William Pike was born in 1895 at Littleford, Crediton. He was the son of Samuel and Alice. In 1901 the family lived at Colebrook, Crediton where Samuel worked as a farm labourer.
By 1911 William and his younger brother Albert (born 1896) were living in and working as a horseman and cowman respectively, for James Coram Troake at Pedley Barton, East Worlington. His parents moved at some stage to Pedley Cottage.
The 2nd Battalion of the Devons were originally stationed and then on to guard the Suez Canal but on Septmber 11th 1914 it embarked on the SS Osmanieh and sailed for England and onward to France. It saw action and took part in all the major battles on the western front. By 11 November 1918 over 1,260 were to die and among them was William John Pike. Those wounded could have been five times that number.
William saw action in Ypres Salient and the war diaries give account of the most appalling conditions imaginable.
William was awarded the Military Medal and was gazetted on the 26th February 1918. This medal was awarded for bravery in battle on land. He was awarded this honour only weeks before he was killed in action barely seven months before the war ended.
Aged 23 his body was never found.
|In Memory of:||Corporal William John Pike 15596|
|Regiment:||2nd Battalion Devonshire Regiment|
|Died:||Killed in Action 24th April 1918, aged 23|
|Served:||France and Flanders|
|Remembered with honour:||Pozieres Memorial, Somme, France Panel 24 and 25|