Lt James William Pryor

1896 Apr 19. Born Cambridge, Cambridgeshire (has 1895 in his RAF record)

1901 census at The Hall, Milton, Cambridgeshire

1911 census A pupil at Haileybury College, where he was later a Lance Corporal in the O.T.C.;

1914 Aug . He began his studies at Jesus College, Cambridge, and was a member of the University O.T.C.

1914 Sep 23. Commissioned Second Lieutenant, South Lancashire Regiment; served first the 10th (Reserve) Battalion in the UK

1916 May 29. Joined the 8th (Service) Battalion in France ; Pryor’s battalion as part of 75 Brigade, 25th Division, served during the first Battle of Albert

1916 Jul 3. ; the 8th Battalion were in action opposite Ovillers on the Somme

1916 Jul 9 Wounded in Action on the Somme where his life was saved by wearing a Steel Waistcoat. The Regimental History Ich Dien gives the following for 9.7.1916, ‘The enemy’s artillery had now ranged on the positions held and the companies were subjected to intense shelling. Second Lieutenant J.W. Pryor and several men of “A” Company were buried by one shell burst and had to be dug out; the men were dead, but Pryor was wearing a steel waistcoat under his uniform jacket which kept his lungs from injury and so saved his life’; Pryor was evacuated to a casualty clearing station suffering from shellshock and other injuries; returning to the UK

1916 Dec. He was not passed fully fit for service; joining the 3rd Battalion.

1917 Feb . He returned to France and rejoined the 8th Battalion two months later, in time to take part in the advance on the Messine Ridge, 6.6.1917;

1917 Jul 1. Promoted Lt

1917 Oct. Transferred to the Royal Flying Corps, and trained as an Observer

RAF Record

1918 Feb Posted to the newly formed 148 Squadron (F.E. 2b’s), Andover,

1918 May 29 . J. W. Pryor (Temp. Lt., S. Lan. R.), and to be Hon. Lt.

1918 Apr. He went with the squadron to Auchel, France, where it was employed as a night bomber squadron; to combat the German Spring Offensive the squadron was immediately engaged in attacks on enemy targets behind the lines; initially crewed with Lieutenant B.A.S. Lewin, Pryor was involved in night operations over targets including: Rumbeke Aerodrome; Lille; and Carvin and Le Cateau Railway Stations;

1918 Jun 16. Taken POW while serving on his 13th Operation as an R.A.F.Observer. His pilot was Second Lieutenant C.E. Wharton. The aircraft was last seen crossing enemy lines heading for Douai at 10pm; Pryor was made Prisoner of War, and transferred by the Germans from Lille to a camp at Karlsruhe

1918 Dec 13. Repatriated

1919 May 8. 2nd Lt. (Hon. Lt.) J. W. Pryor relinquishes his commn. on account of ill-health contracted on active service, and is permitted to retain the rank of Lt.

1920 Sep 17. Joined ADRIC with service no 599. Posted to E Coy

1920 Sep 27 Admitted to hospital. No discharge date

1921 Mar 26 Posted to Depot

1921 Mar 25 Admitted Stevens and discharged on Apr 13 1921, then on Medical Leave till May 4

1921 May 10. Resigned from ADRIC on completion of 6 months service

1922 Joined the British Gendarmerie section of the Palestine Police as a Constable.

After the war he was commissioned into the I.A.R.O. and saw service attached to the 1/131st U.P. Regiment

In later life he resided in Market Harborough.

1939 Lived at North End,Hallaton , Market Harborough with Flora Prior. He is an RAF (Retired) and head ARP

1942 Jan 25.Died Market Harborough. Age 46 after a short illness



WO 339/18112