Major William O. Prichard

May 2018 – Major William Oliver Prichard

Our latest letter in the archive covers the career of William Oliver Prichard: Prichard was a native of the Port Talbot area. Born in 1879, he attended Sherbourne School. Commissioned into the Somerset Light Infantry as a 2nd Lieutenant, he saw extensive service in the Boer War, serving as an Orderly Officer. During this time he saw action during the crossing of the Vet and Zand Rivers, part of Lord Frederick Roberts’ march to Pretoria. For his actions, Prichard was Mentioned in Despatches twice, in 1900 and 1902.

Promoted to Captain in 1907, and having served with the South Wales Borderers in China, Prichard embarked for France with the 1st Battalion of the SWB in early September 1914. Unfortunately he was wounded shortly after, and had to have a leg amputated. However he stayed in the Army for another year, retiring as a Major in October 1915.

After the war, Prichard became the first secretary of the ‘Comrades of the Great War’ association (the forerunner of the British Legion). He served in the Special Constabulary as a Sector Commander during WWII, and was a keen cricketer (despite the loss of a leg).

William Oliver Prichard died at Brampton Bryan, Herefordshire, in 1960. The parish church at Brampton Bryan has a memorial plaque commemorating him.