Name:Cyril Herbert Le Tall
DoB: September 20 1888
Regt: 1st London
DoD: August 30 1918
Academic Career: CGS 1902-4
Other:Father William Le Tall, 4, St. Giles’ Avenue, Lincoln
Cyril was the elder son of William Le Tall and his second wife Anne Rebecca Arnold. The Le Tall’s were a prosperous family, Cyril’s grandfather Henry had founded Henry Le Tall Ltd. Henry was born in Yorkshire and presumably business brought him to Lincoln. In 1871 he bought the five sail mill which still carries his name. The company milled flour, the mill was later converted to run on steam. Henry was living in Yorkshire in 1911 and died there in 1913 leaving a fortune of nearly £50,000. Henry outlived his son William by nearly ten years as he had died in 1904, the same year that Cyril left the grammar school where he boarded. His only brother Eric who was ten years younger was sent to school in Sheffield and then to Repton both much nearer to home.
After leaving school Cyril joined the family flour milling business in Lincoln and in 1911 he was living with his cousin Sydney William who also worked in the family business.
Cyril enlisted in the Public School’s Battalion, Middlesex Regt on October 26 1914.He received his commission on the April 1 1915, and was appointed 2nd lieutenant in the 16th service battalion serving in France. Later he was promoted to captain in the 1st Battalion of the London Regt. In army records he is described as being 5ft 9 3/4″ tall with light brown hair and blue eyes.
In 1918 the battalion was stationed in trenches at Bullecourt engaged in front line fighting. They came under fire from a German counter attack. The commanding officer of the 1st Battalion the London Regt (Royal Fusiliers) Lt. Colonel W R Glover reported to his Colonel on the 16th September,
“I regret to say that Le Tall was killed in action. From the position in which the bodies were found afterwards he and his men put up a gallant fight during the Bosch counter attack at Bullecourt. It was extraordinary bad luck to be caught just after a relief. He was a very good fellow and will be very much missed“.
His mother received the following letter sent by Lt. Colonel Glover on September 1 1918,
“Dear Mrs Le Tall,
I very much regret to have to tell you that your son Captain Cyril Le Tall has been killed in action. During an enemy counter attack he was completely cut off with his company HQ and they fought to the last. It was a splendid act I wish I could give you more details. Your son was a gallant officer and liked by all who knew him. He lies buried near where he was killed near Ballecourt. All ranks combine with me in sending greatest sympathy to you in your great loss“.
Cyril’s mother was very distressed not to receive his personal effects and the following is an extract from another letter she received,
“His body was in the hands of the enemy for several hours. Organised burial parties were working for the whole division and our burial party under Captain Burnett found his grave near Gordon Trench Bollecourt after the ground was recaptured and our line advanced“
Presumably the Germans had helped themselves to his belongings before burying him.
He is buried at Buissy Cemetery .
On leaving CGS he donated “The Boys Own Sea Stories” to the library. Cyril left £902 his address was given as 44, Vernon Street, Lincoln, probate was given to his widowed mother who was now living in Ipswich. The family say that she never recovered from Cyril’s death. The family had “ God hath some grand employment for his son”.
1851: HO 107/2342
1881: RG11/3240/28 and RG11/4669/48
1891: RG12/3843/6 and RG12/2640/106
Personal Files at The National Archives Kew WO374/66933 and WO374/41791
CGS Memorial Register
Le Tall family