Brian Tye was born on 15 April 1933 in Rushden, Northamptonshire, the son of Stanley and Phyllis Type. Moving to Bedford, Tye went through school and became a bookbinder before entering service at Northampton on the 20 June 1951, being posted to the East Anglian Brigade Group with the Northamptonshire Regiment and then as a Private to the Royal Norfolk Regiment. Onboard H.M.T. Lancashire Tye was shipped to Hong Kong, with the ship calling at Algiers, Port Said, Aden, Columbo, Ceylon and Singapore before arriving late December 1951. There he was trained at a Battle School on a Vickers Medium Machine Gun Course, whilst he was being attached to the Middlesex Regiment. He was then shipped to Japan from late April 1952 onboard HMT Empire Trooper, where he seems to have been based at Kure, Japan Reinforcement Base Depot. Bryan was further trained at the Hara Mura Battle School. Tye was then posted to Korea with the 1st Battalion, Royal Norfolk Regiment from the 21 July 1952 with the medium machine gun platoon (Support Company). According to the recipient's notes he served at Kowang-San (Hill 355) and Maryang-San (Hill 317), amongst others.
Tye was posted back to Hong Kong again from 29 Sep 1952 where he was trained further at the Sai Kung Training Camp and with his platoon even won the Hong Kong Machine Gun Cup. He was then posted home again from late May 1953, being placed on release leave on the 19 June 1953. According to his military service book of the same month, he was a junior non-commissioned officer. Tye was transferred into the Territorial Army in July 1953, seeing service with the East Anglian Brigade, 5th Battalion, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment (TA) till fully discharged on the 20 June 1956.