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The Men Who Died



153                154

Private Phillip Pritchard

Welsh Regiment, 15th Battalion, service no. 19976

Killed in Action on July 28th, 1917 in Flanders, Belgium

Buried at Bard Cottage Cemetery, West Vlaanderen,


Arthur was born in Brecon in 1884, youngest of ten sons of Thomas and Rachel Pritchard who lived in Chapel Street for many years. By 1891 Arthur is 7 and at Pendre School. By 1901 he is working in the coal industry and boarding in Merthyr with his eldest brother Thomas, twenty years his senior. Later in 1911 at 27, he is a draper’s assistant in Swansea but in 1914 he is a labourer prior to his first enlistment.

Arthur initially joined the Army enlisting in Swansea in August 1914, and assigned to the Royal Field Artillery but then posted to the Welch Regiment in Cardiff. However, he is discharged after 59 days’ service as ‘unlikely to become efficient’, probably referring to poor health. On his application forms he lists his brother John, of 41, The Struet, as his next of kin, both parents having died in 1907.

Arthur later joins the Royal Naval Reserve and in 1918 is as a Stoker at HMS Vivid, a shore based Royal Navy establishment in Devonport, Plymouth when he died from an unspecified disease. Given that five members of the base died on the same day, it is likely to have been the second wave of the Spanish flu pandemic that cost so many lives in 1918.

Phillip was born in Brecon in 1873, the fifth of ten sons born to Thomas and Rachel Pritchard of Chapel Street.

By 1881 Phillip was eight years old, living at home with his parents and six of his brothers and was attending Pendre School in Brecon. Ten years later Phillip was boarding at Vaynor, Merthyr with his brothers Tom, 27 and Charles, 17. They are all working locally as coal miners.

In 1901 Phillip was boarding in a fairly large boarding house in Tudor Street, Abergavenny and is listed as a hawker or pedlar. By 1913 he appears to be living back in Brecon, in The Struet and working as a labourer.

Phillip enlists at Llandovery and joins the Welch Regiment.  He arrives in France in December 1915. The date of his arrival in France and subsequent death in Flanders two years later suggest that he was involved in many battles in the trench warfare of the Western Front, particularly the Somme, 1916 and Ypres, 1917.

Stoker Arthur Pritchard

Royal Naval Reserve, H.M.S. Vivid, service no. 3649.S

Died from Disease on October 17th, 1918, aged 34

Buried at Ford Park Cemetery (Pennycomequick),

Plymouth, Devon