Dedicated to the memory of all the men and women of the Bridgnorth area who died during the two World Wars.
William was born at Condover, Shropshire where he was baptised on 16th February, 1896. He was the son of George Pryke, a gamekeeper, and his wife Mary Maria. By 1911 the family were living at Corner Wood, Quatt, where George was Head Gamekeeper.
Before the outbreak of war, William was a member of the Shropshire Yeomanry - a territorial cavalry regiment. He would have been mobilised at the start of the war and spent eighteen months in East Anglia. The battalion was dismounted before being sent to Egypt in March 1916.
While in Egypt, William would have seen action in the Second and Third Battles of Gaza, the Captures of Jerusalem and Jerico and the Actions of Tel Azur. In March 1917, the 1/1st Shropshire Yeomanry was merged with the 1/1st Cheshire Yeomanry to form the 10th (Shropshire & Cheshire Yeomanry) Battalion, the King's Shropshire Light Infantry.
The battalion moved to France in May 1918. After a relatively quiet period:
On August 22nd orders were received to move forward, at very short notice, in conformity with an advance of the Division north of the Lys Canal. The advance north of the canal was unfortunately hung up, and, without any information of the position on the left flank, the 10th K.S.L.I. proceeded into what proved to be for them a trap. Advancing through high standing corn the battalion continued until within a few hundred yards of the concealed enemy, who met them with a devastating fire from carefully prepared positions. He then followed up his advantage with a determined counter-attack and severe hand-to-hand fighting took place. The battalion was eventually forced back to its starting-point. [Wood p.295]
William Pryke was killed during this fighting on the 22nd August. He is commemorated on the Loos Memorial.
Private William Pryke, 230206, KSLI (formerly 1802 Shropshire Yeomanry) was awarded the Victory and British Medals and the Territorial Forces War Medal.
This memorial has mostly been compiled from official sources. It would be good to be able to expand it with more personal material - memories, stories, photos, etc. If you have any suitable material or any corrections please contact Greg. For news of updates follow @BridgnorthHeros on Twitter.