Published By John Davies
NOTE – How Walter Pritchard comes to be on the Gates is a mystery. The most likely candidate, described below, survived the war. It is possible that he died later as a result of war service; his name is out of sequence on the Gates suggesting a ‘late entry’. However, records suggest he married in 1922 at Oswestry and died in 1947 at Manchester. This could be a case of mistaken identification. There is also a Walter Pritchard, born 1888, who emigrated to Canada on The Empress of France on 26 September 1919, this man is listed as a labourer so is unlikely to be this Walter.
Walter Pritchard was born in 1888 at Oswestry, the middle of 5 children of John and Mary Pritchard. They lived at May Villas, 18 Gittins Street, Oswestry and, by the war, at 15 Lloyd Street. His elder brothers, John and James, and father, all worked in the Railway Sheds. Walter would work as a coach body builder and, in 1911, was boarding in Prestwich, Manchester.
Walter signed up in the Army Service Corps at Manchester on 23 March 1915 and the next day reported to the ASC HQ at Grove Park, London. For about 2 years he was stationed at Bulford Camp; he worked in the Transport section as a wheel fitter. He went over to France on 2 March 1917 and was posted to 42 Division, Supply Column Motor Transport Company. At this time he was promoted to Corporal. He had a week of home leave in March 1918. Shortly after returning to France he contracted influenza. He was at first in hospital in Rouen before being repatriated to the UK on 22 April 1918, where he was in hospital until the middle of May. It would seem he was not fully fit and did not return to France and instead was posted to 10 Company at the main MT Depot at Lee-on-Solent. He was demobilised on 2 March 1919 when he also signed a declaration that he did not suffer from any disability arising from his war service.
it is possible that this Walter died in Manchester May 17th 1947 aged 59 left £838 to widow Edith Mary Ellen Pritchard 76 Birch Hall Lane. He had married Edith Mary Manser December 1922 in Oswestry.