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Captain Thomas Tannatt Pryce V.C., M.C. & Bar, 4th Battalion, the Grenadier Guards

April 13, 2019

 

Remembering the Fallen:  On this day in 1918, Captain Thomas Tannatt Pryce V.C., M.C. & Bar, 4th Battalion, the Grenadier Guards, was killed in action at Vieux-Berquin in France.

The son of landowner Thomas Pryce of Pentreheylin Hall, Llandysilio in Montgomeryshire, Wales, he was educated at Deedes Preparatory School, Shrewsbury School and the Royal Agricultural College in Cirencester.  At the time of the outbreak of the Great War, he was working as a broker at the London Stock Exchange.

At the end of August, 1914, Captain Pryce joined the Honorable Artillery Company as a private, and in October of 1915 was commissioned into the 6th Battalion of the Gloucestershire regiment.  The following month he was awarded the Military Cross for gallantry – he had entered the German trenches unobserved at Gommecourt in France, and although wounded and facing superior numbers had cleared and bombed a large number of the enemy.  He was invalided home, returning to France in May, 1916.  For his actions on the Somme in July he was awarded the Bar to his Military Cross – under heavy fire he had commanded his platoon in an assault on the German trenches.  In September, 1916, he transferred to the 4th Battalion of the Grenadier Guards. 

On the evening of the 12th of April in 1918, he held a position with seventeen men from two platoons, having sustained losses that day in beating the enemy back four times.  The Germans were approaching yet again, Captain Pryce drove them back with a bayonet charge, but with so few men and no ammunition he faced overwhelming odds.  He was last seen engaged in hand-to-hand combat after another bayonet charge on the encroaching enemy.  For his actions that day he was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross.

Captain Pryce was reported missing as of the 13th of April;  his colonel wrote to Mrs. Pryce:  “Your husband was perfectly splendid, and his record will be one of the finest episodes of the war.”  His body was not recovered, and he is memorialised on the Ploegsteert Memorial to the Missing at Ploegsteert, Hainault in Belgium, as well as the Maidenhead War Memorial in Berkshire. 

Thomas, born in The Hague in the Netherlands, was 32 years old and married with three daughters.

 

 

 

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