Pritchard, Sidney

There is a mystery concerning this soldier named on the Prestatyn War Memorial. No record for him, or for anyone it seems could possibly be him, can be found on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website. Neither can he be found on the site for Soldiers who Died in the Great War. However, this is what we do know about him from records.

Sidney was the son of Edward and Mary Ellen Pritchard, who in 1891 were living at 5, Chapel Row, Meliden, with their family Sarah, age7, William age 5, and Maggie age 2. Edward was a general labourer, who had been born in Prestatyn, as had all the rest of the family. They were all Welsh speaking.

In the 1901 census for Wales, the family are still at Chapel Row. Edward was 43, and still a general labourer, Mary Ellen was 42, and Sarah age 17, and William age15, had been joined by Anna age9, and Sidney age 6. Everyone had been born at Prestatyn, and now spoke both Welsh and English.

The census for Wales in 1911 shows Edward Pritchard age 53, living alone at Albert Terrace, Prestatyn. He is described as a labourer with Prestatyn Urban District Council.

The rest of the family cannot be found on any census for 1911.

In the Prestatyn Weekly for September 25th 1915, there is the following article under the heading “Hero’s death.”

Mr Edward Pritchard, Albert Terrace, has been notified that his son Private Sidney Pritchard, has been killed in action at the Gallipolli Peninsula. Before the outbreak of war, Private Pritchard was employed at Chester. Along with other young men from Prestatyn he joined the 1/5th Royal Welsh Fusiliers, and was present at the second landing at Suvla Bay.

There is an entry in the British Army Pension Records which relates to the family, it concerns the elder son, William Baldwin Pritchard, who had been mentioned in the censuses. The entry is dated 16th April 1917. He had been in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, and was being discharged from the Army as being unfit for military service due to injury.

His father was named as Edward Pritchard, of 6, Albert Terrace, Prestatyn. His mother, Mary Ellen, and his three sisters, Sarah, Maggie and Annie, were living at 5, Inglesby Road, New Ferry, Cheshire.

The soldier’s own address was New Ferry, so it seems the family were living separately.

No mention was made of Sidney.

There is a card in the Roll of Honour in the archives at Hawarden for Sidney, but the information does not make matters any clearer, and when these details were researched, no further information was found. This card gives his address as Albert Terrace, and his regiment as the 24th Royal Fusiliers, his rank as Private, and his Regimental number as 68652. His period of service was three years.

The only details are “Missing believed Killed”, and the card was signed by S.E.Parry.

Maybe Sidney’s details cannot be found because he served under another name, or for a different reason altogether. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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