Hugh John Chevallier Peirs, known to his family as Jack, was born in 1886 in England to Hugh Vaughn Peirs and Charlotte Sophia Peirs. As a boy he attended Charterhouse School and went up to New College, Oxford where he was a keen football player. He became a solicitor, practicing in his father’s firm, before the First World War. In 1914, Peirs was commissioned an officer in the 8th Battalion, The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment) and arrived in France in September 1915. He served for three years on the western front rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in command of his battalion. He earned the Distinguished Service Order (with two bars) and was wounded twice. Peirs died in 1943, his funeral attended by hundreds, including many men with whom he had served in the First World War.