Humphrey King Hoyle
3rd February 1895 – 7th May 1915. Lancashire Fusiliers (5th Battalion). Manchester FC.
Humphrey King Hoyle was a former Manchester FC player who was killed in Gallipoli during the Battle of Krithia, whilst serving as a Second Lieutenant with the Lancashire Fusiliers.
Hoyle was born in Lytham in 1895, and like many of his teammates, was born into the riches of the cotton industry. Hoyle’s father owned Brooksbottom Mill in Bury, and could afford to send Humphrey to Rugby School for an education. There, he played for the first XV rugby team. Upon his return to Lancashire in 1913, he worked at Brooksbottom, joined the volunteer forces, and prepared to leave for Cambridge University and a life of continuing success. Meanwhile he played with Manchester FC, usually representing the “A” team in the three-quarters.
Hoyle’s course, however, changed when war broke out and he immediately volunteered for overseas service.
After a stay in Egypt, Hoyle’s battalion moved to Gallipoli, and were first deployed in the Battle of Krithia on the 7th May 1915. Hoyle, aged 20, did not survive the assault. The following day, the flags at Brooksbottom Mill flew at half-mast.
His regiment, the Lancashire Fusiliers, described him as “A fresh, quiet, invigorating character, with a keen eye and an emphatic and lively wit, he was an ideal leader, a beloved companion and a treasured son.”
Hoyle is remembered at Helles Memorial, Gallipoli, Panels 59-73 & 218.
The Lancashire Fusiliers Annual 1914-1915
World Rugby Museum