Pat Dyas was born in 1918, the third son of the successful ironmonger, Robert Dyas. He had a comfortable upbringing and even visited Kitzbuhl, Austria over the winter of 1936-37, attending the university in Vienna and learning to ski.
On returning to England, his family prevented him from going to Oxford University, instead forcing him to join the family firm. With war clouds looming Pat applied to join the Royal Navy Reserves (he had always been a keen sailor), but they were only recruiting signals officers so he joined the Inns of Court regiment of the Territorial Army (left). When the war started he was immediately posted to RMA Sandhurst for officer training, then Bovington to be trained on tanks.