Charles Kenneth Thursby-Pelham South Africa United Kingdom Scotland

Biography of Charles Kenneth Thursby-Pelham

Charles Thursby-Pelham
Charles Thursby-Pelham

Charles Kenneth Thursby-Pelham enrolled at the University in 1912 together with his brother, Brian.

He was born on 20 October 1893 in Pietermarizburgh, South Africa, son of army officer, Francis John Thursby-Pelham.

Thursby-Pelham attended Bromsgrove School, Worcester, where he was part of the Officer Cadet Corps. After leaving school, Thursby-Pelham, along with his brother, matriculated to Glasgow University in 1912 to study Medicine, taking classes over two years in Zoology, Chemistry and Chemistry Laboratory.

His medical studies were interrupted with the outbreak of WWI when Thursby-Pelham enlisted and joined the 8th Battalion of the Kings Own Scottish Borderers. Before being sent to the frontline, Thursby-Pelham was trained at the military base, Parkhouse, on the Isle of Wight.

He was at the Battle of Loos, during which he was wounded, but was awarded the Military Cross “for his distinguished service in the field" in January 1916.

Thursby-Pelham returned to the frontline in France to fight in the Somme in 1916, where he was invalided home suffering from shell shock.

Thursby Pelham returned to active service in January 1917, seeing action in the battle of Pilckem Ridge for which he was awarded his second Military Cross " the Bar. Nearing the end of the War Thursby-Pelham was sent to Turkey, and concluded the Great War as a Captain.

He continued with his military career, and in October 1919 was sent to India to serve with the 1st Battalion of the Kings Own Scottish Borderers. Returning to the UK, he was appointed Captain in the newly formed Royal Corps of Signals, before being moved to the War Office, where he was made Deputy Assistant Attorney General in 1935.

At the outbreak of WWII, Thursby-Pelham was made temporary Brigader, Chief Signal Officer in 1st Army, taking part in the North African Landings and subsequent campaign. In 1944, he was transferred to France as Deputy Signals Officer in Chief of the 21st Army Group.

Thursby-Pelham retired with the rank of Brigader in 1947, at the age of 54. He died at Cambridge, on 14 January 1959.


Charles Kenneth Thursby-Pelham
Born 20 October 1893.
Died 14 January 1959.
GU Degree: Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, 1912-1913;
University Link: Student
Occupation categories: military
English snippet: Medical student at the University of Glasgow 1912-13
Record last updated: 31st Jul 2014

Country Associations

South Africa South Africa, Pietermaritzburg
Place of Birth

United Kingdom United Kingdom, Surrey
Place of Death

Scotland Scotland, Glasgow

University Connections

University Roles

  • Student