Major Roland ‘Pilse’ Pillinger

Throughout the last two years of the Great War Major Roland Pillinger appears to have served with General Allenby in Palestine. No records have so far been uncovered to confirm this, but a photograph shows him standing next to Allenby in the Garden of Gethsemine in 1917.

The next time Major Pillinger appears he is in Bombay in 1920. Having lost his first wife, Blanche, to the Indian climate whilst stationed in Rawal Pindi in 1912, he married Doris Blanche Baker in Bombay on 25 September 1920, and he is recorded with a profession of the ‘British Army’ and a photograph from this year shows him still in uniform.

Roland, within a short time became father to a son, again named Roland, and the family moved back to England, where he had owned a house in Torquay for some years. He still travelled to London frequently to see friends and attend the annual dinners of the Tenth Hussars. He often seemed to be the guest speaker.

Roland Pillinger

Roland Pillinger

In about 1936 the family relocated to a village called Hove near Canterbury so that young Roland could attend an engineering school in Kent. In 1947 they lastly moved to Folkestone, but during the move the house in Hove was razed to the ground by a fire started from an electrical fault, and Major Pillinger lost much of his memorabilia.

On 14 May 1951, at the age of 93, Major Pillinger died at home in Wear Bay Road, Folkestone, Kent. On the death of his wife Doris in 1978, many of his uniforms, photograph albums, and other artefacts found in the attic were donated to the Horsepower Museum in Winchester.

We are grateful to Major Pillinger’s grandson Richard for the text and images.