Robert Theophilus Dalton Sayle was born 29 April 1882 the son of Boardman B D Sayle, a Colonial Merchant and and his wife Charlotte in Roydon, Essex.
Leaving Merchant Taylors’ in 1897 he became Secretary of Sweet & Maxwell Ltd, a firm of Legal Publishers in London.
As well as a mason he was a Liveryman with the Merchant Taylors’ Company, writing several historical books about the Company. He was also a member of the Junior Carlton.
He served in the RASC during the Great War, being promoted to Captain.