Author Topic: A/L.Sgt 18061 Whitlam, & Capt. Gwynedd W.L.Pritchard . 20th Manchester Regiment  (Read 3044 times)

Offline davidhall

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On the 8th August 1918, at Canovo di Sotto my grandfather A/L.Sgt. 18061 Whitlam was awarded the Military Medal. I am unable to discover the actual circumstances of the award. I do however have a vague recollection of being told the award was for rescuing a colleague under fire. In amongst  my grandfathers photos was a picture of Captain Gwynedd William Llewelyn Pritchard. I can not find a reason why my g/father would have this picture, unless perhaps this was the colleague he rescued. I have done some research on Captain Pritchard, but have found no reference to his activities on 8.8.1918. He was later KIA on 23 Oct.1918. I have been unable to confirm even what platoon he commanded in the 20th Manchesters.
Any help to solve this riddle would be greatly appreciated.
David

Offline PhilipG

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Davidhall,

On the 30th August 1918, the C in C of the British Forces in Italy awarded decorations in respect of "exceedingly gallant work in the recent raid".    Amongst those decorated was 18061 L/Sgt W. Whitlam - Military Medal.    As perhaps you know, the raid to which reference was made took place in the front line Canove di Sotto, Gordon Trench etc.      The raid began at midnight on the 8th August 1918 and 2 Austrian officers and 49 men were taken prisoner together with several machine guns and stores.  Later the battalion was transferred to the Western Front.

As regards the death of Captain Pritchard MC, MID who was KIA on the 23rd October 1918 in a Brigade attack  towards Pommereuil, (9th Devons, 21st Manchesters & 20th Manchesters), the initial success of the action was obscure at first, but eventually the battalion entered Pommereuil.   The D959 -Le Cateau to Landrecies road crosses a stream called the Richemont Stream.  Whilst in summer it is of shallow depth, on the 23 October 1918 it was six feet deep and required the construction of 14 bridges to enable a crossing to be made.   The 20th Manchesters provided 30 men to assist the RE in this task.  (I have read somewhere that some men actually waded this stream).    The arrival of the Manchesters in Pommereuil was particularly welcome to the villagers as many were ill and the services of the Medical Officers were especially welcome.

As you say, the existence of a photograph of Captain Pritchard in your relative's collection is a mystery, but it could be that Pritchard was Sgt. Whitlam's Company Commander?   PhilipG.

Offline mack

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he was also mentioned in despatches by sir Herbert plumer for good services in the field,this appeared in the London gazette on 30-5-1918,he was serving in A.coy at the time of both awards

mack

Offline davidhall

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Dear Mack, and PhilipG.,

Thank you both for the further info re my grandfather. Just  one further query - any idea how Capt. Pritchard won his MC?

Once again thanks for all your help so far,

David

Offline charlie

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David,
Capt Pritchard's MC Citation can be seen here:

https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/31583/supplement/12327

Charlie

Offline davidhall

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Charlie,

That is brilliant! Thank you very much;

David