4]

Pike later served in the Korean War as Divisional Commander, Royal Artillery for 1st Commonwealth Division.[2] He was appointed Director of Staff Duties at the War Office in 1954 - a post he held during the Suez Crisis,[5] Chief of Staff for Far East Land Forces in 1957 and Vice Chief of the Imperial General Staff in 1960[6] before retiring in 1963.[2] He was also Colonel Commandant of the Royal Artillery from 1962 to 1970.[2]


Pike's grave in Bentley, Hampshire

He married Josie Tompson; their son is Lieutenant General Sir Hew Pike.[3] His brother was Marshal of the Royal Air Force Sir Thomas Pike.


  1. ^ ‘PIKE, Lt-Gen. Sir William (Gregory Huddleston)’, Who Was Who, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 1920–2016; online edn, Oxford University Press, 2014
  2. ^ a b c d e Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives
  3. ^ a b c Blundell, Nigel (9 November 2008). "Our family at war: How four generations of the Pikes fought in four conflicts since WW1". The Daily Mail. London. Retrieved 14 March 2009. 
  4. ^ 59 AGRA War Diary, February–December 1945, The National Archives (TNA), Kew file WO 172/7515.
  5. ^ Obituary: Lieutenant General Sir William Pike The Independent, 18 March 1993
  6. ^ Army commands

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Sir William Stratton
Vice Chief of the Imperial General Staff
Succeeded by
Sir Geoffrey Baker