Herbert (Bert) Gayler – Olympian

Gayler, Herbert Henry, resident Willesden, enlisted in the 25th County of London Cyclist Battalion at Fulham (740705). He died of wounds in Waziristan, N.W.F. India, 23 Jun 1917.

He was born in Chiselhurst, Kent in 1882, the son of Henry Gayler, a coachman and Annie (nee Palmer). In the 1901 census Herbert is listed as a Barrister’s Clerk, and in 1911 as a Clerk Stenographer.



The Funeral of HH Gayler at Kandiwam, Waziristan N.W.F. India

Gayler was a prominent and office-bearing member of the Polytechnic Cycling Club (PCC), which was part of the Regent Street Polytechnic Institution (which went on to become the Polytechnic of Central London and is now the University of Westminster). There are mentions of his racing achievements in almost every monthly issue of the Polytechnic Magazine between 1991 and 1914, the year when he enlisted in the 25th County of London Cyclist Bn. Gayler was also an Olympian, one of four PCC members who formed part of the twelve member team that represented England in the 1912 Olympics. A Gayler Memorial Cup was instituted after his death, for a race which took place every year between 1919 and 1969.

The esteem within which Gayler was held among his peers at the Polytechnic is evident from the obituaries and letters of regret in the PCC Gazette as well as the Polytechnic Magazine that followed news of his demise. [Polytechnic Magazine, July 1917]

The University archive has a collection of old newsletters and cycling club gazettes which mention Gayler or have letters from him sent while he was a soldier. They kept an active service register during the war, and published a Roll of Honour of soldiers killed.

Naheed Bilgrami – MA student at the University of Westminster.
University of Westminster Archives – PCC 11/2/2

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1 Response to Herbert (Bert) Gayler – Olympian

  1. Thomas Paine says:

    I have my Fathers account of the Waziristan Expedition where he mentions the death of H. H. Gayler.

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