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Observer Corps Chief Observer Wiltshire


Observer Corps Medal, EIIR, Chief Observer Oliver Reginald Pike, awarded for service with 3 Group in 1961. Of Malmesbury and Chippenham, Wiltshire.

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Origin: United Kingdom
Extremely Fine


Observer Corps Medal, EIIR, Chief Observer Oliver Reginald Pike, awarded for service in Oxford with 3 Group in 1961.


Officially engraved: “Chief Observer O.R. Pike” Issued in 1961 for service with No 3 Group.


With 4 copy photographs of recipient, 1 in 1938 as a boy and 3 in later life.


In original titled card box of issue containing the medal, the wax packet for the medal, as small piece of extra ribbon and a good old original Observer Corps Lapel Badge, the pre “Royal Observer Corps” type without crown, marked on reverse Phillips Aldershot.


Oliver Reginald Pike came to the Observer Corps like many men from the Royal Air Force.


He had first joined the Royal Air Force, Militia with service number 3116886, enlisting for their “Two Year Service Scheme” at Padgate during January 1947. He was noted as having been a previous member of the Air Training Corps or “Air Cadets”.


Mr Oliver Reginald Pike, Chief Observer in the Royal Observer Corps, had been born on 22nd April 1930 in Malmesbury, Wiltshire.


He was the son of James Cornelius Pike and Ellen (nee Bishop).

His family can be traced back as far as 1690, and had resided in Wiltshire since the 1700s, particularly Malmesbury.


Just after finishing his 2 years in the Royal Air Force, he married Sheila Curnock, in Chippenham, Wiltshire during December 1950.


He lived in Chippenham, where his parents also lived, during this time, No 3 Group of the Royal Observer Corps was based at the time in nearby Winchester and Oxford.


The 1961 issue of the medal coincides perfectly with having joined the Observer Corps in 1949, having finished his 2 years of RAF Service, the medal requiring 12 years part time service.


During his life, he appears to have been a keen fan of History, particularly that of Wiltshire, numerous letters sent in to the Wiltshire Gazette and Herald are recorded on their website circa 2000.


He died on 22nd June 2022 having reached the age of 92 in Swindon, Wiltshire.


The following was posted in the Wiltshire Gazette and Herald from this Link:



“FUNDHOLDERS at one of the oldest charities in Malmesbury were surprised when they received a letter through the post saying it was one of the ten oldest in Wales and the West Country.


The Charity Commission for England and Wales wrote to Margaret Lamb, Clerk to the Trustees to the Warden and the Freemen of Malmesbury, two weeks ago.


It said the town’s St John’s Hospital was the third oldest charity in the region.


The freemen look after 21 buildings, and other commercial premises in the town, one of which is the site former St John’s Hospital.


But Oliver Pike, 71, of Bremillham Road, Malmesbury, said he thinks the commission has its wires crossed because the hospital closed in the 16th century.


“We were puzzled because we couldn’t make out what this letter was referring to,” said Mr Pike, a senior member of the warden and freemen in Malmesbury.


He said the hospital stood at the entrance to St John’s Street, coming into the town from the direction of Chippenham.


“But in 1640 this site was taken over and almshouses were built by Robert Jenner, of London, for the benefit of eight poor persons of the borough of Malmesbury,” said Mr Pike.


In the late 17th century the capital burgesses, who are the senior members of the warden and freemen of Malmesbury, took the buildings over.


They endowed the charity with £10 per year for each inhabitant.


Mr Pike said his grandmother was one of the widows housed in the almshouses prior to the Second World War, after his grandfather Colin Bishop died of tuberculosis in the early 19th century.


He said the almshouses were closed in 1941, renovated in 1961, and made into three almshouses for widows.


He said the almshouses has remained a charity but in recent years the buildings have been leased out to tenants.


“The charity still exists and is alive today but it remains a charity in name only,” added Mr Pike.


The list was drawn up in celebration of the 400th anniversary of the commission.”


He is noted in a court case posted in the Bristol Evening Post, 27th January 1955, His Sister Phyllis M. Pike, had married the mentioned George Elms.



Two Malmesbury men went out shooting with their dogs on Christmas Eve and they claimed at Malmesbury Magistrates court, a farmer came up and attacked them, “We had quite a battle for a few minutes”, said one.


George Ronald Elms, 3 Mansfield Terrace, and his brother in law, Oliver Reginald PIke, of 33, the Horsefair, both summoned the farmer, Edgar Wilfred Jones, of Burnt Heath Farm, Malmesbury, for assault.


Because of insufficient evidence the case was dismissed.

They were out shooting pigeons and rabbits, said Elms. They were walking along Malmesbury Common when they heard someone shouting.

‘We knew it was Jones. he had a violent argument with my father in law last year. He came running across the fields and straight away attacked me. I was knocked into the ditch and he then attacked my brother in law.’




Cross examined by Mr PEG Mather (for Jones), Elms denied they had been on Jones’s land.

When Jones came up he said, ‘I’ve been looking for you for a long time,’ said Elms.

‘We knew it was Jones shouting’ said Pike, ‘and knowing his violent nature, We did not stop.’

He confirmed Elms’s evidence that Jones had attacked first, but denied that he had pointed his gun at Jones. The reason he had picked it up was so that it would not be trampled upon.

Jones, in evidence, said he was attending his young cattle when he saw the tow men on his land. he denied striking first but said he put out his arm to persuade elms to come to the telephone for the police when Elms attacked him.”