Lieutenant Colonel, William Bridgett Pritchard.

1st/2nd East Lancashire Field Ambulance, Royal Army Medical Corps.

Died of wounds 29th June 1915, age 47.

Remembered on the Helles Memorial, Turkey.

Former student of medicine.



Born in 1867, William was the son of Alderman Pritchard and was a pupil at Manchester Grammar School. He went on to study medicine at Owen`s College and later Manchester University. He gained his M.R.C.S (Member of the Royal Society of Surgeons) in 1890, his M.B (Bachelor of Medicine) in 1900, his DPH (Diploma in Public Health) in 1912 and his M.D (Doctor of Medicine) in 1914. An anaesthetist by speciality he spent some time working for the Ocean Steamship Company on their China Station but was later employed at the Manchester Eye and Ear Hospital. Before the outbreak of the War he was working at Christies Hospital (at the time called the Cancer Pavilion Manchester), and also at Victoria Dental Hospital in Manchester. A member of the Royal College of Surgeons, he was also a keen member of the Mason`s and was Master of Mason`s Lodge No. 2322. He was also tireless in his charity work for Wood Street Mission, work that earned him the George V Coronation Medal.

An enthusiastic member of the Volunteers since the turn of the Century, by 1914 he was a Lieutenant Colonel in command of a Territorial Unit, the 1st/2nd East Lancashire Field Ambulance. His two brothers Major Henry Washington Pritchard and Captain S. Pritchard served under him in the same unit. Their Field Ambulance went on active service with the 42nd East Lancashire Division in September 1914 going first to Egypt, then to Gallipoli. It was here on 24th June 1915 at around 4 o`clock in the afternoon, while he was inspecting a forward dressing station, that William was hit by shell fire and seriously wounded. His brother Henry was standing next to him at the time and treated his injured brother before evacuating him from the beachhead aboard the Hospital Ship HS Somali. However, five days later on 29th June 1915 his wounds proved fatal and he died while on route to a Base Hospital at Malta. He was buried at sea aged 47 years old.

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