Cornelius was born near New Lambton, NSW to Joseph and Mary Hoyle. His birth was registered in 1888. During 1913 he married Rose Gardiner at Wellington NSW. When he enlisted at Warialda in January 1916, he gave his age as twenty seven, occupation as Accountant and allocated three fifths of his pay to his wife and children.
The Inverell Times newspaper 18 January 1916, noted that after the Kurrajong recruiting rally at Warialda
‘… Messrs Hoyle and Williams, the bookkeeper and grocer from Mr. Nelson’s general store … both went to their employer with the information that they were going to wear white hats, and off they went in an hour’s time with ‘the boys from the bush.’
Thus he became a member of the First Contingent of The Kurrajongs ‘snowball’ recruiting march.
Cornelius became a member of D Company 33rd Battalion which trained at Armidale and Rutherford. However, on 1 April 1916 he was ‘discharged at his wife’s request’.
During the 1930s Cornelius and his wife were living in Sydney.