Ypres Town Cemetery Extension
16 oktober 2017 at 12.00 hrs
Pte Jack Bowden Pryor
33rd Battalion Australian Imperial Forces
+16 October 1917 / Age 27
Mrs. Paula Croft from Dee Why, Sydney, Australia did sent a letter to the Friends of the In Flanders Fields Museum with the request, to visit on Monday, October 16th the grave of her great uncle Jack Bowden Pryor who died on Tuesday, 16/10/1917, just one hundred Years ago, on Passchendale Ridge.
Originally he was buried near Calvary Farm but subsequently transferred to Ypres Town Cemetery Extension. She or any other relative can visit his grave on that day.
The VIFF were happy to respond to that request and in her name and his family flowers were laid at his grave on October 16th, 2017 at 12 o’clock.
Jack Bowden Pryor was the eldest of 7 children born to Benjamin Pryor and Marian Catherine Susannah Gill on the 14th August, 1890 in West Maitland. He was christened in the Wesleyan Methodist Church in West Maitland on the 10th October, 1890. He would have been educated Iocally. Like his father, Jack was a Plasterer by trade. His siblings were Ray, Connie, Edna, Ken, Kath and Reg.
On the 30th September 1916, Jack enlisted in the Australian Imperial Forces - 33rd Battalion, as a Private (3119) Fifteen days later, on the 14th October 1916, he married Ella Edith Mayo in the Congregational Church, West Maitland. The couple were living at 3 Grant St, West Maitland. (His parents lived at number 5).
On the 24th January 1917, Jack embarked on the HMAT Anchises, bound for England (Salisbury Camp) before being sent to the Western Front. According to his military records, Jack was 26 when he enlisted. He was 5 foot 41/2 inches tall, weighed 130 pounds and had a fair complexion, with grey eyes and brown hair.
Jack arrived in France in mid July 1917. His time on the Western Front was very short as he is listed as being Killed in Action, in the field in Belgium, on the 16th October 1917 (age 27). A letter in his military records, from his wife, dated 1922, states that Jack was killed at Passchendaele Ridge. An earlier letter from his father, dated 1919 indicates that Jack died in the 2nd battle of Passchendaele.
According to witness statements in his Red Cross File, Jack had returned to camp from fighting at Passchendaele on the 15th October and was resting up in a tent at Calvary Farm Camp, recovering from trench foot, when an enemy shell exploded near the edge of the tent and killed him.
Jack is buried in the Ypres town Cemetery Extension, Menin Gate, leper, West-Viaanderen, Belgium (Plot 111, Row C, Grave 9). There is also a memorial inscription on his parents’ gravestone which is located in the Methodist Cemetery, New England Highway, Rutherford, Maitland.
Jack was posthumously awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. His memorial plaque (or dead man’ s penny) and memorial scroll were finally dispatched to his widow in 1922 She had remarried in 1921.
Page made by Filip Van Loo.