In 2023 the ownership of 34058 Sir Frederick Pile was transferred from the Mid-Hants Railway to Southern Locomotives Ltd, with a plan for a cooperative restoration of the loco.

If you'd like to support this restoration please contact Simon Troy on 01474 833263 or at

Sir Frederick Pile


Frederick Arthur Pile was born on 14th September 1884, in Dublin. He served in the British Army in both World Wars.

In WWII General Pile was General Officer Commanding Anti-Aircraft Command, hence his place as one of the senior officers to give his name to a Battle of Britain class loco. He was also one of few people who personally named a loco after himself (Sir Keith Park being another). The ceremony was at Waterloo station on 28th April 1948. He was the only British officer to maintain the same post throughout the war.


Pile (L) is seen watching Anti-aircraft guns in action with Winston Churchill, and Churchill's daughter Mary. Pile was knighted in the 1945 New Year Honours list and later became Director General of Housing in the Ministry of Works.

There is a summary of Sir Frederick Pile's life in Wikipedia



More details of his life and work are in his book Ack-Ack. Copies of this book are now very difficult to find. It describes the development of anti-aircraft systems in the 1930s and 40s, notably the role of women, and also an insight to Winston Churchill. Pile was a confidant of Churchill and spent many late evenings with him and the leaders of the Army, Navy and Air Force.