b. 17/01/1886 The Hague, Netherlands. d. 13/04/1918 Vieux-Berquin, France.
Thomas Tannatt Pryce (1886-1918) was born in The Hague, Netherlands on 17th January 1886. He was the only son of a landowner, Thomas Pryce, and Rosalie Susannah Pryce, of Pentreheylin Hall, Llandysilio, Montgomeryshire, Wales. Thomas was educated at Deedes Preparatory School and Shrewsbury School. In 1904 he attended the Royal Agricultural College in Cirencester. Thomas was very fond of shooting and long distance running in which he won three cups. He was also a good amateur lawn tennis player.
On 11th March 1908 he married Margaret Sybil Fordham, daughter of ES Fordham, a Metropolitan Magistrate, and Annie Fordham. The couple went on to have three daughters. Thomas was employed by Henry Tudor and Son as a London Stock Exchange Broker and became a Member of the Stock Exchange in 1913. From 1912, they had moved to live at Craufurd Lodge, Maidenhead, Berkshire.
Three weeks after the outbreak of war, Thomas joined the Honorable Artillery Company as a Private, on 25th August 1914. He was commissioned into the 6th Gloucesters on 11th October 1915. He was then awarded the Military Cross for his gallantry on 25th-26th November 1915 at Gommecourt, France. When in charge of an assaulting column he succeeded in entering the German Trenches unobserved, clearing and bombing large parties of the enemy who were crowded in deep dug outs. Although wounded, he extracted his men successfully in face of superior numbers.
After being awarded the MC, he was invalided home and served in France again from May to September 1916. In July 1916, he was awarded a Bar to his MC for his actions on the Somme. He commanded the leading platoon in the assault with great dash and determination right up to the enemy's trench, under heavy fire of all kinds. He set a fine example to his men.
On 11th September 1916 he was transferred to the 4th Grenadier Guards and was made a full Lieutenant. In April 1918, he was promoted to Acting Captain.
On 11th April 1918 at Vieux-Berquin, France, Captain Pryce led two platoons in a successful attack on a village. Early next day he was occupying a position with some 40 men, the rest having become casualties. He beat off four enemy attacks during the day, but by evening the enemy were within 60 yards of his trench. A bayonet charge led by Captain Pryce drove them back some 100 yards, but he had only 17 men left with no ammunition when yet another attack came. He again led a bayonet charge and was last seen engaged in a fierce hand-to-hand struggle against overwhelming odds.
He was reported missing on 13th April, and following his death, his Colonel wrote to his widow and stated “your husband was perfectly splendid, and his record will be one of the finest episodes of the war.” On 12th April 1919, Pryce’s VC was presented to his widow by the King in the Ballroom of Buckingham Palace. Mrs Pryce later remarried and became Mrs Waterall. Sadly, Thomas’ body was not recovered and he is commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial as well as the Maidenhead War Memorial in Berkshire. At some time, his VC was sold at Glendinnings for £950 and bought by Spinks. His medals, including the VC, MC and Bar, 1914-15 Star, British War Medal 1914-20 and Victory Medal 1914-19 with Mentioned in Despatches oakleaf, are now in the possession of the Grenadier Guards Museum, Wellington Barracks, London.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: GRENADIER GUARDS RHQ, LONDON.
BURIAL PLACE: NO KNOWN GRAVE - ON PLOEGSTREERT MEMORIAL. PANEL 1.
Shrewsbury School Memorial
War Illustrated, 13th May 1916
Four Cross Church
Guards Museum, London
Four Cross War Memorial
Duplicate VC stone in Maidenhead, Berkshire